All businesses want to ensure that the customer journey is smooth, convenient and provides a pleasant overall experience for the customers. Many businesses deploy customer journey maps to facilitate strategic business decisions which have a focus on the design and flow of customer experience.

Importance of Customer Journey Mapping

In order for businesses to better understand and improve customer journey, customer journey mapping is carried out extensively covering each and every area of the customer transaction. Customer journey maps can vary in complexity and detail, with representation in an illustration that shows all the steps customers have to go through in order to purchase a product or acquire a service. It covers the overall online experience, and takes into account all the touch points.

Customer Journey mapping is one of the most useful tools for e-commerce businesses, since it allows them to identify what the customers are going through and what they really want. It puts the customer experience and all relevant interactions into limelight, which enables businesses to remove superficial activities and streamline the overall process.

Benefits of Customer Journey Maps

Why is mapping the customer journey important for businesses and how can it help them? Here is a look at the some of benefits:

Optimal Design

Compressive visual depiction allows the management to break down the customer experience into steps and milestones. It facilitates the identification of weaknesses and strengths. It helps the management to work on the optimal design to enhance convenience and save time. Customer Journey Mapping helps remove any inconsistencies or discrepancies in the system, since it aids in the design process based on customer behavior and preferences.

Insight into Customers’ Needs

It enables a business to determine the aspects overlooked in surveys/market research and helps determine exactly what customers want. Customer Journey maps facilitate analytical data collection and monitoring. Looking from a customer’s viewpoint, businesses are able to collect insightful, actionable statistics of their activities on e-commerce websites. This helps a company determine and stay in sync with the changing needs and wants of customers.

Steps for Improving Customer Journey

Some of the ways through which ecommerce businesses can improve the customer journey for online shoppers are as follow:

Deliver Consistent Customer Experiences

Every time a customer comes in touch with your business, it is important to deliver and maintain consistent customer experience for ensuring customer satisfaction. According to the 2013 Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Survey, 84% of customers felt frustrated by businesses that promised one thing and delivered something else. Consistency is key to improving the journey of the customer. Step into your customer’s shoes and walk the journey to measure satisfaction level. Based on this, remove all discrepancies hence enabling a customer to conduct a smoother online transaction.

History and Tracking Can Facilitate Customers

E-commerce websites can keep track of customers’ preferences and buying history. Recommendations can be offered based on this data. Customers often find it difficult to navigate through all the products to find what they need. Computer generated recommendations often prove helpful for customers, as it is close to what they are actually looking for.

Simpler Check-out Procedures

Ecommerce businesses should ensure that check-out procedures are simple and easy to understand. A recent study focusing on shopping cart abandonment rates revealed that more than 15% of the customers abandon the purchase because they find the check-out procedures very complicated. This shows the importance of making the check-out process simple. This can be done by adding instructions and removing unnecessary steps and information.

Assistance with Live Chat

Talking to an online customer service representative is one of the most important considerations for many customers shopping on a website. According to a report by Forrester, 45% of online shoppers will abandon the online purchase if their questions or concerns are not addressed. Online businesses should therefore invest in setting up a customer response team through email, phone and live chat. This will not only help the businesses retain all those cart abandoning customers, but will also provide an avenue for feedback.