The best brands don’t compete based on what they do. They compete based on how they do what they do. This boils down to their brand experience. Savvy brand marketers use customer journey maps to explain the experiences they want to deliver. Are you in that club?
Customer journey maps identify key touch points or “marketing moments” a customer will experience when engaging with a brand. These touch points are then represented in a visually appealing and sequential way. The goal is to craft ‘frictionless’ experiences (a term I picked up from financial services clients) customers glide through with glee. No problems. Just good times. The experiences the customer journey maps illustrate then become a blueprint the organisation works towards delivering come hell or high water. Amen to that.
The stages your customer journey map illustrates could be as simple as pre-purchase, during-purchase and post-purchase touch points. Thinking about buying a car, buying a car, then actually using the car provides an example. More complex customer journey maps break down pre-, during- and post-purchase touch points into more detail. For example, pre-purchase touch points for a car purchase would be searching online, first impression on the website, the website user experience for calls to action, ability to obtain support via phone or an online chat service, and so forth.
There are lots of ways to illustrate customer journey maps. In many ways they’re like the classic Clint Eastwood film as some are good, bad and ugly. When starting out it’s better to keep it simple and build from there. The following six steps should help you get going:
1) Identify the proposition. Booking a family holiday is an example.
2) Select the most important pre-, during- and post-purchase touch points. These could be interacting with a piece of informative online content (pre-purchase), a micro site to learn more about the destination on your mobile (during) and a post-holiday courtesy call (post). Remember to keep it simple and build from there. Three touch points is a good place to start. The complexity will follow when you take a deeper dive.
3) Understand the ‘jobs’ your customer needs to get done at each touch point.Remember, your brand should help customers ‘get jobs done’. If you’d like to read more about this, check out Stephen Wunker’s book on this topic. When booking a family holiday, the ‘jobs’ a Dad may want to get done could include: giving his family a range of interesting options (pre-purchase), saving time (during purchase) and reinforcing the fact he’s a great Dad (post-purchase).
4)Define the emotions you want customers to feel at each touch point. For example, Dad may want to feel increasingly informed and proud but less apprehensive as he progresses through the customer journey. You can then draw a line to profile these feelings at pre-, during- and post-purchase touch points.
5)Use design, communications, behaviour and multisensory tools to help customers get those jobs done and generate the desired feelings at each touch point. For example, at the pre-purchase touch point, use:
- A branded infographic (design)
- Engaging tone of voice in copy (communications)
- Non-pushy online sales approach if Dad utilises the “click to call” functionality (behaviour)
- Embedded sound clips of waves or other relevant sounds on the infographic to fire the imagination (multisensory).
Using design, communications, behaviour and multisensory tools in this way would help Dad understand the interesting options available to him (i.e. the job) he can present to his family so he’s informed (the desired feeling) before he speaks to them (pre-purchase touch point).
6) Identify key metrics for each stage of the journey. At the pre-purchase stage this could be infographic shares, comments or clicks through to the micro site.
Once you are clear on these six areas they can then be summarised in a compact customer journey map. Wavey’s illustration provides some clues on how to do this, but if you’d like to receive a copy of Wavelength’s customer journey mapping template, we’ll gladly oblige. Just send a mail to email@example.com and we’ll happily send one over.
If you’d like to learn more about how Wavelength can help you map out customer experiences, why not send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org? We’d be happy to hear from you.
>Dr. Darren Coleman is the Managing Consultant at Wavelength Marketing. Wavelength offers brand advice, insight, education and activation to service brands that expect measurable brand returns. Darren can be contacted viainfo@wavelengthmarketing or @onthewavelength.
>Illo by @Claudio_Naccari