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Understanding Customer Journey Mapping with SFMC Solutions

Customers are a company’s biggest asset. Imagine having no customers to buy your products or services. Would your business survive? Not at all. That’s why it is important to give your subscriber base a positive customer experience. Remember, customers who have a positive experience are more likely to purchase from your business, pay a premium price for your services, and even recommend your business to others. Consequently, you must know that a single bad experience can take up to 12 positive experiences to make up for it. So, you see how the success of your business is directly linked to positive customer experiences? 

Simply put, with the ever-increasing competition in the business sector, it has become imperative to reinforce your brand and make a significant place for your business by delivering a positive customer experience with your products and services. 

Moreover, with 86% of marketers considering building a cohesive customer journey, a critical aspect of the business, it becomes all the more important to make customers the sole point of driving your business. This is where customer journey mapping comes in handy. 

What is customer journey mapping?

Customer journey mapping is a visual process that assists marketers in outlining the story of a customer’s experience. It begins from the first interaction of the customer with the brand and helps the marketers in creating a long-lasting relationship with their customer base. 

Advantages of customer journey mapping

  • Helps in extracting valuable insights

Customer journey mapping helps a marketer in getting deep insights into the expectations of customers from a brand at each step of their journey. As a result, it becomes easy for marketers to create customer experiences that encourage customers to reach the last point of the journey. 

  • Works towards understanding customer touchpoints

A customer journey map gives marketers a clear idea about the channels and touchpoints that customers have high chances of taking to reach a product. This, in turn, helps marketers to develop or modify products and services that best suit the needs of the customers.

  • Facilitates the prediction of consumer behavior

Customer journey mapping is all about understanding and predicting the consumer behaviour backed by right and relevant data. This assists marketers in adopting strategies that influence consumer behavior, thereby optimizing the whole conversion process. 

So, this is how customer journey mapping can help you in delivering impeccable customer experience while giving you a competitive advantage over others. To put it in other words, customer journey mapping is critical for the success of a business. It doesn’t only help you identify where the consumers are in their relationship with your brand but also gives you a precise idea about their pain points. It even gives you an insight into what information they are looking for and how they want that information to reach them. 

All in all, customer journey mapping helps you target your customer base at the right time, with the right message and through the right channel, thereby increasing your brand value and customer retention rate. Consequently, a study by Oracle suggests that 86% of customers pay more for better brand experiences. However, only 1% feel that marketers meet their expectations in a consistent way. 

Hence, if you wish to be amidst that 1% of marketers and improve customer loyalty while increasing your revenues, it is high time you map the entire customer journey. Wondering how you can do that? Take the help of Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) and you will be good to go. 

A leading provider of digital marketing automation along with analytics software and services, SFMC with the help of its tool Journey Builder offers one to one marketing solutions for managing the customer lifecycle.  

How to create a customer journey map with SFMC?

1. Collect data

The first and foremost step is to collect data. You can extract the same from website analytics, CRM, marketing platforms and other sources. However, make sure you have the right kind of data to create a relevant map of a customer’s journey. In this context, you must collect two types of data, analytical and anecdotal. 

  • Analytical data

Such data work as a great starting point for selecting and putting the focus on a specific customer’s journey. As a marketer, it can help you compare it with the data of other customers while discovering broad trends. 

  • Anecdotal data

Anecdotal data brings out the customer experiences and stories directly. It helps in filling out the intricate details of an individual customer’s journey. You can extract such data through social media analysis and  interviews. 

Further, you can even make use of Salesforce’s Data Studio to find data that gives you greater customer insights and facilitates personalized marketing. 

2. Put it together in the form of map

Once you have extracted all the critical data by interacting with leads and customers, the next step is to come up with its graphical representation. A customer journey map is made of a basic structure. It makes use of time or different stages of a customer’s life cycle and forms a spine for structuring the map. It usually includes the following areas:

  • Inquiry

It is the step when the customer decides to buy your product or service.

  • Comparative analysis

In this step, the customer analyzes various brands that can help them choose the best one to fulfil their needs.

  • Purchase

In the last step, the customer takes the buying decision and chooses a brand to make the purchase. 

Further,  you can add these customer interactions along the spine and include your strategies for engaging, educating and entertaining your audience. Remember, each stage witnesses critical thoughts and emotions that drive consumer behavior. So, make sure you chart these aspects in your customer journey map. It will help you identify the points where you can make the whole purchasing process more enjoyable and gratifying for your customer base. 

In this context, you can take the help of Journey Builder. It can assist you in maintaining a level of connectivity with your customers and provide a convenient road map for customer acquisition. 

3. Study your customer journey map

The last step is to study and analyze your customer journey map. From taking a look at the most positive moments of a customer to getting hold of points where they struggle most, you must have a clear idea of all the touchpoints. This will help you work towards reshaping these touchpoints according to the needs and wants of the customer, thereby making the journey easier, faster and pleasant for the customer. Further, you should write the recommendations next to each of the touchpoints on the map. This will help anyone in your company understand the customer journey from the stage of awareness to purchase. 

Now, since you know how to create a customer journey map, get the most out of it by sharing it with everyone within your organization who is in a customer facing role. It will help you get and stay ahead in the competition. Also, make sure you fine tune your customer journey maps regularly to be in sync with your customers’ constantly changing expectations and feelings. 

So, what are you waiting for? Get going with SFMC and create a well-structured and beautifully executed map with the help of Journey Builder.

What are the benefits of  SFMC’s Journey Builder in customer journey mapping? 

1. Improvement in customer engagement

It works through a multi-channel approach and increases campaign performance. This helps in speeding up customer engagement through various ways.

2. Facilitates tracking in real-time

It helps in administering the campaigns easily while checking interactions and testing all campaign elements in real-time. 

3. Provides personalized experiences

It helps in the timely delivery of personalized content to the customers according to their preference. 

4. No requirement of technical expertise

Journey Builder allows you to access your marketing campaign with random split testing and estimating progress towards campaign aims. All of these are based on customer facts and don’t require any technical expertise.

5. Seamless management of touchpoints

It helps in managing customer journeys at every touchpoint, thereby enriching the customer experience through personalized directing and individual behavior.

6. Wide customer view

Journey builder gives you a 360-degree view of your customer. It can help you make use of integrations such as email, SMS, mobile push, or Predictive Intelligence to send the right message at the right time. 

7. Saves a lot of time

It can save a lot of your time as you get direct access to individual customer journeys. It bridges the gap between customers and marketers.

8. Promote smooth integration of information 

SFMC’s Journey Builder is connected to other parts of the Salesforce ecosystem consisting of Sales Cloud and Service Cloud. It helps in the smooth integration of information by saving all the resources needed to pass the information and migrate the data from other Salesforce departments. 

Wrap up

With customers enjoying a variety of options of channels and products, the competition amidst businesses is at an all-time high. So, to have a competitive edge, it is critical to leverage customer experience as a differentiator. Remember, if you get your customer experience story right, you will be able to make your brand successful. 

In short, customer experience is the deciding criteria on whether a customer is fond of a brand or not. So, take the customer journey plunge and map out the experience through SFMC’s Journey Builder to meet the rising customer expectations. 

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Kevin is the Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest-growing email design and coding companies. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and breathes ‘email marketing’. He is a brand magician who loves to engage, share insights with fellow marketers, and enjoys sharing his thoughts on the latest email marketing best practices.

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