What is a customer journey map?
Definition of a Customer Journey Map
The customer journey map is a term that refers to the complete customer journey; it includes a graphical representation of every step an existing or prospective client takes with your product, service, or brand. It consists of the initial exposure and investigation of the purchase, use, loyalty, and retention of the product or service, with each touchpoint documented.
By allowing organizations to put themselves in their customers’ shoes and visualize all of the potential areas that offer value and eliminate friction, customer journey maps help to improve empathy among consumers. Customer journey maps are a critical tool for any organization operating in any industry, regardless of whether the business is B2B or B2C.
What are customer journey maps used for, and why do they exist?
It would be best to create a customer journey map because it pushes you to look at your product, service, or brand from the customer’s perspective. By tracking the end-to-end customer experience, team members can better understand what customers are doing, hearing, seeing, and feeling at each touchpoint. As a result, no stone is left unturned in creating the most remarkable customer journey maps that might reveal vulnerabilities or disappointments in the client experience.
The flip side, of course, is that once you’ve identified the areas in which you’re currently underperforming, you need to attempt to correct the situation. Customer journey maps can also provide a slew of advantages within an organization.
A deeper understanding of client engagement and experience across the entire customer journey, for example, empowers businesses to devote precise funding to specific features and projects. Consider the following scenario: your customer service team needs to know at what stage of the customer journey clients are most likely to reach out and contact them. You can discover two hotspots in the customer journey map: one early on, during the research phase, and another later when returning customers pursue loyalty rewards. Following this information, the support team is focused on one goal: to improve the ease with which prospective and existing buyers can communicate, whether through website chatbots, Facebook Messenger or call centers — or wherever your customer journey map indicates that these consumers will be.
In addition, you can use customer journey maps to encourage staff by allowing them to fully understand the value that your product, service, or brand provides to customers. If your company manufactures medical equipment, your organization’s mission statement and goal are likely to be readily understood by all members of the organization’s workforce. However, this goal may seem more natural if your day-to-day activities center upon simplifying logistics for online grocery delivery. By identifying instances of genuine customer delight and added value through a customer journey map, teams may more easily understand why and how their work has significance.
Benefits of a Customer Journey Map
The most effective strategy to win your consumers’ trust and loyalty will be Putting yourself in their position to comprehend their wants and difficulties. And how do you go about doing that? One method is to create a client journey map. A customer journey map shows how buyers progress through your sales funnel and what actions they take at each touchpoint. This provides valuable information about their expectations and desires.
What is the best way to design a customer journey map?
Visualization models can be used for all sorts of customers. Your company could use a customer journey map to understand the end-user of an app better, how a store owner comes to renew your business insurance, how a mother decides to purchase your electric drum set for her son, and more. There is no ‘one size fits all strategy for producing customer journey maps due to the extensive range of applications for which your company can use them.
However, there are some standard procedures you’ll need to follow to prepare, write, and validate the customer journey map you’ve created.
Step 1: Identify your objective.
Before you begin creating your customer journey map, you must first determine why you are devoting time and resources to creating one in the first place. We don’t add features to add features, and we don’t map just for the sake of mapping, either. Your efforts may alter course or lose traction if you do not establish a precise aim for your client’s journey map early on.
Customer journey mapping is commonly used to achieve various objectives, such as identifying current pain points in the onboarding process or determining customers’ steps to make another purchase. It is also possible to use customer journey maps to speculate about what might happen if specific scenarios were to occur — for example, to create an ideal method for how a new consumer would first come across your product, service, or brand.
Step 2: Specify the consumer you want to target
When it comes to customer interaction with your company, you probably have numerous buyer personas with a unique path. Each customer journey map should focus on a single customer persona — it can be helpful to design your map alongside a user profile and identify each of the journeys you create so that, as a manager, you can compare them easily.
Comparing and contrasting completed maps can help you observe the variations between different users – either current or prospective. What are the hotspots for new buyer contact? And where can you find them? How does this compare to the number of existing customers?
Step 3: Outline all of the touchpoints at each stage of the trip.
When every step of the process is considered, a customer journey map is the most effective tool. While this may take some time and even necessitate extensive research, the map will only be complete if every touchpoint has been identified.
The touchpoints could be seeing your business advertised on Instagram, clicking on a link to your website, reading customer reviews on a third-party blog, the buying process, receiving items at home, unpacking them, putting them together, performing maintenance, and so on.
You may rapidly discover that significantly more steps are involved for the user than you anticipated. Observe the highs and lows and the actions and feelings that occur at each process stage. To extract meaningful information from a customer journey map, you must first imagine what the consumer is thinking and feeling throughout the process. Where do they feel most comfortable? Where do they appear to be unsure or a little nervous? What exactly is expected of them at each stage of the process? If so, do they ever feel defenseless or in danger? Occasionally, are there genuine delights to be had? What are people saying about your product, service, or brand to their friends and family as they travel the road to purchase or use it? Positive, harmful, or indifferent feedback has been received. What do you think the sentiment is? Including all of these levels in your customer journey map will assist you in empathizing with consumers, but it will also tell you a thing or two about your user connections as a result of the process.
Step 5: Put your customer journey map to the test with real people.
You don’t want to make any assumptions in your customer journey map because you don’t want to be wrong. Attempt to validate your work by communicating with actual customers of your product, service, or brand. This could be accomplished by formal face-to-face interviews, social media polls, post-purchase surveys, and other methods.
Step 6: Make a copy of the customer journey map and keep it wherever you see it. Update and alter it as necessary.
Your customer journey map will evolve with technological advancements and changing client needs. Your customer journey map should be a living, breathing document that changes and evolves. One that can assist you in developing a long-term product plan. Remember that just because you have ‘completed’ a task does not mean you have learned everything there is to know about it. The development of a customer journey map, if given sufficient attention, can provide long-term value to the growth of your product, service, or brand — bringing you closer to consumers both now and in the future.