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By: Damon Za
Transforming The Company Outlook

Customer journey mapping is a tool that can be used to gain a new outlook and understanding of how a customer engages with your company from start to finish. Itís a visual representation of a customerís experience through an infographic, mapping the touchpoints at which a customer interacts with the company in order to give you a comprehensive overview. Depending on how many touchpoints there are, the map can vary in complexity, but what it offers you is a summary of a process that you canít get through words and reports. There are a lot of advantages to customer journey mapping, but one of the biggest ones is that it shifts the entire thinking of the organization to prioritize the customer, putting the userís needs, experiences, and habits front and center.

Gathering Data for Mapping

The first step in customer journey mapping is research. Most companies already have some information about their customers, and this should definitely be put to use. There are two types of research you can and should employ to gather the information you need for an effective customer journey map: analytical and anecdotal. Analytical research consists of the kind of data you may already be collecting: website analytics, social media mentions, search data, and so on. This data can be very useful, but itís not always reliable, so be careful; you can only read so much into the number of clicks a page gets.

Anecdotal research is very useful for customer journey mapping, but it can take a lot more effort to get your hands on. One of the best ways to collect anecdotal research is to conduct interviews with customers. Social media is also a very useful tool when it comes to this kind of research: not only can you engage with users on social media, but when youíre tracking brand mentions, you may also find that many users post anecdotes about their experiences with the company. It might also be a good idea to talk to staff members who engage directly with customers on a day-to-day basis; they likely have a good idea of the needs users express most often. Sometimes, the best way to gather this research is to make use of outside organizations that specialize in this kind of research analysis; they can often spot trends and common threads that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Putting the Map To Use

Once youíve conducted the necessary research and put together your map, you can utilize it in numerous ways that will benefit the company. In order to be effective, a map should be simple, easy to follow, and eye-catching Ė having a designer put the map together is the easiest way to ensure the map does what itís supposed to do. A customer journey map can be a poster hanging on your office wall or a company-wide tool used and adjusted by other teams within your organization. Customer journey mapping isnít limited to tracking current customer engagement, either; for example, you can create a map to envision future customer experiences and determine the changes necessary to make this vision a reality. However you use a map, though, it is a powerful tool for moving towards a user-first approach in all areas of your organization.

Kelton, a market research firm in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and London provides actionable strategic plans with a range of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies like brand tracking, customer journey mapping ( ), market segmentation, concept testing, consumer surveys and many more. Visit for more info.
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