In the competitive B2B sphere, it is now more important than ever to understand your customers and their journey through your sales process. Customer journey mapping is the process of understanding and recording this journey. It helps businesses to gain helpful insights into their customers’ experiences and identify areas for improvement. This article will explore the advantages that customer journey mapping offers and best practices for creating a customer journey map.
Why is customer journey mapping important in B2B marketing?
Customer journey mapping is the process of visualising the steps that a customer takes when interacting with a business. This includes the initial contact, the final purchase, everything in between, and even beyond that. The goal is to identify keystone interactions in the buying journey and what emotions and behaviours drive those interactions.
Customer journey mapping can help businesses to identify customer pain points. What are the causes for frustration and confusion? At which part of the journey do customers drop out? Knowing these issues allows businesses to address them proactively. Furthermore, intimate knowledge of the buying process arms businesses with the ability to market their buying process. Where B2B customers are becoming more like B2C customers in that they value experiences, the customer’s journey matters just as much as the end result. This can be a marketing point if used effectively.
Another technical aspect of marketing that is important is the mediums and channels used. Customer journey mapping enables informed marketing strategies. Mapping out a customer’s journey allows businesses to identify the most effective channels and tactics to engage customers at every point in their journey.
Best practices for creating a customer journey map
Creating a customer journey map can be a complex process, but the benefits may be well worth it. To make the most out of a customer journey map, here are some tips to make effective and useful customer journey maps:
- Start with customer research – Before creating a customer journey map, it’s important to know your customers and their needs. Conduct research to gain insights into their preferences, behaviours, and pain points.
- Identify key touchpoints – Map out the journey and identify key touchpoints where your business interacts with the customer. These are major milestones within the journey or important decision moments. These can include everything from the initial contact all the way to post-sale support.
- Understand customer emotions – As you map out the journey, it’s important to understand the emotions that customers experience at every point. These emotions underlie their behaviours and can highlight areas where customers may be experiencing frustration or confusion.
- Involve stakeholders – Customer journey mapping should be a collaborative process. It should involve key stakeholders from across the business. Involve the sales teams, marketing teams, customer service teams, and other employees who interact with customers. This allows for various perspectives. A good brainstorming session can enlighten you to all angles of the customer journey.
- Use visualisation tools – Customer journey mapping is ultimately a visual process. The best maps are those you can visually parse. Thus, it is important that you use tools to aid in the visualisation of the customer journey in a clear and concise manner. There are many tools out there such as mapping software, whiteboards, and sticky notes.
With the right approach, customer journey mapping can be a powerful tool for driving business success. The B2B space is increasingly valuing fluid and seamless purchasing processes. Customer journey mapping allows one to pinpoint specific pain points of customers within the buying journey and proactively address them. It can inform marketing strategies that allow for effective marketing tactics at every stage of the customer journey.