What Is A Customer Journey Map

You can't comprehend someone unless you've walked a mile in their shoes, and customer journey maps let you accomplish just that: they help you put yourself in your consumer's shoes and understand your business from their perspective, determining client demands, challenges, and interactions, transforming business insights into long-term improvement initiatives by understanding each their experience at each point of their journey.

Creating a customer journey map may assist you and your company in visualising how customers feel at all brand touchpoints, allowing you to anticipate challenges, boost customer retention, and uncover crucial data to make the best business decisions possible.

What Is Customer Journey Map?

A customer journey map is a visual representation of your customer's journey. From the first encounter to the numerous phases of engagement and finally to the long-term partnership.

The customer journey map can either focus on one aspect of the tale or provide a broad perspective of the complete experience. In any case, it should always identify the most important interactions a customer experiences with your company. You'll learn what the user is feeling, what their goals are during each part of the journey, and any queries they might have by interacting with each of the touchpoints during these interactions.

An example of such a journey map is illustrated below, courtesy of Lucid Chart. You may zoom in on the image for precise details.

Why Is Customer Journey Mapping Important?

Customers nowadays expect a connected and seamless experience with a business. They expect businesses to remember who they are and what they want (even across many touchpoints) so they can continue where they left off without having to repeat or clarify their requirements.

Customer journey maps are crucial for brands, and they have numerous advantages. The following are some of the advantages of creating customer journey maps:

Identifying Customer Pain Points

A customer journey map allows you to compare the actual experience to what you anticipated. You'll have a greater understanding of the customer's perspective, including the problems and pain points that compelled them to go down a different road than you had intended. This information can then be used to enhance the customer experience and optimise your sales and marketing tactics.

Getting A Unified Picture of Customer's Journey

Frequently, what your sales team knows about your consumers differs from what your marketing or product teams believe. As a result, your consumers will have inconsistent experiences. When you use a customer journey map, however, all departments get a consistent view of how a customer interacts with your company. This ensures that all teams are operating on the same page, allowing them to collaborate on a similar goal.

Filling Gaps In Delivery or Customer Service

Using a map, you might find experience or service gaps in your purchasing process that you might not have spotted otherwise. For example, you may discover that your website lacks a quick chat tool to assist clients with critical questions. A chatbot, a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section, or a knowledge base website can readily fill this void.

Anticipating Consumer Behaviour

Customer journey maps aids in forecasting buyer behaviour as they progress through the sales funnel. You can forecast which ones are most likely to convert by observing their behaviour patterns. Then you can think about offering proactive assistance to potential clients, such as assisting them in finding the proper products or taking the appropriate steps.

Enhance Customer Experience

Customer journey maps can help you figure out if it's simple for customers to interact with your company. Is there a logical order to the customer stages? Is it necessary for consumers to repeat some steps in order to attain their objectives? These insights can assist you in streamlining the customer journey and making it easier for them to engage with your company.

The image below summarises the benefits of using the customer journey map process.

Benefits of Customer Journey Map

How To Create A Customer Journey Map

1. Establish A Clear Objective

It will be impossible to establish whether your customer journey map will have a concrete influence on your customers and your business if you don't have a purpose. You'll almost certainly need to identify current—and potential—buyers so that you can create precise goals for them at each stage of their journey.

Consider assembling your company's main stakeholders, many of whom will likely be involved in various aspects of the customer experience. Cross-functional collaboration is required to define a clear and attainable aim. Gather unique viewpoints and insights on each step of the current customer journey, as well as where improvements are needed and how they will be measured.

2. Create Your Consumer's Personas And Identify Their Goals

Fill in as much detail as you can about the persona on which your customer journey map is built. You may just have a few records, reports, or other pre-existing data about the target persona depending on the maturity of your firm. You can use your basic results to create a rough draft of the client journey.

Questionnaires and user testing are two excellent ways to obtain meaningful client feedback. The most crucial thing to remember is to only contact actual customers or prospects.
You want feedback from people who are truly interested in buying your products and services and have previously interacted with your company or plan to do so in the future.

The following are some examples of appropriate questions to ask:

  • What brought you to our company?
  • What drew you to our website?
  • What are the objectives you aim to accomplish with our company? To put it another way, what challenges are you attempting to solve?
  • Have you ever visited our website with the intention of making a purchase but ultimately decided against it? If that's the case, what factors influenced your decision?
  • Is there any way we can assist you further to make your procedure go more smoothly?

