Customer Journey mapping for small business owners

Do your customers have an consistent experience? Is the journey that your customers take different every time?

It is important to understand what works well and what doesn’t work so well in your business to ensure you are providing the very best experience to your customers.

Why the customer journey is important?

Mapping your customer journey helps you to plot the step-by-step touch points with your customers. No doubt you do this automatically. However, this can lead to variations of experience.  By ‘bringing to life’ your customer journey as a visual, you will see the good, the bad and the ugly.

By mapping a customer’s steps, it is expected that you can better identify potential hazards; meet customer expectations; improve customer experience and shape internal processes (Villiani, 2019).

Surprisingly, only 33% of businesses use journey mapping, however, the benefits are huge. These include, increased customer satisfaction, reduced customer churn and fewer complaints (MYcustomer, 2018).

You may not have had experience of customer journey process mapping, so here are some tips.

How to map a customer journey

Here are some tips to map your customer journey

  1. Understand your ideal customer

This is not as easy as you think. It may help to first think of the customers that you dislike working with. By bringing these to mind, you are indirectly forming a picture of your ideal client. Working with your ideal client gives you joy and satisfaction.  With the ideal client in mind, now visualise them walking through the customer journey.

  1. Big paper, pens, sticky notes

To get things flowing, get out the paper and pens. You will be surprised how much comes out using this method. It is also more interactive. Invite team members to join in, stand back and get idea storming.

  1. Outcomes

Think of the outcomes you would want to achieve from mapping the customer journey- think of these both from the point of view of the customer and the business perspective.

  1. Map all the steps of your customer journey

Time to get stuck in. Now you’ve got your ideal customer in the forefront of your mind, mark down all the steps they go through during the whole customer life cycle, including mapping what happens before they buy from you (the marketing process) and the steps beyond buying your product or service.

  1. Roadblocks in the customer journey

When you have mapped the key stages, it is crucial that you revisit each stage and mark down any roadblocks. Where does it feel clunky to your customers? Where is it longwinded? Where are the points at which your customers ask you lots of questions? Of course, without feedback from customers, this can only be seen from your perspective (as the business owner).

  1. Troubleshoot

Once you have your map in front of you with the roadblocks labelled, it’s time to think about how you can improve the customer experience. Look at the questions your customers have, and the problems they encounter (known as their pain points). What measures could you input to remove or reduce these roadblocks?

  1. Invite your customers

If you’re unsure if the roadblocks are more your barrier than the customers, then involve your customers. Create customer feedback surveys to better understand their experiences of your customer journey, rather than simply asking their experience of using product or service. You want to know what is like to buy from you- from beginning to end.

How to improve your customer journey

Customer journey mapping helps you consider the customer experience from a whole life cycle perspective. It allows you to identify potential pain points, generate ideas of how you can improve customer experience, as well as highlighting what you’re doing well.

Often, as business owners, we are too close to spot all of the snags, this is why I offer customer journey workshops to be your second pair of eyes and ears. For more information, visit my website here Customer Journey Workshops – VK Business Assist and book a free consultation to talk more.