What You’re Getting Wrong About Customer Journeys

Customer journey map on the small blackboard. stock photo

It is not just giving customers a satisfying initial experience with a product that marketing experts agree is important, they also think that it is important to follow up with the customer and make sure they are happy. Product managers should create an appealing customer journey consisting of various experiences to keep customers engaged. Creating customer journeys is the new marketing goal.

Although marketing experts have not yet established a system to aid managers with the design process, they continue to work on it. They often tell companies to make customer journeys as easy and predictable as possible. Research shows that this advice is overly simplistic. If a company closely follows current trends, it can sometimes have negative results.

Journeys that require little effort would be watching movies on Netflix or reordering meals on Seamless. Journeys that require considerable mental or physical exertion would be learning a new language on Duolingo or working out on a Peloton bike. Customers value both kinds of experiences.

This is a framework that will help managers design journeys that will keep customers coming back many times. We call it the customer journey matrix. It includes four archetypes:

There is no one archetypal customer that is better than the others, all four can be used to encourage customers to come back frequently. Discounts can be used for a variety of different products, bothPhysical and digital. There is no set timeframe or frequency for journeys, they can happen daily, weekly, or monthly, and last for any amount of time from a few weeks to several years.

The Routine

A routine is a set of simple steps that are followed each time a particular task is performed. Tasks that are repeated often usually have some sort of trigger that signals when it’s time to do them, and generally there is some sort of reward associated with completing the task. While all journeys follow patterns, routines are especially repetitive. They’re sometimes also called customer habits or rituals.

Routines are effective for products that make tasks easier and more predictable. An ultrasonic toothbrush can help make your oral care routine more efficient and effective. Mobile banking apps make it possible for busy people to conduct their banking business without having to make a trip to the bank. Fast food chains are a convenient way to grab a quick meal or drink while on the go. minimizing friction will make customers more satisfied.

The Joyride

A joyride is an enjoyable trip that lets people break away from their boring everyday routines. An “on-demand thrill” is something that is exciting and easily accessed when needed. This could be something like a music-streaming platform, sports media, or video game. Brick-and-mortar settings such as fast-fashion stores, local cinemas, restaurants, and bars can all benefit from using joyrides to keep things interesting and attract customers.

Although it is not enough on its own, streamlining is necessary to make joyrides enjoyable. Streamlining only mitigates pain points; it doesn’t induce pleasure. To make joyrides possible, companies must design customer journeys that vary endlessly to create frequent moments of delight. In the game Candy Crush Saga, players swap adjacent candies to create rows or columns of three matching candies. The game makes nearly 10,000 levels by varying the candies, colors, sound effects, challenges, and constraints.

The Trek

Treks are journeys in which customers work towards challenging long-term goals, such as learning a language, recovering from surgery, or saving for retirement. This is typically done by personal service providers, like tutors, coaches, and financial advisers, but is now being increasingly done by mobile apps and smart products. This includes educational apps like Babbel, wearable devices that monitor health indicators like the Apple Watch, and financial-planning tools like Mint. Many customers come back to products that help them go on treks often because these products give them the significant assistance needed to help them achieve their objectives.

The Odyssey

Routines are the most ordinary type of customer journey, while odysseys are the most extraordinary. An Odysseys is an adventure that is full of challenges, excitement, and surprises. It is driven by the customer’s passion, determination, and desire to achieve something. They require a lot of effort and generate a lot of excitement. Customers usually only have a few odysseys going on at any given time, even though they may have many routines in their lives.

The Odysseys e-commerce platform is designed for merchants selling products that customers are passionate about, such as items that help them cultivate a social media following, play a strategy game, learn a performance art, or film a documentary. Many people continue to use a product because they feel that it helps them to learn and develop new skills. The journey is the destination for outdoor enthusiasts who don’t need a set end point for their odysseys.

The following are the 7 biggest misconceptions about Customer Journey Mapping:

(According to CMO and GM, Products at TandemSeven, Steve Offsey)

#1. Mapping the Customer Journey from an Internal Point-of-View, Not the Customers’

One issue we often see is people confusing customer journey mapping with service design. The goal of customer journey mapping is to understand the customer’s perspective and needs. I see organizations often get a lot of people into a room, document their internal process, and call that a customer journey map. That’s the biggest misconception. Many people believe that it is possible to develop a customer journey map by holding a workshop with all of the staff, without ever having to communicate with customers directly.

