We create sitemaps to help us plot user navigation across our websites. Similarly, a customer journey map plans out the anticipated journey a customer will have with your business. While this is somewhat analogous to your sales funnel, it has a more practical feel to it. Funnel phases such as awareness and consideration are about where your lead is at; the customer journey map will tell us what they are doing, and more importantly, what we as a business are doing.
Broadly speaking, there are three layers to a customer journey map:
1. Customer actions
2. Front of House
3. Back of House
While some maps get very granular and specific, these three layers define the actions and interactions for your customer.
Customer actions usually align with the interest phase in our sales funnel. It can be something as simple as a social media follow, website visit, or something more traditional sales-based like filling out a form or requesting a quote.
To do this, our company needs some front-of-house assets (FOH). In the above example, these would be things such as our social media accounts and website. They can also be traditional collateral materials such as brochures or flyers; it’s that first point of active contact (rather than passive awareness) that a customer has with your brand or company.
Behind those front-of-house assets (BOH), we have back-of-house systems. These are how we manage our customers and their interactions with them. For example, that form they filled out on our website might generate a new record in Salesforce or other customer data storage platform. This allows us to cross-reference every later action our customer takes so that we have a complete narrative for them. The more we know about our customer’s interactions with us, the better placed we are to provide the product or service they want, now and in the future.
Let’s take a practical example such as a theatre to tie this all together.
Initially, a customer subscribes to a newsletter on the theatre’s website. They then start to receive the newsletter, and they click trackable links. When they buy tickets, this information gets logged against their profile. Any post-show survey responses record what they like about the theatre, their favourite types of shows etc. These all help the theatre understand its customer preferences.
For this example, our three layers contain:
1. Customer actions: Join the mailing list, open newsletter, click links, purchase tickets, complete survey
2. FOH Assets: Website, survey tool
3. BOH Assets: Mailing tool, sales database
In the most basic sense, the customer journey map, with customer actions at the top, interact with the FOH, which adds to the BOH. But there can be more complexity built-in over time.
For example, after two years, if we see that our patron comes only to watch farcical comedy plays, this BOH information can start to influence the FOH. If the theatre has a big summer comedy on, this is a customer they can target with an increased likelihood of making a sale. A newsletter, or special mailout about this play, can be sent to those who the BOH shows might be more interested than the general mailing list.
While this has been quite a simple example, it does demonstrate one of the more important reasons to create a customer journey map.
Continual adaptation makes a customer journey map essential for any business. At a functional level, it helps you organise all your assets to work together to serve your customer and your business. Over time, it allows you to map interactions between the different levels that ultimately will drive sales and improve customer satisfaction.
If you’re interested in talking to our team about how we could help you construct an effective customer journey map, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us here for more information or call us on 01600 891525.