How to create a Customer Journey Map
Over the years, it has become more challenging for businesses to understand the mind of the consumer. The customer journey is the process by which a customer interacts with a company to achieve a specific goal. However, in the current market, it can be quite tricky to pin down or even predict how this interaction happens. From social media to newsletters, there are usually many different steps in between the consumer and the brand. This is why it’s best to map out your customer’s journey so you can visualize how customers experience your product or service.
What is a Customer Journey Map?
A Customer Journey Map is a visual representation of the process a customer goes through in order to achieve a certain goal with a business (Hubspot, 2020). It’s far more than just analyzing the financial transaction. The map follows the complete sum of experiences that a customer goes through, across all channels, at every stage of the customer lifecycle - from initial contact (awareness) to a long-term relationship (loyalty) to a product or a brand.
The map will allow you to identify key interactions that the customer has with the company, so you can then match your strategy with the customer expectations at each stage of the journey. With this, you will understand what channels to use and how to craft your brand message in order to better communicate and connect with the customer.
Because the customer journey tends to be a very non-linear process, mapping it can be a complex process and hard to visualize. However, the most important thing to consider when creating a customer journey map is to make sure everyone involved with the company understands it. This will sync all sales and marketing strategies, creating a unified customer experience.
Why is a Customer Journey Map Important?
Putting the customer at the heart of the business can not only be massive and differentiating in the current market but profitable as well, and having a customer journey map can be a powerful tool to make sure this happens. A customer journey map puts the consumer and their needs in the center of the process, influencing all the business thinking and decisions.
It’s all about analyzing every phase and step the customer goes through, paying attention to their needs and pain points, and then making the necessary adjustments to make sure all goals are meant. By understanding your relationship with the consumer, you can create the most effective and efficient brand experience that can maximize your chances of customer success.
Creating your Customer Journey Map
As previously mentioned, when creating your customer journey map you need to map out every phase and step your customer takes, along with the respective touchpoints, so you can eventually craft the best strategy. There is no right or wrong way to create your map since it can take so many different forms and interpretations.
Usually, the map is designed as a sort of infographic with a timeline of the customer’s experience. With that said, since this a rather complex process, you can easily make the map too complex and difficult to understand. Although it is tempting to do so, the map is not meant to represent every single aspect of the customer’s experience. Rather, it should tell a simply focused narrative that is easy to understand. The most important part is to make sure the customer and their needs and feelings remain in the centre of the map throughout the making process.
Creating your own customer journey map can be split into four stages:
- Set clear objectives and user personas - Having clear objectives and personas will help you direct every aspect of the customer journey. Select one relevant customer persona and consider their needs and feelings across the journey they would typically take when engaging with your business (from awareness to loyalty).
- Map out the customer journey lifecycle - Sketch out a timeline that shows every stage of the customer experience in a simple and understandable way.
- Identify company and customer touchpoints - Write down essentially any major moments the user persona comes in contact with your brand. Having set these touchpoints will give you valuable insight into the customer journey and what necessary actions you need to take.
- Analyze possible gaps and create strategies - After creating the customer journey map, you need to determine if there are any gaps between customer expectations and deliver and act accordingly.