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  • Writer's pictureRuthann Swain

Customer Journey Maps: Using a 360 Degree View

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

My mother was the manager of 4 convenience stores, owned by the largest and most well-known, local business man. She was quite successful. The first female, in fact, to be featured on one of the highly regarded, CStore Publications. She didn't have a business degree. What she had was a keen thoughtful understanding of her customers at each store. This understanding is what made her successful.

customer experience journey mapping for ecommerce

She gained this insight by observation and communication. She watched. She talked. She asked questions and she listened. You could say she had a 360 view of her customers. In business this can be defined as "...the idea, sometimes considered unattainable, that companies can get a complete view of customers by aggregating data from the various touch points that a customer may use to contact a company to purchase products and receive service and support."

How does one do what my mother did i.e."aggregating data from various touch points.....", but on a grander scale to obtain that 360 degree customer view? The answer is: Customer Journey Mapping. The process may seem very linear, but I would be so bold as to suggest it is actually one of your most critical tools in your tool box to achieve this, 'sometimes considered unattainable' view. Let's explore this more.

customer journey map example

Let's continue on with how my mother's customers behaviors helped her serve them better. First, she could see 'how' they got to the store; walked, biked, drove. She could see what they had on when they came in; bathing suites, shorts and t-shirt, business attire. By these clues she could determine a few things: either they were just coming in for a few items, or they were stopping by from work. They were either summer visitors, or year around lake dwellers.

These clues helped her assist them in their shopping needs (in for a beverage or here to pick up something quick for dinner), helped her understand how she should bag their purchases (only a few bags for someone who is walking and maybe more for someone who is driving), and in many cases she knew the customer and would have their favorite candy bar or pack of smokes ready for them at the counter.

optimizing your customer journey for ecommerce

Finally, beyond being able to miraculously anticipate her patrons needs, she gave each and everyone a great, overall customer experience, just by studying these behaviors. Everyone always left with what they needed, but with minimal effort, a smile and having had a great interaction with the store keeper.

A customer journey map can help you build similar, optimal customer experiences at every interaction. Think through how your customer gets into your funnel- Or maybe there are multiple entry points..... What does that mean in terms of need, service and delivery? Do you know if each interaction that your customer has with your company, brand or employees is a positive one? How do you identify gaps?

Conducting a Journey Map session with various internal teams can help you recognize: who your loyal customers are, why and also identify those less than ideal interactions creating churn in your customer base. In order to get the full scope of your customers journey with you, you will want to build out that 360 degree view. Your 360 journey map should include: demographics, buying preferences, delivery preferences, purchasing preferences. The map may be linear in nature (discovery, decision, purchase), but at each step you are learning a little bit more about your prospects, your customers, their specific consumer behaviors and identifying opportunities at the same time. The data you collect at each touch point, builds that view- this is your infrastructure.

customer experience optimization

Aside from investing in expensive marketing automation tools and CRM's (which I would argue, only help you aggregate that data- NOT fully understand your customer), investing in and conducting a customer journey mapping session is the single most effective tool to optimizing your organization's customer experience strategy.

I know most people dread 'becoming their parents', but in my particular case, I'm actually not that upset about it. My mother helped me to seek understanding- of everything and everyone. It's served me well personally and professionally and continues to do so to this day.

To help you get started on a simple customer journey map, see Lucidchart's FREE 5-stage customer journey map template here.

To schedule your team's customer journey mapping session (in-person or virtual) with InTandem Digital Consulting or to learn more about our specific program, our workshop curriculum or our own proprietary, InTandem Journey Map © format, contact us HERE

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