A customer journey map is essentially just what it sounds like. It is the journey that the customer makes from their first interaction with your brand to final purchase. Along the way to this final destination, they have had varied interactions with your company that have brought them to where they are. Mapping out this customer journey is a way of helping you see the journey from their perspective and thus enables you to interact with them in a manner that is more helpful and considerate of their needs. Ultimately, it provides you with a happier customer which is a return customer.
There are various interactions that can make up a customer journey map. One such interaction is with social media. So what part does social media play in the customer journey map and why is it important? Let’s take a look.
Engaging with Your Customer
The first matter of importance when it comes to customer journey mapping through social media is that of engagement. The best way that you can get to know your customer is through regular interaction with them. According to mycustomer.com, “the core principle of customer relationship management (CRM) is the more you engage with your customers, the more you know about them.” The article goes on to talk about how it is vital to know your client so that you can anticipate their desires and even predict how they will react to marketing campaigns. All this, of course, can only “be accomplished by harnessing the online and social dataset, model, manage and move it from the generic aggregate to a map of individual and social experiences.”
Social media provides you with a vital tool for social engagement which will help you better understand who your customer is, their needs and their desires. This helps you construct a customer journey map that can aid you further in your interactions with customers and in improving their experience with your brand.
Get Beyond Mere Promotion
In order to have a successful interaction with your customers on social media it is necessary to go beyond just utilizing social media for product promotion. It is actually the conversations that customers have on social media that have a profound impact on their customer journey map or as mycustomer.com puts it, “another thing organisation’s tend to overlook is that in the digital world the customer journey is no long influenced only by the messaging, promotion and advertising brands create but is influenced heavily by social media conversations.” Social media conversations have a profound impact on a customer’s evaluation of your company and even influence their response to your attempts to sell them on goods and services. The article explains that it is these conversations that make for influential touchpoints in their customer journey map and that “the customer accumulates a rich mixture of impressions that inform their conscious and sub-conscious decisions to purchase or build brand affinity.”
An important aspect of constructing a customer journey map through social media is to do your research. And one important part of research is through looking for mentions of your brand through the various social media channels. Finding mentions, both positive and negative will help you as you construct a customer journey map that will aid you in your customer interactions.
When it comes to doing your research, it also helps to look into what your customers are searching for. What interests and motivates them? This will be an important touchpoint in the construction of your customer journey map.
It also helps to go beyond data accumulation to research through customer anecdotes. What are customers saying about their experiences with your brand? This will be an important piece of the customer journey puzzle. Smashing Magazine explains that, “although data can build a compelling case, it does not tell a story by itself. For that, you need anecdotes of user experiences.” These anecdotes come from interacting with your customers on your various social media platforms in order to get a better understanding of their thoughts and feelings surrounding your brand. These thoughts and feelings are important resources as you continue to construct your customer journey map.
It’s All About Customer Experience
At the end of the day, constructing a customer journey map is all about having a better idea of the customer’s experience and how to ultimately improve it. You can even build your social media campaigns around experience. Following this line of thinking, Brand Quarterly uses the example of companies such as Apple Computers, Starbucks and Ritz Carlton. The article states that “all of these companies do an excellent job in ensuring that anyone who deals with them has an excellent experience, during each and every stage of the buying process.” It goes on to talk about how theses companies make great use of social media by “conveying the positive experience of the customer journey with it” and makes mention of Ritz Carlton’s social media campaign that utilizes the hashtag #RCMemories as a way for customers to share their positive experiences online.
Social media plays an important part in construction a customer journey map. We would love to help you as you figure out how this is done. If you have any questions about customer journey maps and how they pertain to social media, please contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you soon and helping your company have the tools it needs to succeed.