Creating a Customer Journey Map: Why This Innovative Process Works & How to Make it Happen
When you think about the process a customer takes before they buy a product or service from your business, on the surface, it seems rather simple. You offer a product or a service to potential customers and they purchase it, right?
Unfortunately, it’s rarely as simplistic or straightforward, no matter how much we’d probably like it to be. Instead, the customer journey is complex, intricate, and filled with twists and turns. All it takes is a closer look to fully understand just how complicated a customer journey can be.
In our current age of digital technology and innovative procedures—also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution—the customer experience itself is being totally renovated and redefined. Now, customer experience is more important than ever—and it’s happening in more than one place.
With 10+ platforms and channels for communication, it can be more complicated than ever to connect with customers and guide their customer journey.
That’s where a customer journey map comes into play.
With the help of a thorough, comprehensive, and efficient customer journey map, organizations can transform the way they interact with customers, gain insight into their customers’ pain points, and better personalize their experiences—all with the intention of better interaction and more sales conversions.
But what exactly is a customer journey map, why do they matter, and most importantly, how can you begin the process of building yours?
Continue reading to learn more about how to map out your ideal customer journey all while converting more sales and revitalizing the way you interact with your ideal market.
Customer Journey Maps: What Are They & Why Do They Matter?
Though there’s no one single definition for a customer journey map, at its core, it’s easiest to think about this as a visual representation tool that helps to map out every interaction a customer might have with a brand along the journey they take as a customer.
In other words, a customer journey map is a visual map of the process each customer goes through to accomplish a goal or make a purchase. This journey is used to portray the many, complex feelings or touchpoints that a customer might have toward a product or service a company offers.
When done correctly, a customer journey map can offer enormous benefits to any organization, no matter their industry, their size, or their goals. Customer journey mapping can help to facilitate a common understanding amongst the entire company, explore opportunities within a target market, and even identify the gaps that exist in an organization’s current customer experience journey.
Journey mapping can foster other benefits, too. For example, a proper customer journey map can act as a benchmark by helping to set the standard for the optimal customer experience and giving an organization a hard and fast example of what customer experience should be versus what customers receive in reality.
Finally, and most obviously, a well-constructed customer journey map can help create a logical order for a customer’s buying journey as well as offer a more substantial understanding of how a customer feels and thinks about an organization as they move through the funnel.
How to Create the Ultimate Customer Journey Map for Your Business
Creating a customer journey map (or multiple maps, which might be necessary for your business), is a unique process for each organization that tackles this challenge. Creating a customer journey map is an involved process that’s going to take time, research, and a great team. Further, before you start, it’s crucial to understand the personalized benefits and goals you’re hoping to receive and accomplish.
Before you begin, it’s crucial to do a few things. Nailing down the persona of your buyer is an important first step in order to best understand the customers you’re marketing to. Next, you’ll want to understand their goals and what motivates them as they go through their own personal customer journey.
Take some time to understand your customers and their goals, and then map out all of your buyer touchpoints—AKA, anytime the customer will come into contact with your brand before they purchase, during their purchase, and after their purchase, too. This could include promotions, ads on social media, a loyalty program, forums, packaging, word of mouth, emails, in the news, etc. There is often a myriad of touchpoints that organizations need to consider.
Next, it’s important to then identify your customers’ pain points. Where are they struggling with your brand? Why are people abandoning their purchases? Where are their main areas of frustration? This step will help you to minimize and destroy roadblocks.
Now, it’s time to take what you’ve learned and improve it. Update your customer journey, make tangible changes, and bring your customer journey map to life.
At the end of the day, there’s no one, single way to create the perfect customer journey map—because every business is different, and every target market is different, the resulting map will be different, too.
Whether you’d like to manually invest your time and effort into multiple customer journeys for all the different buyer personas you come across or you’d like to invest in customer mapping software, creating this type of strategy can make an enormous difference in your marketing efforts, your sale conversions, and your communication with your ideal clientele.