Many consulting firms, RCP included, have been educating retailers on the need to develop customer journey maps. But what exactly are they? And why are they important?
At a high-level, a customer journey map is a guide to understanding who your customers are, how they ideally proceed through all of the various touchpoints with your organization, and what their needs and expectations mean for your own business and technology solutions.
Customer journey mapping helps ensure retailers aren’t putting the cart before the horse and implementing technology for the sake of technology. It’s about putting your customers’ needs at the forefront of your strategies. Sounds reasonable enough, but how do you get started?
First, you must understand who your customers are. These “personas” are generalized representations of the key traits that make up large segments of your customer base, built on data you’ve collected either empirically or from your own research and customer analytics.
Next, you need to think about all of the ways in which those personas may interact with your brand. These interactions include everything from brand awareness, to product reviews that your customer might research, to the in-store shopping experience, to online price comparisons, to actually purchasing your products, to potentially returning those products, and to eventually becoming an advocate themselves for your products or your customer service.
Finally, once you understand those customer expectations, you have to dig into the functional capabilities that will be needed to support their requirements, and the potential business processes and technology solutions that can help address them.
The key thing to remember is that there is no single customer journey map that works for all retailers or for all customers. It’s a unique process that you have to go through based on your distinct business strategy.
RCP is a believer in workshop-based customer journey mapping sessions, and we have a proven methodology to help retailers identify their customer personas and the associated journey maps. Contact us and see how we can help your organization with your unique customer journey mapping.