Every business owner knows the value of getting into the minds of their target audience.
What makes customers tick? What problem do they face and what solution can you offer?
Beyond simply identifying your customer’s pain points, you need to understand the motivation behind the customer journey.
Tracking, recording, and examining customer behavior provides valuable insight into how clients are interacting (or not interacting) with your brand.
Creating a customer journey map helps you visualize the customer experience and make changes that increase sales and positive interactions.
Keep reading to find out.
What is a Customer Journey Map?
Before we talk about the design of your customer journey map, let’s briefly cover exactly what it is and what it tracks.
To start with, the customer journey includes how customers, and prospective customers, interact with your brand from start to finish.
This journey encompasses the entire experience – from the first time they hear your brand name to visiting your website and hopefully, making a sale.
But not all inquiries convert to sales. Why?
Did your website take too long to load? Did the customer not see the payment option they wanted upon checkout?
When you can identify the specific areas where you’re missing the mark, you can make the necessary improvements to your system.
How to Create a Customer Journey Map
Now that you understand the purpose of a customer journey map, let’s discuss how to create one.
The First Draft
Most journey maps start out as spreadsheets listing the steps a customer goes through when interacting with your brand. Line items include things like:
- Buyer persona
- Customer goals and pain points
- Buyer motivation
- Key events in the buying process
- Roadblocks and touchpoints
The more your customer journey map includes, the better. You can always eliminate certain line items later on, but when first drafting your map, include as much information as possible.
Set specific goals and objectives. Ask yourself why you’re creating a roadmap and what you hope to learn from it.
This information is then used to create a visual diagram of the customer journey – also known as the map.
Tap Into Current Customers
The best way to gain insight into the customer journey is to survey current customers. Ask telling questions that help you better understand the buying process.
Here are a few examples of good questions to ask:
- What were your first impressions of the brand and website?
- How long did you stay on the website? Was it easy to navigate?
- What problem are you hoping our company can solve?
- Have you ever made a purchase with us? If not, why?
- What can we do to make the process easier?
Focus on One Customer Persona at a Time
Chances are, you have several customer personas interacting with your brand at any given time. Trying to track and understand them all at once is both exhausting and ineffective.
To start, focus on your most common customer persona and follow their route when engaging with your brand.
The great thing about customer journey maps is that you can make as many as you want, as often as you want. To see the best results, start with your largest customer base.
List Touchpoints and Motivation
To get a clear picture of the entire customer journey, you need to include every touchpoint on your website. These are all the areas customers can interact and engage with your brand.
Examining touchpoints helps you better understand and track the actions of your customers.
You also need to consider the motivation and emotions behind these actions. Reports show that 95% of customer decisions are made based on emotion.
A customer journey map shows you how and when to target customers during each part of the buying process.
Choose a Type of Customer Journey Map
There are a few types of customer journey maps to choose from. The map you choose is based on the current obstacles your brand faces. You can also utilize different types of journey maps for different reasons.
The most popular type of customer journey map, this diagram outlines the emotions, thoughts, and actions of customers currently interacting with your company.
This type of customer journey map helps your brand look ahead toward the future of the company. It helps you visualize and predict the future emotions, actions, and thoughts of customers.
If you’re looking for a simplified version of these common roadmaps, a service blueprint might serve you well.
This outline focuses more on the people, processes, and technologies that impact the customer experience.
Day in the Life Of
This is a unique type of customer journey map that takes into account all of your customer’s actions, emotions, and thoughts – even those that don’t include their interactions with your company.
Understanding the daily life of customers means gaining better insight into their needs and what motivates their buying decisions.
Reasons to Create a Customer Journey Map
Some business owners feel they already fully understand the needs of their target audience and don’t need a customer journey map.
Not so fast.
Here are a few reasons why everyone can benefit from using this type of tracking system.
1. Focuses on the Individual Customer Experience
The customer buying experience isn’t linear. With the introduction of online shopping, purchasing options like PayPal and Venmo, social media advertisements, and other advancements, it’s rare that a customer goes from point A to point B seamlessly.
With so many moving parts and deviations, a visual journey map helps keep your thoughts organized.
It also helps you clearly see and track customer behavior and patterns.
2. Helps You Target the Right Audience
While it can be tempting to market and appeal to a wide range of customers, the more narrow and specific your target audience is, the more likely you are to see results. Customer journey maps help you create a more focused target audience. It highlights the demographics of your ideal client base.
Targeting a wide audience that isn’t interested in your brand, service, or product is a waste of time, money, and energy. A customer journey map clearly shows you which customers are engaging with your brand, allowing you to capitalize on this interest.
3. Creates a Customer-Focused Mentality
The customer comes first. When you’re running a large-scale operation, it can be difficult to get all departments on the same page. A customer journey map helps share your vision and goals company-wide. It also guarantees customer needs are being met at all levels.
The results from a customer journey map also help guide marketing efforts and sales goals by touching on what customers actually want and need.
4. Streamline the Customer Experience
Are you ready to dive deeper into the needs, emotions, and actions for your target audience?
Using a customer journey map can help get you there.
When you know your customer pain points and the obstacles they face when interacting with your brand, you can make concrete, meaningful improvements to the process.
Let the professionals at Ecrion help you create meaningful connections with your customers.
Contact us today to learn more about what we can do to improve the customer experience and your company’s efficiency.
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