What is Customer Journey Mapping?

What is Customer Journey Mapping?

Do you ever wonder why certain customers think the way they think? Their intentions, motivations and pain points play a huge role in deciding which company they find the best among a plethora of competitions. 

If you really want your business to touch new horizons and generate insightfully fuelled strategies, it’s time to place customers at the heart of product decision making no matter how challenging it may appear. 

By customer journey mapping, you and your organization can better understand how customers feel each step of the product cycle, prevent problems before they arise, increase customer retention, and discover critical information to make the best decisions on product enhancements. 

HOW DOES IT ENHANCE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE ?

 “All of your customers are partners in your mission.”  – Shep Hyken

How does it feel to see your parents struggling with apps or websites? Or, how frustrating does it feel when you can’t get through customer support for issues you are dealing with? The ability to relate to such emotions empowers businesses to enhance the customer sentiments. 

The key to making customer journey mapping effective is being able to develop empathy for your consumers and determine how they’re feeling at every stage. A customer journey map, also known as a customer experience map, broadens your empathy to gain a genuine comprehension of their experience and can be useful in your company’s customer experience enhancement initiatives. By taking this method, you can look at things from your customers’ point of view and use that to solve any issues they could run across when doing business with you.

A customer map can raise several key points that allow you a window to truly understand customer experience and take effective feedback. 

A few questions you can keep in mind are : 

  • At what point are my users dropping out from the site/app? 
  • How user-friendly is the site/app in terms of navigation and ease of use? 
  • How do customers interact in the site/app before deciding to check out?  

 

HOW TO DESIGN A CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAP?

 

You can modify the format and content of your user journey maps to meet your specific requirements. No two maps are alike. However, user journey maps should generally contain the following.

1. Define clear goals
By outlining the customer’s journey, you may define your goals in this first phase. Setting specific goals helps in prioritizing your mapping efforts, whether your objectives are to improve the customer experience, streamline the process of purchasing, or boost client retention.

Note : These efforts help in asking questions such as what kinds of information are you intending to collect, and what will you do with it? 

What knowledge are you hoping to acquire? Establishing these objectives in advance will help guarantee that your work is not in vain and that the customer’s journey is appropriately presented.

2. Highlight target customers and define personas 

Customer personas are comprehensive depictions of the various customer base segments. You may better comprehend the demands, actions, and decision-making processes of your customers by using these personas. 

Evaluate your consumer data to find recurring characteristics and behaviors that make up your audience. Create personas with goals, pain points, psychographics, and demographic information that corresponds to these divisions.

Note : Gaining an understanding of their emotions and driving forces might offer vital perspectives on how to enhance their experience. 

Some excellent techniques to obtain important information for creating your consumer personas can be :

  • Conducting questionnaires and surveys for customers
  • Face-to-face interviews with customers
  • Use your product to do user testing 
  • Run a report in Google Analytics.
  • Compile data from social media and your website.

3. Define the different stages
The stages you define for your map are primarily determined by the objective you hope to accomplish. There are four main phases in a typical client journey: awareness, consideration, purchase (or decision) stage, retention (or loyalty ) and advocacy.

  • Awareness – Customers become aware that they have an issue at the awareness stage. Even if they are unaware that they require a good or service, they will nevertheless start looking into it.

    This stage includes the reasons behind their product searches, the reasons behind their purchases, and the initial interaction with your business.

    Businesses should provide instructional content at this point in the customer journey to assist consumers in identifying issues and suggesting potential fixes.
  • Consideration – The customer begins looking for products and reviews information online. Customers can find homepages here, study details about products and prices, access help centers and frequently asked questions, and look up online reviews.

    Businesses should provide product marketing content at this point to assist customers in evaluating several options and, ultimately, selecting the goods or service of their choice.
  • Purchase or Decision – Your customer is ready to make a purchase after gathering sufficient information. Frequently asked questions about shipping and payment expectations, email confirmations, in-person shopping experiences, and online ordering pages are all included in this phase.

Businesses can expedite the process of purchasing by product promotions, free demos and consultations etc.

  • Retention or Loyalty – Customers who have purchased your product or service will remain with the business rather than moving to another one during the retention stage. You can use information that has been requested through customer surveys and questionnaires to continuously enhance and optimize both your customer journey map and the customer experience during this stage.

    Businesses often provide customer success managers, enhance customer service etc. to retain the loyalty of customers.
     
  • Advocacy – A customer could wind up representing the business by promoting it among their friends and family and posting feedback and experiences online. This leads to more growth in product outreach which helps boost sales and understand customer feedback better.

