To take the next step in transforming the customer experience and growing your business, having a clear visual of the customer journey is crucial.
Insight: Most marketing leaders do not have a clear view of customer journeys and are unaware of how these touchpoints fare across different channels and devices.
Data: The number of customer touchpoints increases by 20% per year. (McKinsey)
Key Action Point: Use customer journey mapping to understand how these customer touchpoints are affecting the overall user experience.
There has never been a more complex time in marketing your products and services than today. The rise of multiple platforms, channels, and brands means consumers are faced with a million choices every single day.
As a brand fighting for distinctiveness and differentiation, influencing these decisions throughout every touchpoint in the customer journey is crucial. The only way to stand out is by having a clear understanding of what your customers need, when they need it, and giving it to them as seamlessly as possible.
What Is Customer Journey Mapping?
A customer journey map is a visual diagram that tracks a customer’s experience with your brand from the first point of engagement to the last.
It is a representation of all the stages and processes a prospect or a customer goes through as they interact with you across all channels (your website, social platforms, email, phone, or any platform), allowing you to better understand their needs and pain points.
Mapping the customer journey gives you a bird’s eye view of how customers move through the sales funnel, allowing you to identify their emotions, questions, and pain points throughout every step so you can tailor the user experience as best as possible.
A customer journey map helps you —
- Understand your prospect’s/customer’s biggest motivators and needs at different stages of the buying funnel
- Identify gaps and areas that need improvement when building a better user experience
- Maximise effectiveness and better understand your company’s sales process so you can focus your efforts and expenses on key areas that deliver positive results
- Understand the average length of your buying cycle
- Establish a recurring revenue model even after a sale has been made
- Track the effectiveness of your post-purchase touchpoints with your customers
Creating a Better User Experience through a Customer Journey Map
Source: “4 Ways to Identify Unmet Customer Needs”, Step Change Blog
When creating a customer journey map, you can set up the entire journey or only a specific portion. You can establish the starting point at the brand awareness stage of a prospect and through to the purchase stage.
Customer journey maps typically include multiple touchpoints and highlights how a prospect or customer interacts with your brand through different phases.
Recommended reading: Transform Your UX Design through a Customer-Centric Strategy
Outline Your Personas, Channels, and Timeline
Buyer personas are critical to your customer journey map. They represent your customers and gives you an overview of their needs, wants, and goals based on real user data and customer feedback.
Outlining these personas early on helps you follow the customer’s experience through their eyes so you can identify and improve what’s not working, tailor and personalise it for the best customer experience from start to finish.
When creating a customer journey map, it is important to ask yourself these questions:
- How can we add more value to our visitors at each step of this journey?
- How can we help customers at each stage achieve their goals easier?
Whatsoever your response is to these questions, you can adjust your customer journey map monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
Identify and Define Touchpoints
Every customer journey map is unique for every business because every touchpoint where a prospect/customer interacts with your brand or website may be different for you and for everybody else.
This is why it is important to clearly scope, identify, and define where and when these customer touchpoints happen for your business. As the business grows and changes, you’ll likely need to update these touchpoints on your customer journey map as well.
Once you’ve identified all the touchpoints, the most challenging part is likely establishing your goals for every one of them. Depending on where you are in the customer journey, some goals here could be the following:
- To educate and inform the customer
- To get the customer to the website
- To get the customer to subscribe to a newsletter
- To get the customer to add products to cart or book an appointment
- To get the customer to complete the purchase
- To get the customer to review a product or service
- To get the customer to leave feedback or a testimonial
- To offer new products and services to the customer
- To get the customer to refer
Measure the Effectiveness
Once you’ve identified your touchpoints and goals, it is time to measure how well they’re working through customer feedback and reviews. This is the best time to get customers to answer surveys and get their feedback.
Prioritise Changes and Plan Initiatives
Once you know which areas and touchpoints can be improved, it is time to discuss what the necessary changes are and plan budgets and initiatives to make the necessary improvements in place.
For example, a high cart abandonment percentage rate could mean the navigation and checkout process could be confusing or tedious for the customer. You’ll need to tweak these and make the necessary adjustments to ensure website navigation is quick and easy.
Customer Journey Mapping Checklist
Use the following questions as a guide as you map your customer journey.
- What customer problem or pain point are you trying to solve? How are you able to help them?
- How are your prospects/customers able to find you? What channels are you using to reach your target audience?
- How easy is it for prospects/customers to ask questions, seek support, or contact customer service?
- What methods are you using to maintain customer engagement across all channels?
- How easy is it for your customer to pay for your product or service?
- What current methods are you using to encourage customers to return and purchase again?
Tying It Together
Customer journey mapping is a widely used and effective technique in better understanding your customers and creating an overall improved product, service, or user experience.
Having a clear visual to guide you through the customer journey can help you make better sense of what motivates your customers, their crucial pain points, and address all the bottlenecks that prevent them from ever having a full and enjoyable experience with your brand.
In today’s quest for customer-centricity and as companies strive to build a better customer experience, a customer journey map is a critical tool that can give you the valuable insights you need to succeed.