#2. The Idea that Customer Journey Maps Are One Size Fits All

A common misconception is that there is just one customer journey map that applies to all customers. Different customers often have different journeys. Some people who create customer journey maps don’t realize there is a connection between the process and developing personas. With different personas, you’ll usually have different journeys. Everyone will have a different experience while reading the book, with different emotions and moments that stand out. Even if two people are taking the same journey, they may have different perceptions of it.

#3. The “Molly Marketer” Fantasy: Using the Wrong Data to Define Customer Personas

Personas became very popular in marketing a while ago, and since then we somehow ended up defining personas mostly by demographic data. So people started making personas with really specific, cute details instead of the more important information that should be defining the persona.

#4. Viewing a Customer Journey Map as a Static Destination

Many people who create journey maps see it as the end goal. Hanging a pretty picture on the wall is not enough to make your company more focused on the customer.

Companies often create a hypothesis map and think that’s it, when really they should be having a bunch of designers go into Adobe Illustrator and make it beautiful, print it out. They think that they can just do the activity once, create the map, and declare success. However, this is not the case.

You can’t just do something and expect it to work. You cannot improve your customer’s experience by merely creating a good looking drawing.

#5. Thinking Web Behavior is the Only Data you Need

Some people think that journey maps can be made solely from website logs and data. You cannot simply rely on the data of what your customers did and the steps they took on your site. The customer journey spans way beyond your website. An important part of understanding your customers is understanding what they were trying to do on your site that your site did not allow them to do, as well as their emotional state and how they felt while trying to do these things. There are various important aspects that you can’t find in log files. For example, you can’t find:

Creating a customer journey map based on web logs and statistical tools is not enough. You need to focus on more than just the buying process, because the customer journey starts before purchase and continues after.

#6. “Can’t I Just Buy Marketing Technology to Do Customer Journey Mapping for Me?”

Many companies are now focusing on the customer experience and using language like personas and customer journey mapping. This has caused some confusion in the digital marketing community. Your operational platforms such as your marketing automation system and CRM are very different from the process of understanding what your customers’ journeys look like, documenting them, and getting your organization aligned with them.

The confusion occurs when people think they can skip the research process because their operational marketing technology can do it for them. However, none of these platforms or systems actually do that. -These platforms are useful for creating and deploying customer interactions based on journey mapping insights. -Automating these interactions can be helpful in order to save time and cater to customers more efficiently.

#7. Lack of Internal Alignment: A Different Customer Journey Map for Every Silo

I have observed that many companies begin their customer journey maps in separate silos for different functions or business units. CEOs need to be aware that customers see the company as a whole, not as separate entities. If the company is internally divided, it will be reflected in the customer’s experience.

If you don’t take a customer-centric view of the experience, it will appear to your customers as if you are multiple companies or a fragmented, inconsistent company. Duplicating efforts all over the place is not only a waste of time, but it is also counterproductive.

Designing an Ideal Customer Journey

The following five-step process can help you determine the most appropriate journey for your product and customers:

1. Identify the best archetype for your product.

Is it relatively effortless or effortful to use? Is the experience predictable or unpredictable? The type of journey you will have depends on your answers to some simple questions.

2. Put the archetype’s design principles into action.

Consistent touchpoints and familiar sequences will help to create a predictably satisfying experience for customers using products with a routine archetype.

If your goal is to create moments of joy, you can produce a variety of content internally with teams of content producers or algorithms, or by sourcing content from consumers.

To create goal-posts for a customer’s trek, break their long-term objective into a series of much shorter goals and reinforce them for achieving each small target.

If you want to track progress and offer a variety of activities that help advance a customer’s goal, you could set up a performance dashboard.

4. Streamline the journey at every opportunity.

This principle applies to all four archetypes. Product managers need to find ways to eliminate anything that doesn’t add value from the customer experience to keep their brands competitive.

5. Consider different journey archetypes for different customer segments.

Can a single product help with multiple types of customer journeys? The answer is a definite yes. Many brands provide two or more travel archetypes at the same time.

When companies have customers enrolled in multiple types of customer journeys, they have a greater chance of retaining them. Some journeys may become less appealing while others may become more so. This results in customers being constantly engaged with the company’s products in some way or another.

To succeed in today’s market, products must make it easy for customers to have a positive experience. But there’s no one right way to design them. There are four customer types that product managers can choose from- those who follow routines, those who go on joyrides, those who go on treks, and those who go on odysseys. Each archetype can help companies keep their customers returning by implementing specific design principles.


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