At a round-table meeting with a small group of B2B marketing professionals, we explored the four main challenges of customer journeys in more detail. In part 1 we looked at gaining buy-in for a customer journey project. Today we look at a different question: How do I map the customer journey? What kind of research can I best conduct?
Goal of the customer journey
Make sure you define a clear goal for your customer journey research. Before you start, define the target group and scope of your customer journey (product, service, or company). This will help you decide which questions you want to ask and what to focus on. During the round-table meeting, we came up with a number of do’s and don’ts for a customer journey study.
- Combination of qualitative and quantitative research: Qualitative research into customer experience allows you to go much deeper into the answers. When conducting customer journey interviews, you examine the respondents’ emotions in particular, and qualitative face-to-face interviews are the most effective way to get good insights. If you follow up with quantitative research, you can validate the accuracy of your findings. To perform this validation successfully, make sure your sample is large enough.
- The numbers tell the tale: Make your research quantifiable. Measure the percentages of how your customers experience certain touch points and how important they think these are. This will make your research more credible.
- Provide your colleagues and respondents with feedback: Present the results to your colleagues to ensure the research is well received with the organisation. Also make sure you provide them with the proper background information. Colleagues may confirm results or actually reject them; they can give more examples themselves, or if they have questions, you can answer them. Likewise, always provide your respondents with feedback on how the research went and the next steps. A gift will be greatly appreciated and of course enhance the customer experience.
- Make a compilation of the sound recordings of customer interviews: If there is negative feedback, colleagues tend to label it as incidents. Use the sound bites of the respondents to create an audio compilation. This will bring both critical and positive feedback to life. Play back the sound bites during feedback sessions with colleagues to bring the customer’s voice to life.
- Act upon the feedback from your customer: Your customers will already feel involved in the company by taking part in the survey. Also involve them in subsequent steps by organising a meeting for example. This way you can involve them in improving your customer experience even more.
- Measure once: Start by noting a number of measurement moments in your agenda. Continue to validate the research. You could interview a number of new respondents once a year, so you can check whether your findings are still accurate or whether you have to adjust them somewhat or really change them.
A final piece of advice? Make sure you interview the right customers. Not only the customers who are fans, but especially the unsatisfied and the ‘silent’ customers. Often the non-engaged customers can provide valuable insights.
Also read our other customer journey blogs: