The Customer Journey of Past and Present: A Visualization
POSTED : February 10, 2015

A customer journey map is a visualization of customer experiences, aligned to a sequence or process over time. At PK, we use customer journey mapping to build an understanding of complex customer interactions—identifying painpoints and softspots in the journey, and finding better opportunities to engage the customer.

There has been an explosion in channels that businesses use to engage customers, making the customer’s journey far more complex than it was just a few years ago.  Our approach to mapping the customer’s journey has evolved substantially to keep pace.

The customer makes contact with everything from your website, mobile app, call center and social media to architecture, interior design, in-person services and sales follow-up. The key to creating a holistic view of your customer’s journey is to map each of their interactions across channels, and from the customer’s point of view.

Consider two paths to purchase:

  1. The customer journey from our past (a few years ago
  2. The present customer journey

The customer journey from a few years ago might look like this:

  • Awareness was built through traditional media and word of mouth
  • Interest was reinforced through contact with a sales touchpoint
  • Consideration usually involved person-to-person consultation
  • Purchase was also in person at a physical location

Follow-through was usually spotty, if it happened at all.

The current customer journey might look more like this:

  • The customer becomes aware of a brand or product via social media.
  • She becomes more interested via repeated contact through multiple channels, including, online and the physical location.
  • During the visit, she uses her smartphone to connect with social media. She looks at a competitor’s pricing on the web. She uses the company’s app to access a promotion via their loyalty program.
  • The customer decides to purchase. During the purchase process, a second off-site product has caught the customer’s interest. No problem. It will be ordered and shipped to her directly from the e-commerce site.
  • During the process, she has opted-in for sharing her information with the company. This is used to follow up with her in a personalized way.

The customer journey of the past could be visualized on a simple linear path. The current customer journey requires another dimension that tracks options through various channels, many of which are in play simultaneously. Today’s customer can enter, exit and loop back into the process at several different points.

As always, it is important to visualize this journey from the point of view of the customer. Painpoints and softspots in the journey should be considered as you go, developing a clear brief for creative. There are many ways to visualize this. The one pictured here is only one example.

Think of all the ways your customer connects with your company. How many different moving parts are involved in fostering that connection?


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