Maddy Cooper, founding partner at Brilliant Noise, discusses why customer journey mapping is essential to a business’ success
Many B2B companies have recognised the importance of creating detailed maps of their organisational structure. These maps usually set out the organisation’s processes, who reports to whom, IT systems etc., to ensure that the internal team is working collaboratively towards a common goal.
However, when it comes to customers, maps are rarely used in B2B marketing. Customer journey mapping remains an underdeveloped resource when it could be used to improve business performance and growth.
While most organisations will already have multiple strands of customer research and data, a map is the key to creating a unified model that encourages customer acquisition and retention. It will help to highlight the different touchpoints of all customer journeys.
However, as with all parts of customer experience, building a customer journey map presents its own challenges and opportunities. A map visualises the customer experience and allows for easy communication of areas that can be improved. But today’s customer journey is a complex one, and companies won’t succeed if they just follow existing behaviours or troubleshoot the most recent issues.
A well-executed B2B customer journey map is far from a one-dimensional diagram – it allows a deep understanding of customer behaviours, needs and business metrics. Each touchpoint should link to a database of suggestions for improvements to customer experience.
Every B2B brand is different and the customer journey map must be unique to the needs of the customer.
Collaboration is another vital ingredient in the creation of a map. Breaking down silos and working across teams to create a seamless experience is essential. This is why marketing and customer experience teams must lead the design of the customer journey – and treat the map as a product in its own right. A product that can be designed, owned and managed.
Customer journey mapping is an invaluable tool that more B2B marketers must prioritise. Combined with the map of an organisation, it may prove to be the key to achieving a common understanding of customers, and the things a brand needs to do to meet their needs. This understanding leads to loyalty, advocacy and sales.