If your business or organization deals in online product and service sales, you would have likely seen potential customers extensively browse your website and even add items to their shopping cart. However, they abandon the process right before completing the purchase. What leads to occurrences like this? Why do some sales follow a non-linear path? To address these inquiries, it’s crucial to comprehend your customer persona and develop the ability to create a perfect customer journey that shows their actual behavior. However, creating a perfect customer journey map is challenging, but it is an essential part of building a successful business. Customer journey mapping refers to identifying and analyzing each touchpoint a customer has with your brand, from the first interaction to the final purchase and beyond.
In this blog, we’ll explore the different elements of a perfect customer journey map and provide you with practical tips to create one that accurately reflects your customers’ experiences. We’ll talk about how to identify customer touchpoints, pain points, and opportunities for improvement, and we’ll guide you through the process of building a customer journey map.
So, let’s dive right in and start creating a customer journey map that accurately reflects your customers’ experiences and needs.
What is a Customer Journey Map?
“A customer journey map tells the story of the customer’s experience: from initial contact, through the process of engagement and into a long-term relationship.” By creating a customer journey, businesses can gain valuable insights into their customers’ needs, pain points, and opportunities for improvement.
— Leah Buley, UX designer
A customer journey map visually depicts the interactions between customers and your brand. It showcases customer touchpoints, which encompass the different methods by which individuals engage with your brand. This map contains a timeline that shows the entirety of the customer’s journey, spanning from the initial point to the conclusion.
The utilization of customer journey maps proves immensely advantageous in comprehending customer-brand interactions. Gaining insights into the stages through which your customers navigate empowers you to implement modifications that guarantee a favorable experience.
For example, with the help of a perfect customer journey map, you could find that a customer faced challenges while trying to assess your product. They also faced difficulties in finding necessary information online, expressed satisfaction with the in-store customer service, and consequently decided to make another purchase.
Benefits of a Perfect Customer Journey Map
With a perfect customer journey map, you can identify pain points and opportunities for improvement, ultimately leading to a better customer experience. Here are some benefits of creating a customer journey map:
- Improve the customer experience by identifying pain points and opportunities for improvement.
- Facilitate communication and collaboration among team members, encouraging open communication.
- Provide a visual representation of the customer journey that is easy to understand and analyze.
- Help businesses focus on the customer experience, leading to increased customer loyalty and satisfaction.
- Provide a framework for measuring success through key performance indicators (KPIs) at each touchpoint in the customer journey, allowing for data-driven decisions to improve the customer experience.
Elements of a perfect customer journey map
A customer persona is a detailed representation of an ideal customer shaped by market research and real customer insights. It contains demographic information as well as background details such as jobs and challenges. It also includes behavioral patterns, preferences, motivations, and values that influence their decision-making. By understanding the customer’s buying journey, objections, and concerns, businesses can tailor their strategies to better resonate with their target audience.
A phase denotes the broad level of decision-making and purchasing progress that a customer is currently engaged in. The process of buying can be subdivided in various manners, but here is a simple breakdown:
1. Awareness: The customer becomes conscious of a requirement, issue, or opportunity.
2. Research: They investigate potential solutions, assessing whether to proceed with a purchase and exploring available choices.
3. Consideration: A decision is made to acquire a solution that addresses their need, leading to a focused evaluation of alternatives.
4. Purchase: A choice is made, and a solution is selected for purchase.
5. Support: The customer employs the product or service, interacts with the company, and determines future purchase inclinations.
A touchpoint in a customer journey map is like a moment when a customer gets to know your business. It happens when your business directly connects with someone who might want to buy from you or who already buys from you. These touchpoints can include:
- Marketing materials such as posters, stickers, billboards, flyers, commercials, and display ads
- Tangible aspects, consisting of your physical store or office environment
- Online assets, encompassing your website and social media profiles
- Engagements with your personnel, including cashiers, customer service representatives, and sales agents
- The process of making a purchase, involving pricing and the checkout procedure
- Subsequent communications from your company, like emails or phone calls, after a purchase is made
- Continual customer assistance and support
- Extension or discontinuation of your service
Remember, your business is more than just your website and ads. So, it’s important to think about all the different times people interact with your business. These touchpoints in the perfect journey can help you find ways to make the buying experience even better.
The important part of your customer journey plan is figuring out what users are most likely to do at each step of the buying process. This includes things like clicking on online ads and telling their friends about good experiences they had.
Tip: Think about all the different ways customers might do the things your business wants them to do.
Surprisingly, not every time people interact with your brand will make them feel happy (like if they keep seeing error messages). That’s why it’s important to make sure that how people feel matches up with what they’re doing and experiencing, so your brand stays well thought of.
Look into all the things that might make your users and customers feel bad, like complex signing up processes or inability to use preferred means of payment, etc.
After you’ve drawn out the path your customers take, you can leave space to write down chances to make things better. These opportunities are places where you can fix problems and make the buying journey easier for your customers. Think about where customers might be getting stuck and not buying from you and see if you can fix those spots.
How to create a perfect customer journey map
So, how do you create a customer journey map that accurately reflects your customers’ experiences and needs? Let’s dive into the steps:
Step 1: Define Your Business Objectives
The first thing you need to do is figure out your business goals. This means knowing what you want to achieve and how you plan to do it. If you don’t have a clear idea of where you’re headed, it’s hard to know which steps to take to get there. Imagine it like having a destination in mind before you start a journey.
Your goals should be clear and measurable so that you can see if your social media efforts are actually helping you reach them. For instance, if you want to increase your sales by 20%, then everything you do on social media should be connected to getting closer to that goal.
And remember, your goals should match what your customers want too. Think about what’s important to them and make sure your goals consider their needs and interests.
Step 2: Develop Your Consumer Personas
To understand your customers and create a plan that works, you need to create profiles of your ideal customers. These profiles are like sketches of the people you’re trying to reach. They’re called buyer personas.
These personas help you know who your customers are and what they want from you. By creating these sketches, you can make your content and messages fit exactly what they’re looking for.
Step 3: Conduct Thorough Research and Gather Customer Feedback
Now that you have your buyer personas, it’s time to learn from your customers directly. This is where you gather information about how they connect with your brand.
Listening to your customers lets you see things from their perspective. You learn how each step of buying affects them. This helps you make better content and create ads that match where they are in the buying process.
Check out your website stats to see what pages they visit the most and where they come from. You can also look at social media stats to see how they interact with your brand online.
Step 4: Identify Customer Touchpoints and Channel
Connecting with your customers where they hang out is a big deal. You want to find all the places they meet you, like social media or your website.
Knowing how your customers go through the buying process helps you use these places the right way. For example, if they use social media to research stuff, then being active there is super important. Or if they like emails, then make sure your emails have what they want.
In simple words, you want to be where your customers are, so you can connect with them and help them buy.
Step 5: Comprehend Customer Pain Points and Emotional Values
After you do some research, it’s time to find out what’s tricky for your customers and what matters to them deep down. This info helps you make content that really speaks to them.
When you know where your customers struggle, you can fix those problems. It could mean making better products or improving your service. And when you know what your customers value, you can make content that touches their feelings. This is extra important on social media where emotions matter.
Step 6: Build customer journey map
Now that you’ve got all the info, it’s time to map out the whole journey your customers go on, from the very beginning until they become big fans.
For each step, you need to figure out how your customers interact with you, where they go, and how they feel. You can also add any problems they face and how you solve them.
This map is like a plan that shows you how to lead your customers from strangers to loyal supporters. And remember, this plan can change if you notice new things about your customers.
Step 7: Validate Your Drafted Customer Journey Map
Finally, you need to make sure your map is correct. This is like checking your work to make sure it’s accurate. You can do this by talking to customers, testing things out, and asking them questions. This helps you find any mistakes and fix them before they become bigger problems. Remember, your map is your guide to making customers happy and helping your business grow.
