Rumors of the death of the customer journey have been greatly exaggerated.
Don’t believe the hype: Customer Journey Mapping (CJM), customer experience and customer-centric design are alive and well – and they’re part of the solution to bridging the competitive gap with those eCommerce competitors and juggernauts.
So… why do I keep reading about Customer Journey being dead or “out”?
If the practice of CJM provides such insight, why are there so many “The Death of Customer Journey Mapping” articles splashed across marketing and eCommerce sites? (aside from clickbait, you mean?)
To be fair, there is no real and linear customer journey.
Consumers are getting information from so many different channels at all times of the day and night. The linear model “doesn’t take into account that a consumer may impulsively search for products while standing in line for coffee.”
A more accurate customer journey map would therefore combine several different user stories, with the understanding that you will be able to extract commonalities. It makes for more of a matrix than a strict flowchart.
According to Google, there continues to be fundamentalchanges in the way we consume media. Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s Senior Vice President of Ads and Commerce writes, “ … the old days of predictable, periodic media sessions have been replaced by numerous short bursts of digital activity throughout the day.” Ramaswamy compares the old model to a four-course meal whereas today people are consuming a “series of constant bite sized snacks all over town.”
People are regularly plugged into their devices and getting information across multiple channels at once.
What does this mean for the Customer Journey Mapping exercise? Operational efficiency, being able to quickly get your customer to the product and the product to the customer, might be way more important than the exact path that led them to purchase.
We have to accept that personas and Customer Journey Maps can never tell the whole story.
In this time of constant change, nothing remains static. No persona will ever be “final” and no CJM will ever fully encapsulate how a client makes it to the company’s doorstep. Still, putting yourself in your client’s shoes and working to remove any friction they might be experiencing will enhance customer experience and brand reliability.
Why winning eCommerce platforms invest in Customer Journey Mapping
Knowing who buys your product and how they interact with your brand can help to cater to their needs and practices. As an online retailer, it is your responsibility to compliment their lifestyle and consumption habits.
Millennials have different web navigation tactics than their parents or grandparents, just like North-Americans tend to have different navigational expectations than many Europeans. For example, how many tabs do you currently have open in your browser? What makes you stay on or leave a page? Understanding how those different personas, in this case the navigation practices of the oft-overused “millennials” and “baby-boomers” trope, allows you to align your touchpoints to their expectations.
The Customer Journey Map won’t give you the key to open every door. But this exercise, if done thoughtfully, can give you really valuable insights that can positively impact your customer’s experience with your brand.