By Tamara Irminger Underwood
Customer journey mapping is becoming more popular in B2C environments, as companies are making efforts to better understand the barriers, gaps, and processes that customers may experience when navigating websites, making in-store purchases, or soliciting customer support. Interestingly, we don’t see these as often within business environments, and this is puzzling because these environments are complex and ripe for customer journey mapping.
There are a number of decision makers involved before a sale occurs, and learning more about the buying experience, and the many layers that customers navigate, is invaluable to helping businesses. Such businesses would do well to create and understand a customer journey map.
What can customer journey mapping reveal in B2B?
One of the values of customer journey mapping to B2B environments is learning about the myriad tasks that help facilitate a sale. Additionally, you’ll learn a great deal about your customers, which is invaluable to strategic and marketing teams in designing and marketing products and solutions that align with customers’ needs.
InterQ takes a two-pronged approach when creating B2B customer journey mapping: first, we work with a company’s internal teams to conduct the journey mapping, and then we telescope out to include customers and prospective customer and run them through a similar mapping process. By including internal and external sources to create the customer journey map, we gain better insight into a company’s organization, which highlights areas for growth and customer connection. Including the perspectives of customers and prospects, companies are given a complete view of the B2B selling process.
Some of the benefits of B2B customer journey mapping include:
The experience of the customer is illuminated: There is no better way to quickly learn about the current and ideal experiences your customers have when interacting with your company, than through B2B customer journey mapping. Additionally, it provides your customers listening programs with essential information, ensuring you are connecting with key points in their lived experiences.
The most critical interactions are emphasized: B2B customer journey mapping identifies the the path you follow when working with customers and helps pinpoint critical moments and best practices. Such insight is invaluable in all sorts of customer interactions.
Brand personalization: The mapping process provides your company with firsthand information about the perception of your brand from employees and customers. We have yet to conduct B2B customer journey mapping that didn’t unearth many ‘A-Ha’ moments. Such insights inspire your branding, as well as help identify your strengths, which helps marketing teams with how to communicate value that resonates with customers.
Increases visibility: Including staff in the customer journey process illuminates where the silos are. Going through a number of questions and themes with employees, shows us how departments work, and where the gaps are. Engaging employees in the mapping process helps them better understand their roles and the effect their job has on customers and other organization staff. The mapping process illuminates the customer pain points and a more holistic view of the way other departments work with customers.
There is much to be gained!
Customers in B2B buying environments have elevated expectations of the companies they purchase from. There is no longer a one-size-fits-all approach that works. Customers expect their complex needs to be reflected in their purchasing making decisions. When companies take the time to analyze the customer journey mapping process, you will have more clarity visibility and clarity. Such clarity helps you better serve your customers’ needs and provides you a competitive edge. The insight that CRM provides is no match for what is gained by the customer journey mapping process!