Step 8: Continuously Update and Improve Your Customer Journey Map
Creating a customer journey map is an ongoing process. You should continuously update and improve your customer journey map based on customer feedback and changes in your business. This will help you stay ahead of your competitors and provide the best possible customer experience.
For example, if you notice that customers are abandoning their shopping carts due to high shipping costs, you may decide to offer free shipping or reduce your shipping fees. This will improve the overall customer experience and increase customer loyalty.
So there you have it – the steps to creating the perfect customer journey map. By understanding your customers’ experiences and needs, you can improve your product or service, and overall customer experience. Remember to continuously update and improve your customer journey map to stay ahead of the game.
Things you need to keep in mind with a customer journey map
When it comes to creating a customer journey map, there are a few things you should keep in mind to capture your customers’ experiences and needs accurately. Here are some tips to help you create a powerful customer journey map:
Sure, here are those points presented in a concise format:
- Prioritize the Customer: Keep the customer as the focal point, understanding their needs, motivations, and pain points at each touchpoint to accurately depict their journey.
- Leverage Data and Feedback: Utilize data to recognize touchpoints and customer behaviors, while customer feedback unveils emotions and needs at each stage. Both are vital for crafting a precise customer journey map.
- Opt for Visuals: Employ visual representations like flowcharts or infographics to map customer journeys. This aids in spotting pain points, identifying improvement opportunities, and effectively sharing the journey with colleagues within your organization.
Types of customer journey map
There are several types of customer journey maps, each serving specific purposes and focusing on different aspects of the customer experience. Here are a few types:
1. Current-State Customer Journey Map: This type depicts the current interactions and experiences customers have with your brand, highlighting pain points, touchpoints, and opportunities for improvement.
2. Future-State Customer Journey Map: Also known as an “ideal” or “desired” journey map, this contains the optimal customer experience you aspire to deliver. It’s useful for setting goals and guiding improvements.
3. Omnichannel Customer Journey Map: This map takes into account the various channels and touchpoints customers use to interact with your brand. Thus, showing how they navigate across different platforms.
4. Persona-Based Customer Journey Map: Focuses on specific customer personas, providing insights into how different segments of your audience experience your brand. Thus, it aid in identifying tailored solutions for each group.
5. Service Blueprint: While related to a customer journey map, a service blueprint also includes the internal processes and systems that support customer interactions. This showcases the behind-the-scenes elements.
6. Mobile Customer Journey Map: Concentrates on the interactions that occur primarily through mobile devices. Thereby, acknowledging the unique behaviors and expectations of mobile users.
7. Multichannel vs. Cross-Channel Journey Map: A multichannel map outlines customer journeys within separate channels. While a cross-channel map illustrates how customers move across different channels during their experience.
8. B2B Customer Journey Map: This map focuses on the complexities of longer sales cycles, multiple stakeholders, and more intricate decision-making processes.
9. Post-Purchase or Loyalty Journey Map: Explores the customer experience after a purchase, emphasizing retention, satisfaction, and potential upselling opportunities.
10. User Onboarding Journey Map: This map outlines the steps a user takes when first engaging with your offering, aiming to ensure a smooth and valuable onboarding experience. This map particularly relevant for digital products or services,
These variations of customer journey maps cater to diverse business needs. It helps organizations gain insights into various facets of their customer experience and make informed improvements.
To a perfect customer journey map
In the end, creating a perfect customer journey map is crucial in understanding your customers and improving their experience with your product or service. A perfect customer journey plan is all about really understanding your possible customer. When you make your plan with all the steps, think about what they will do in each step to move forward, what makes them excited or stops them from going to the next step. Also, what questions they might have, and what problems might be in their path.
Want more assistance? Schedule a Demo with Survey2Connect, where you’ll receive personalized support from experts in strategy, technology, and products, guiding you through every phase of your journey.
Read more about Experience Management and Market Research