Besides questionnaires, there are other ways to gather useful consumer data such as talking to your front-line employees, checking your customer support and complaint logs, keeping an eye on social media comments regarding your organisation and so forth.

3. Feature Your Target Customer Personas

You'll need to focus on one or two of the many customer personas that connect with your organisation once you've learnt about them. Remember that a customer journey map is a visual representation of one consumer's experience with your company along a certain path. Your map will not truly reflect your customers' experience if you group too many personalities into one route.

If you're making your first map, examine your most common customer profile and the path they would follow if they were engaging with your company for the first time. You can compare them using a marketing dashboard to see which one is the greatest fit for your route map.

4. Identifying Customer Touchpoints

The majority of your customer journey map is made up of several touchpoints. Consumers interact with and experience your brand in a variety of ways. Depending on the sort of business, the quantity and type of touchpoints on your customer journey map will vary. If consumers are using fewer touchpoints than expected, is it possible that they are being turned away and leaving your website early? Whatever the situation, knowing the touchpoints is a useful tool for determining the ease and goals of client journeys. This isn't only referring to your website. You should consider all of the methods your consumers could find you on the internet. These could include social channels, paid advertisement, email marketing and so on.

Customer Touchpoint Examples

Simply select touchpoints that appropriately depict a consumer's interaction with your company. You can start arranging your touchpoints on your customer journey after you've defined them. This is a crucial stage in constructing a customer journey map since it allows you to see what actions your consumers take. When conducting the research, be sure to include the following:

  • Actions. Make a list of all the things your consumers do when they interact with your brand. This could be as simple as doing a Google search for your keywords or opening an email from you. You can end up with a large to-do list. That's all right. Later on, you'll have the opportunity to justify your data. It's critical to notice when consumers are being asked to perform too many actions in order to attain their objectives. It may feel dangerous to reduce the number of steps a consumer must do, but it pays off in greater conversion rates.
  • Emotions and Motivations. Cause and effect is at the heart of all marketing. Similarly, your customer's every action is motivated by emotion. And depending on where they are in their journey, your customer's emotions will shift. A pain point or a problem is usually the emotional motivator behind each of your customer's actions. Knowing this will assist you in providing the appropriate content at the appropriate moment to ensure that the customer's emotional journey through your brand is as smooth as possible.
  • Obstacle and Pain Points. Learn what obstacles are preventing your customer from taking the desired action. Cost is a common stumbling block. One of your consumers, for example, may adore your goods but depart it after discovering unexpectedly hefty delivery costs. These possible roadblocks in your customer journey can be identified and mitigated by highlighting them.

5. Fill In The Blanks On Your Map With Various Details

Create your current customer journey, or current customer experience, as you see it. Start organising your data and touchpoints. To ensure accuracy, gather input from stakeholders and collaboratively create your customer journey map. There is no “correct” method to organise your customer journey map, but include the touchpoints, activities, channels, and assigned ownership of a touchpoint at each phase along the trip timeline (marketing, sales, customer service, etc). Then, to better visualise the many activities, emotions, and transitions, add images and colour and shape diversity to your diagram design.

  • For A Better Understanding Use a Storyboard. Storyboards use iconography, images of real-life or performed scenes, screenshots of interfaces, or just hasty scribbles to show the sequence of steps. Visuals for each step assist in not only comprehending the context of each event but also in providing a full perspective of the entire voyage and facilitating navigation.
  • Descriptions And Texts Allows More Room For Details. Additional information allows you to go into greater detail about the persona's experience. You can also use them to add a variety of other types of data.
  • The Way Of Interaction Is Demonstrated By Communication Channels. A channel lane provides a full picture, which is especially useful for high-level route maps. At each step, specifying the channel (e.g., face-to-face, phone, internet, etc.) that a consumer utilises helps us analyse cross-channel experiences and potential gaps. By considering both online and offline channels, you ensure that you cover all parts of your consumer's experience, as well as the fact that your organisation is perceived as a single entity that does not differentiate between channels.
  • Emotional Values On The Persona's Satisfaction. An emotional journey highlights evident flaws in a consumer's experience, as well as potential remedies from both consumer and personnel. Emotional journeys are graphs that show how satisfied a persona is at each stage.
  • Dramatic Arc Diagram To Demonstrate The Persona's Interest. A dramatic arc is a graph that depicts the level of involvement, arousal, or importance of a persona at each step on a 5-point scale ranging from extremely low (+1) to very high (+5). There are “thrill” (high engagement) and “chill” (low engagement) moments, both of which can be positive or bad. Dramatic arcs allow you to consider the tempo and rhythm of an event. They can be used to both examine and plan a future notion along a desired dramatic arc.

