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Customer Journey Mapping Series: Why is Mapping Your Customer Journey Critical to Success?

In part one of this four-part series, we discussed how to use customer journey mapping in your utility.

Are you using customer journey mapping to optimize your customers’ experiences with your utility? If not, it’s time to start.

In our previous blog on this topic, we discussed the different stages of the customer journey and how they relate to your customers’ evolving experience with your utility. In this blog, we’ll discuss how to create a customer journey map to help you understand each interaction customers have with your brand.

What is a customer journey map?

A customer journey map is a concise, visually compelling illustration of an individual persona's entire experience with your organization, service, product or brand. It plots their needs, goals, interactions and consequent emotional reactions over time and across channels.

customer-personas

Compiled based on marketing research, a journey map allows you to walk through your customer’s emotional landscape “in their shoes,” providing an outside-in view focused on their desired outcomes and shedding light on key opportunities for deepening relationships.

Such insights are vital in envisioning future program design and messaging, to give customers exceptional experiences and set them up for success.

Since every customer interaction with your utility influences satisfaction, loyalty and—ultimately—your performance, customer success translates directly into your company’s success.

A customer journey map is a powerful tool, whatever your role in the utility company. Copywriters, for example, get insights into the questions customers have and how they’re feeling at each stage, while user experience designers get a clear idea of the customer’s context—where they’ve come from and what they want to achieve next. Program managers get a bird’s eye view of the customer’s whole experience as they move through a sales funnel, helping them identify opportunities to enhance it.

What makes a customer journey map especially effective is that it not only breaks a customer’s experience down into individual interactions, making the needs and emotions at each stage easier to pinpoint, it also highlights the decision points of the journey as customers transition from one stage to the next.

Check out our free ebook to learn more!

A customer journey map allows you to:

 identify-sticking-points Identify and understand sticking points at touchpoints or transitions in the journey. For example, customers having to click 7+ times on your program website to access critical information, complete a non-intuitive rebate application form, or interpret jargon-based names and acronyms to understand your offerings are all examples of less than ideal user experiences. These negative interactions lessen the likelihood that your potential customer will visit your site again.
 thinking Rethink assumptions, and find gaps between your customer goals and the experiences you’re offering. For example, if you discover your customer’s goal during the consideration phase is to find resources about which light bulb to select, and you don’t have an education resource touchpoint to support, that’s a gap to be filled.
 broken-link Highlight any other frustrating disconnects. For example, inconsistencies when a user moves between devices (such as mobile to laptop), between departments or between channels (social media to website, perhaps) are confusing and can lead to customer fatigue.
 band-aid  Eliminate or reduce these pain points (because these are what the customer will remember). Reimagine experiences to exceed customer expectations and establish a closer relationship.
 chart-growth  Redesign customer experiences to influence attitudes at particular points. For instance, to predispose a prospect to enroll in a program or buy a product.
bridge Remove unnecessary steps for the customer and minimize their effort, time and reasoning costs. For example, using a single sign-on between your utility website, online store and online audit tool makes enrollment almost friction-free and encourages customers to take advantage of all available resources at their disposal.
party Uncover moments of greatest customer satisfaction and delight. This reinforces customer affinity by including branded experiences at these happy points. Make the most of every opportunity to “wow” your customer.
thumbs-up Look for opportunities to improve customer experience immediately before and after direct interaction with your service, focusing especially on the Retention and Loyalty steps of the journey. These customers are more valuable to your business than new leads—80% of your future revenue will come from just 20% of your past participants, after all.
status-increasing Discover holes in your current range of offerings to create a roadmap for new product development. Stay on top of current trends - what do your customers want that you aren’t already offering?
speech-bubble Revisit key marketing messaging to make sure you resonate with the customer’s needs, goals and emotional readiness at each point in their journey.
client-focus Benefit from a customer-centered, holistic approach in your utility. Cross-disciplinary workshops collaborating to discuss, map and share your customer journey can be extremely valuable in aligning thinking, particularly in large utilities where teams might operate in silos and otherwise barely communicate.
target Understand where in your organization or sales funnel to prioritize investment, team expansion and strategic and tactical initiatives to make the most impact. Everything can’t necessarily be done at the same time, nor should it. Decide what is the best investment of your resources to make the biggest impact on your leads and existing customers.


 For more information on meeting your customers wherever they are in their journey, download our free ebook, The Importance of Journey Building in Program Design.

Download the Ebook

Reference

A Quick Guide to Customer Journey Mapping, BigDoor Blog (2013) http://www.koala-house.com/blog/2013/11/01/a-quick-guide-to-customer-journey-mapping/index.html 

Megan Nyquist
Written by Megan Nyquist

Digital Marketing Strategist
Marketing is always evolving, but Megan Nyquist knows how to stay one step ahead. As an expert in both digital marketing strategy and digital campaign development, she works closely with clients and program marketing staff to develop innovative digital marketing campaigns that improve results and reduce costs. Megan also leads digital marketing training for the Franklin Energy marketing team and our clients. She has achieved trackable customer engagement in our own corporate marketing and effected impressive improvements in satisfaction and participation on behalf of our utility clients. Megan holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Marquette University, extensive digital marketing certifications and has won multiple digital marketing awards on behalf of Franklin Energy and our clients.

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