When B2B customers buy a product or service from a company, they typically have high expectations. Meeting those expectations can lead to customer satisfaction and a decline in customer retention rates.
B2B Customer Journey Mapping helps businesses understand customer expectations and improve the overall experience. This can be accomplished through a variety of ways.
It’s a Visual Tool
B2B customer journey maps are a visual tool for bringing clarity to your business. They allow your team to see a customer’s entire path when purchasing from you. Creating and understanding these maps are critical for companies that want to improve their overall experience and ensure high customer satisfaction.
Typically, the process starts by having staff write down all the touchpoints their customers use with their company (from awareness to purchase and retention). Each of these is then plotted onto the map in their location. Staff interviews and focus groups typically follow this process to gather feedback from employees closer to the customer and then external discussions with current, prospective, and lost buyers to validate the map.
Having this data from your customers allows you to identify pain points and roadblocks. By minimizing these, you can create better experiences and increase your customer retention and loyalty. This is the key to growth and achieving outsized profit for your company. In addition to using analytics, you can conduct customer research with tools that gather qualitative and quantitative insights page-by-page as customers browse your website.
It’s a Customer Service Tool
Many different departments within your business interact with customers throughout the customer journey. This includes sales, marketing, support, and customer success teams. However, it can be hard to coordinate these teams to be customer-focused as they often have their own goals and strategies that may not align with your customer’s expectations. Using a customer journey map brings everyone on board so all your team members work towards the same goals.
In addition, a B2B customer journey map also helps you understand what your clients need and want to know at each journey stage. This will help you provide them with the correct information at each touchpoint to create a smoother experience. For example, if your buyers struggle with onboarding touchpoints, you can deliver them an explanatory video or pop-up tooltip exactly when needed.
Effective CX management relies on gaining data that accurately reflects the thoughts of your client base and busts myths about what your customers think. B2B customer journey mapping provides this data to make your business genuinely customer-centric.
It’s a Communication Tool
The process of creating a journey map requires the involvement of multiple departments. The goal is to create a comprehensive view of the customer experience, which is best accomplished by including all relevant teams. This often includes marketing, sales, support, and product management.
Getting everyone on board is not easy, but it’s critical. It also helps ensure senior management is committed to improving the customer experience and setting goals prioritizing CX.
When everyone is in the room, it’s time to start mapping! Using Post-it notes, have each team member write down their touchpoints. The facilitator then asks each attendee, “After this touchpoint, what happens?” There will likely be some disagreements at first, but a valid journey map has been created when a consensus is reached.
An accurate customer journey picture allows you to identify pain points, friction, and gaps in your customer experience. By reducing these obstacles, your customers can have a more effortless buying experience. This, in turn, can increase your customer retention rates and boost your bottom line.
It’s a Marketing Tool
The more a business understands the true journey their customers take with them, the better they can optimize their experience. This may include reorganizing current touchpoints to better align with their goal or improving the content on their website. For example, consider the complex process of a B2B buyer becoming aware that your product can solve their problem. This journey can involve multiple external factors (searches, competitor ads) and internal factors like your website, blog, product information, sales meetings, etc.
Mapping the customer journey enables businesses to see this new generation of self-serve buyers in action, which can help companies improve their website or product. This may include adding more specific call-to-action links, rewriting descriptions of products, or providing more detailed how-to guides. It can also help a company know when to upsell a feature or service that will provide additional value to their customers. This will increase customer retention and satisfaction as well as product advocacy. An excellent way to get started is with a present state map, which can be based on the data your team already has.
It’s a Sales Tool
During the B2B journey mapping process, attendees write down every touchpoint they encounter with your business. The facilitator then asks them to place these on a map, starting with the first contact and working through each stage. New post-it notes will need to be added as people forget or disagree about what happens at each step, but when consensus is reached, a valid customer journey map has been created.
When teams work together to create a journey map, they can see how each team’s processes impact the overall experience. This can help them align sales and marketing goals with those of the customers.
A journey map will highlight any areas where there are roadblocks to conversion, such as navigation issues on the website or long wait times for customer service calls. Taking the time to run interviews, use PX insights tools, and collect customer feedback can eliminate these roadblocks and deliver better experiences for your buyers. In turn, this will improve loyalty and retention for your business. This will also help you convert more customers and build your brand reputation as an industry leader.