4. Identifying touchpoints 

A touchpoint is any engagement or interaction between your brand and the customer. Identify all of the points of contact for the customer journey, taking into account paid ads, social media, email marketing, third-party testimonials, and mentions in addition to the website. 

Make a list of every possible way a customer could engage with your business and record the steps they take for each. 

Note : Make sure to think creatively! Additionally, “word of mouth” and email confirmations might serve as touchpoints.

5. Visualise the customer map

In order to create a visual depiction of the journeys customers follow, this stage entails mapping out each touchpoint along the customer journey. Plot each persona’s touchpoints on a timeline and arrange them chronologically.

To indicate positive, neutral, or negative experiences at each touchpoint, use symbols or different colours to indicate different steps. This can assist in rapidly identifying problem areas. 

Note : Tools like Figma,Miro are great platforms for categorising such visual representations.

  • It is important to understand that different personas will have different customer journeys even if it is of the same product. For example, a teenager will prefer a different genre of content on OTTs than old adults would.
  • It is also crucial to analyse the customer experience map based on the goals previously set. Was the particular problem solved ? Was the customer experience enhanced or did it worsen?

Narrowing down the findings is also very pertinent for better understanding of customer journeys. Evaluate your company’s touchpoints. They should function as you intended and follow a logical, understandable flow. If not, consider how you may modify them to provide the kind of quality customer experience that you desire.

6. Gather customer feedback and analyse gaps

Evaluating your customer thoughts and emotions as they transition between touchpoints and stages is the next step. To truly understand what your customers are going through, you should embark on the customer journey yourself. 

To collect first-hand feedback from customers for your customer journey map, think about utilizing surveys such as the Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), or Customer Effort Score (CES). Then, to reach your audience wherever they are, choosing from a range of survey channels such as email, weblinks, google forms etc.

You can consider asking questions like :

  • What did they love the most about the product?
  • What did they hate?
  • How easy was it to check out? 

These sorts of feedback help in gaining insightful findings to enhance customer experience.

Note :  It is crucial to get input from actual customers.

7. Implement improvements

Using the knowledge gathered from the journey map, this last phase is implementing focused enhancements to improve the customer experience.Organize improvements into priority lists according to their viability and possible impact.

Note : Gradually put changes into practice, assess their efficacy, and make necessary adjustments. 

For example, reduce conversion rates between browsing product to purchasing the product by suggesting better product availability and range while browsing the app/website.

 

WHAT BENEFITS CAN YOU GET FROM CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAPPING? 

Allows you to be customer-centric
Strategic goal planning and success tracking for the customer experience require alignment with the same business objectives. Creating a journey map gives you a customer-focused tool that you can use internally within the organization.

  • By utilizing this strategy, you may adopt your customers’ point of view and leverage it to solve any issues they could encounter when doing business with your organization.
  • These maps are fantastic since they show every stage of the client experience, from initial interest to post-sale. 
  • These maps cut across all departments –  sales, marketing, product  and customer service which make you customer centric.

Predicts customer behaviour 

Companies can evaluate both the present and future stages of the customer journey with the use of a customer journey map.

  • Journey maps provide the ability to predict customers’ behavior and the likelihood that they will convert.
  • A detailed grasp of the target demography helps businesses determine how best to assist and accelerate the sales process for potential customers.

Address gaps

A customer journey map is a useful tool for locating process flaws and removing departmental silos. It can also draw focus to and locate gaps in the customer experience.

  • How do customers navigate between different channels ? – e.g. from social media to other apps / websites.
  • How do your own departments address product flaws, sales loopholes , customer service etc. ?
  • At what point in the customer journey are they most frustrated?

Addressing these gaps and working towards its implementation can heighten customer experience.

Provide benchmarks

By laying out the customer journey maps, businesses may monitor their growth over time and assess their performance in comparison to competitors and industry standards.

  • For instance, you can establish a goal to raise your net promoter score (NPS) by a specific percentage and put methods in place to get it if you notice that your competitors have a greater NPS than you.
  • Or, if you notice that your competitors are providing similar products or services, you might search for methods to differentiate yourself from the competitors by adding personalization, enhancing through customer feedback etc. 

Thus, constant changes are necessary because customer experience is dynamic and ever-changing. Businesses need to regularly study and update journey maps in order to stay on top of shifting market patterns as well as customer wants and preferences. Implementing journey analytics and orchestrating solutions is necessary to boost customer experience.

Recent Post

Unlock Exclusive Insights: Subscribe for industry updates and expert analysis delivered straight to your inbox.
Share this Post