6. Analyse The Customer Journey Map

Just because you've finished designing your map doesn't imply you're finished. The most crucial step in the procedure is to analyse the results. How many people visit your website but then leave without purchasing anything? What can you do to improve your customer service? These are some of the questions a completed map should be able to answer.
Analyzing the data can help you identify areas where customers' requirements aren't being satisfied. By tackling things in this manner, you can ensure that you are giving a valuable experience and that individuals can solve their difficulties with your company's assistance.
Until you try it out, the entire activity of planning the client journey remains speculative.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Customer journey maps are strategic, foundational tools for understanding customer's needs, and they are well worth the time and money spent developing them. Many businesses, on the other hand, construct poor customer journey maps that result in almost always a failure. So here are a few common mistakes to take note of. 

  • Focusing on the Touchpoints instead of Customer Journey. You're on thin ice if you focus on mapping the touchpoints, or the points where customers connect with your company, its products, or services. You will miss the customer's reality and perspective if you do so. You'll wind up with a fictitious map. Instead, begin by charting the consumer's behaviours and events, and keep in mind that many of them occur outside of your organisation. After that, you may add your company's touchpoints, channels, and everything else that takes place on the inside.
  • Waiting until enough customer insight is collected. Waiting until you've gathered enough data from field studies, interviews, and other customer research before beginning to draw out your customer journey can be the best way to go. However, you will lose valuable time and it will be more difficult to get started. So, rather than delaying, start mapping out your assumptions about what the customer is going through. You will not only receive a fantastic beginning point for future mapping, but you will be able to assist your coworkers in developing a customer attitude, which is quite beneficial.
  • Mixing up touchpoint and journey map. A Touchpoint Map focuses solely on the customer's relationship with the company, therefore it is unreliable for gaining a deep understanding of the customer's goals and objectives. A Journey Map, on the other hand, depicts the entire contact that led to a purchase, including steps that may or may not be related to the business. Having said that, both approaches are critical. You should use them to learn more about your customers and create a memorable experience for them.
  • Considering the map to be a one-and-done job. Creating a customer journey map is not a project in the traditional sense, because a project has a beginning and an end: "We're dealing with Issue A. Solution B was the result of our brainstorming. My task has finally been finished." Customer journey maps can help your firm overcome their difficulties such as recruiting new customers and retaining existing ones, but they aren't permanent documents. Customers' wants and desires change over time, therefore your customer journey maps should as well. It's critical to keep these tools updated on a regular basis if you want to give your present and potential customers the greatest experience possible.

The video below will be talking about 5 more common customer journey mapping mistakes.

Tools To Use For Customer Journey Mapping

There are many online tools and software that ease the creation of this mapping process. Below are two of the most popular tools that are used, Miro and Mural, both are inclusive of ready-to-use templates to get you started on your mapping journey.

Miro

Miro has built a platform for modern work, enabling collocated, distributed, and remote teams to communicate and collaborate across formats, tools, channels, and time zones — without the constraints of physical location, meeting space, and whiteboard.

Features of Miro include:

  • Super simple format, meaning no distractions and quite easy for anyone to participate in the journey mapping process
  • You don't get distracted by thinking about other information lanes.
  • Step-by-step instruction video on how to use this template and a quite comprehensive blog article worth reading

MURAL

Similar to Miro, MURAL enables innovation at scale, providing a platform for product strategy and planning, the facilitation of immersive workshops using agile and design thinking methodologies, sales and consulting engagements, and research and design.

  • There are 3 versions: a blank template, one that's filled in as an example, and one that provides a guide on how to use this template.
  • The template containing the real-life example provides some really helpful questions and good inspiration.

On A Final Note

A customer journey map depicts every interaction your consumer has with your service, brand, or product in a visual format. The design of a journey map puts you in the shoes of the customer, allowing you to identify where you're falling short, what you're doing well, and where you can improve throughout the customer lifecycle.

Customer journeys may appear to be a time-consuming and exhausting process, but the work is beneficial because it allows for common knowledge of the customer experience. Using the "day in the life of a customer" technique will provide deep insights and personal understanding of what "it's like" from their perspective. When you see the details in great relief, you'll be able to transfer your empathy into a design that better meets their demands and eliminates as many pain points as possible.

References

Identifying Customer Touchpoints

Fill in the blanks on your map with various details

Common Mistakes To Avoid

Related Posts

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Written by Cherylle Phua

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