Customer journey mapping explained in 5 easy steps
A company that continually looks at itself and its offerings from the perspective of its customers can gain an advantage over its competitors. Customer Journey Mapping helps you see your business through the eyes of your customers and identify all touchpoints.
See why customer journey mapping is important and how you can create a simple customer journey map yourself in just 5 steps in the following post.
What is customer journey mapping??
Customer journey mapping refers to the visualization of customers’ experiences with a company or brand over the course of their journey from first contact to becoming a loyal customer.
Just as a movie tells a story as a sequence of individual scenes, a customer journey map visualizes the customer experience as a sequence of steps. It need not and cannot be representative of every nuance of the customer experience.
A customer journey map is representative of a typical experience that certain personas, customer groups or customer segments have with a company.
What is the purpose of a customer journey map??
The purpose of customer journey mapping is to understand how customers see the buying process with its stages, sub-steps and touchpoints where they interact with your company.
A customer journey map makes visible what the customer experiences during their journey and how they rate their experience with your company, your brand. Carefully created, a customer journey map helps you find and fix weak points and pain points.
A customer journey map helps you improve your business by understanding your customers better. Based on your customers’ perspective, you can:
- Improve the status quo.
- Identify and address reasons for friction points.
- Understand and fix reasons for declining satisfaction scores or other KPIs
Put the focus on your customers instead of your internal processes.
How to ensure a seamless experience for your customers at all touchpoints and across all channels.
How to create a customer journey map? A step-by-step guide
In the following sections, we will show you how to create a customer journey map with a simple step-by-step guide. Customer journey mapping starts with defining your target audiences and customer segments in detail by creating personas.
Step 1: Define personas
In the first step, you create prototypes of your customers, so to speak. These are also called personas or buyer personas in marketing. These are customer groups and customer segments that are typical or important for your business.
Use characteristics for the description that are important for success in marketing and sales. These include, for example:
- Living environment
- Technology affinity
- Personal preferences
- Position in the company (for B2B customers)
- what decision-making power the customer has (B2B)
Practical example: a Buyer Persona from Einstein1
The resulting personas represent the needs, goals, behaviors, potential problems, objections, and desires within the customer segment. Using these personas, you can create customer journey maps that describe the experience of these personas at different touchpoints throughout their lifecycle with your company.
Not every customer is the same. This is not only true when doing business with consumers, but also in the B2B space. Buyers at large companies often have limited decision-making authority and often need to consult with superiors before making a purchase.
In contrast, for small and medium sized businesses, purchases are often made by the management themselves. The personas will be differentiated accordingly. Concentrate on the creation of a single persona at the beginning. More will certainly be added over time.
Step 2. Define the sales process
Customer journey maps are usually organized by phases that a customer goes through during the sales process. Each stage represents an important goal that your customer wants to achieve throughout their journey. You should create a customer journey map with phases that represent your customer’s purposeful journey, not your internal process steps.
Consider what stages are necessary to move from initial consideration to purchase of your product or service. This approach is also used in online marketing for so-called touchpoints. Sales funnels applied.
Using the persona, define the stages your customer experiences over time with your company. Define the how, when and where they discover your company, products or services, why they buy and what relationship they have with your company.
Step 3: Define the touchpoints with your business
Touchpoints are all points of contact at which your customers interact with your company from the beginning to the end of the customer journey. This includes advertisements, your website, social media posts, customer service, your phone hotline, and more.
Identifying touchpoints is an important step in creating a customer journey map and ensuring your customers are satisfied every step of the way.
Step 4: Evaluate customer experience
The basis for your customer journey map is reliable data. Assumptions and assumptions about where your customers have what problems will not help you. Data sources are analytics tools that show you, for example, how visitors get to your website, how they navigate it, and where they bounce off again.
Your customer service team is sure to have a lot of information about your customers as well. Another source of information that is often overlooked is surveys. Most customers are happy to help if they believe you are honestly interested in their experience and opinion. They are then happy to provide feedback to help others.
Step 5: Identify friction points and fix problems
Once you understand your customers’ goals and desires and have defined their touchpoints with your company, it’s time to look at the big picture – the totality of their experience with your company.
By walking through each stage of the customer journey map, you can identify the friction points within your customers’ journey. Here you can ask questions about the why, wherefore, and why not.
An example: Ask yourself z.B. As a founder in e-commerce, where there are problems, at what point and why customers abandon the purchase, why they leave the shopping cart without completing the purchase. Questions like these help you improve the customer experience piece by piece and sustainably.
A customer journey is highly individualized from business to business. When designing your own customer journey, however, the decisive factor is above all the analysis of your own target group (source: http://bit.ly/39qyi7U)
What tools are available for creating a customer journey map?
In principle, all you need is a sheet of paper and a pen to create a customer journey map. More convenient, however, are tools designed specifically for this purpose. We’ll briefly introduce you to 4 customer journey mapping tools in the following sections.
Customer journey mapping can be done in a variety of ways and for many different purposes. The collaborative customer journey mapping tool Custellence has the flexibility and structure that makes it suitable for most types of customer journeys.
It allows you to create digital customer journey maps, user stories, experience maps and service blueprints. Present and share your maps for greater engagement and impact, and collaborate on map IRLs with remote teams to increase efficiency.
Smaply is a customized software solution developed specifically for customer journey mapping. The application possibilities are therefore somewhat limited compared to other software programs. To that end, this program scores high marks for creating a customer journey map with a number of handy features.
The program offers users numerous statistics and, for example, a clear visualization of the pain points of a customer journey. Data can be output in different formats. It is possible to display only the relevant data.
Smaply lets you easily create, share and visualize your customer journey maps, personas and stakeholder maps (Source: https://bit.ly/33UwKRT)
Gliffy is a web-based editor for creating and editing diagrams. The editor offers a reduced range of functions compared to, for example, Microsoft Video. In return, the program is very easy to use and offers all the functions required to create a customer journey map.
The program can be used for up to 5 maps or diagrams for free. However, the diagrams, org charts and maps created with a free account are publicly available. In the paid version, all data is confidential and not publicly available.
UXPressia is a paid cloud-based customer experience management platform. The software helps teams visualize, share, present and improve customer journeys.
UXPressia allows real-time online collaboration for multiple users and offers easy integration of a variety of data sources and an interface with an intuitive drag-and-drop environment. In addition to customer journey maps, UXPressia can be used to create flexible customer/buyer personas.
The program provides a variety of pre-built templates. Users can create their own templates and use them throughout the company.
Conclusion: Customer journey maps provide a comprehensive overview
The expectations customers have of a company are higher today than ever before. If you can’t offer your customers excellent service and a smooth experience with your company that is positive in every way, you’ve all but lost your customers to the competition.
The experiences customers have during their customer journey are critical to whether or not a company can differentiate itself from its competitors. A carefully crafted customer journey map is the foundation for a positive personal experience for each and every customer.
Customer journey mapping can be instrumental in improving the customer experience and addressing friction points. Think of the customer journey map as a living document that needs to be reviewed regularly and updated as needed.