A customer journey map is a chart that includes the actions a customer takes to achieve certain goals, emotions and experiences the client has during those actions. It helps companies understand consumers, predict their behavior, provide customers with a smooth user experience, and improve marketing strategy and service based on customer demand, needs, and preferences.

The video below will provide you with the definition and some important facts you should know.

In this article, we’ll unveil why a customer journey map is important, its purpose, and how to use it. We’ll also review how to create a map and see several real examples.

Why is a customer journey map important?

Now when the choice of companies varies greatly, a business needs to meet customers’ expectations and wants to attract new consumers. A good customer journey map allows brands to step into consumers’ shoes and obtain a profound understanding of their needs, anticipate behavior, and sequence of actions. As a result, businesses can provide the right solutions for the problems of their clients and satisfy them.

If a company's departments use this information wisely, they can enhance customer experience, revise customer support, and communication. Maps help boost customer satisfaction with a certain brand and establish reasons for customers to come back and become loyal. They also enable entrepreneurs to increase customer retention, develop a customer-centric strategy, and obtain a new target market.

A good visual representation allows business owners to optimize the customer onboarding process, approach prospects and customers by using different marketing methods, meet their expectations and develop sequential steps of the buyer journey. Companies create diagrams because of their main advantage — the ability to depict the stages consumers need to go through, understand clients, and address their needs promptly.

Let’s now proceed to the main purpose of a customer journey map.

What is the purpose of a customer journey map?

Since technology and buying trends often change, it’s a challenge for companies to get into consumers’ minds and understand what they want. To do it, brands create customized offers and use different techniques. However, to reach out to consumers, businesses should pay attention to customers, their needs, and wants, and have a clear understanding of a customer journey.

By visualizing the buyer journey, the company's team can receive some insights into the process and obtain essential data about customers. A team designs an accurate diagram that serves as a source of information about consumers. The map encompasses the actions clients perform during their interaction with a certain brand or product, their wishes and complaints, feelings, and experiences.

It’s time to dive into the process of visual representation of customers’ actions.

How to create a customer journey map?

  1. Determine your goals
  2. Get customer feedback
  3. Focus on one ideal buyer
  4. Specify the main touchpoints with consumers
  5. Analyze interactions with your company
  6. Eliminate drawbacks and improve your business

If you want to create a great map, you need to follow our instructions that include 6 main steps.

  1. Determine your goals. Before designing a map, define the main objectives of your mapping. Determine the things you want to achieve: increase customer retention, find out information necessary for your future business decisions, improve customer loyalty, and customer experience. Afterward, specify the customers you target. During the process, you might also need to develop a buyer persona that will represent your ideal customer. It helps direct all your efforts and aspects of your map towards reaching your ideal customer.
  2. Get customer feedback. Once you set the goals, conduct research. Consider using surveys, and questionnaires to receive comments from leads who are interested in purchasing with your brand and customers who already have experience interacting with your company.
  3. Focus on one ideal buyer. After figuring out the types of people who prefer to interact with your company, you need to pay maximum attention to one persona that embodies your ideal customer and combines the most important characteristics. This step is essential to create a map that describes customer experience in detail.
  4. Specify the main touchpoints with consumers. Conduct research to unveil the places prospects and clients interact with you and the channels they come from. Brand touchpoints include site, blog, social media, online and offline events, online ads, and more. Look how often customers interact with the mentioned above channels. This list will enable you to find out the interactions with your brand. As a result, you can get insights into the quality of your website, content on your social media profiles, and the most effective marketing channels.
  5. Analyze interactions with your company. Once the map is ready, you need to do the most important part of the process — evaluate the results. You can do website analysis, see how leading competitors approach customers, leverage CRM to collect customer feedback, and use net promoter score to let customers rate the likelihood of recommending your brand. With these strategies, you can assess the results, find the steps you should take, and meet customer needs.
  6. Eliminate drawbacks and improve your business. After analyzing data, you can improve your website, content, and the quality of customer support according to customers’ wishes. Say, blog articles don’t convert. In this scenario, you need to write expert informative material, create tutorials, and demos about your service. For example, if you have few registrations from the landing page, you might have poorly described the benefits of your product and visitors don’t understand what they can obtain after registering. To solve this problem, consider writing a more detailed and clear description of your product and its benefits.

Now that you know about the necessary steps, we’ll move to the next section to discuss how to use these maps.

How to use customer journey maps?

There are various scenarios in which it will be useful for a business to create a map.

  • Improve customer experience (CX). Insights into the current customer experience can help you improve your service. Different problems might occur and negatively influence CX. They include the absence of customer service in social media profiles, lack of information, personalization, or empathy, inability to deliver solutions, etc. After identifying the problems, you can eliminate them. Utilize effective strategies to make customers feel great with your brand and encourage them to come back. Increase response time of your customer support across multiple channels, personalize interaction, conduct training for your sales and support departments to establish positive relationships with customers and understand their pain points.
  • Start improvements within your company. Pay attention to internal communication in your firm. Customer service is one of the factors that shape the image of a business in consumers’ minds, so make sure that your reps provide the best service. You should also prioritize customers and their satisfaction with your product.

Next, we’ll review several examples.

Examples of Customer Journey Maps

You can encounter different types of maps that bring benefits based on your main purpose. To achieve the best results, you should choose the one that can help reach your goals. Check out the examples below.

Current state map

The map encompasses actions consumers perform when interacting with your brand and also thoughts, emotions, and experiences. From this chart, you can find out about the current experience of your customers. With its help, businesses can improve the buyer journey of their customers.

Below you can see an example of a customer profile that includes expectations and opportunities. The client wants to pay a lower price for a plan without having any usage limits. This customer expects clear online information, excellent customer support, and an opportunity to compare plan breakdowns. To keep the client, a mobile company can provide support across different marketing channels, compare alternative plans, and break a current plan into $ amounts.

Customer journey map

Source: Medium Current state customer journey map

Service blueprint map

This chart uses the basic structure the other maps have. Yet, unlike the current state map, this one also includes factors responsible for providing customers with the best experience. They include response time, convenience, product, expectations, etc. Service blueprint maps help businesses determine things that negatively influence current buyer journeys and what needs to be done to ensure a smooth experience for customers purchasing with certain brands.

Source: Nielsen Norman Group Service blueprint map

Simply put, businesses develop maps to enhance customer interaction with their brands. This way, they improve the onboarding process, buyer journey of future consumers, and develop loyalty.

Resources:

  1. This article unveils how to use customer journey maps to improve customer experience.
  2. In this article, you’ll find out how to create a customer journey map.
  3. This article provides readers with examples.
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