Did you know that in 2021, almost 70% of people shopping online didn’t buy the stuff they put in their shopping carts? Imagine going to a candy store, picking out your favorite candies, and leaving without buying them. Weird, right? Understanding why people do this can be tricky.
But here’s the good news: there’s something called Customer Journey Map, which helps us understand why people do what they do when they shop online. It’s like drawing a treasure map, but instead of treasure, it helps us find out what makes customers happy.
This article will teach you all about customer journey mapping. We’ll learn what it is, how to make one, and the best ways to do it. It’s like becoming a detective to make customers happy!
Remember what Steve Jobs, who made extraordinary things like iPhones, said: “Start with what makes customers happy, not with fancy technology stuff.” That’s important today because making customers happy isn’t just a cool thing—it’s essential for every business.
When we think about how to map customer journey, it’s like drawing a particular map just for one type of person, doing one thing to find out how to make them happy. If we make a map for everyone, it might not work either. So, first, we need to figure out who these particular people are, and we do that by talking to them and looking at data.
And don’t worry if it’s not perfect at first! Sometimes, you have to start, and then you can make it even better later. So, let’s start this exciting journey of making customers smile together!
What is a Customer Journey?
A customer journey is how people go through their experience with a company from start to finish. It’s like a unique path they take before they reach a specific goal.
Making this journey exciting and caring about customers’ feelings shows that a company values them. Customers are more likely to return and buy again when they have a good time. In fact, a study by Forbes discovered that happy interactions can lead customers to spend up to 140% more.
Each step in this journey gives the company important information about how customers act. By understanding them better, a company can give them the best experience every time they visit online. The best way to do this is by making unique pictures that show all this information about customers in an easy-to-read way. Let’s dig deep into how to map customer journey.
What is a Customer Journey Map?
A customer journey map is like a picture story showing how a person experiences and interacts with a company. It covers every step from when they first learn about the brand to when they complete a specific goal. This picture should include essential moments, like when customers might feel confused or frustrated and what the company wants them to do.
These pictures follow a timeline, from a customer’s first website visit to buy something, getting emails, and even stopping a service. It’s essential to make these pictures fit the specific business or product. The best way to do this is by talking to customers and studying how they make decisions.
A well-made customer journey map is a powerful tool. It helps businesses understand what their customers need at each step and what helps or slows them down. This information is then used to improve the customer’s experience, leading to more sales and keeping customers around.
Additionally, there’s something called a UX journey map. This is another unique picture that shows how a customer experiences their journey towards completing a specific goal. It ensures a company’s products and services are accessible and enjoyable. Additionally, it will help you to know more about how to map customer journey.
Journey Map Variations
Journey maps help plan and strategize in various ways. Here are some different types:
Journey maps help plan and strategize in various ways. Here are some different types:
Journey Map vs. Experience Map:
- Journey Map: About specific products or services.
- Experience Map: More general, works beyond one business area. Helps find issues for future journey maps.
Journey Map vs. Service Blueprint:
- Journey Map: For products or services, it grows from experience maps.
- Service Blueprint: Focuses on service-based journeys.
Journey Map vs. User Story Map:
- User Story Map: Plans features in Agile like a future journey map. Keeps features user-centered and straightforward.
Customer Journey vs. Buyer Journey:
- Buyer’s Journey: The whole buying experience, from thinking about a product to using it.
- Customer Journey: Deals with a brand’s role in the buyer’s journey, controlling every step for a better customer experience.
Visually Mapping the Customer Journey
A customer journey map is like a picture that shows how customers experience a business. It’s made by understanding what customers want and how they go through their journey. This helps create moments that make customers really happy.
Creating a customer journey map involves two essential things:
- Figuring out what your customers want.
- Understanding how they go through their journey, even if it’s not in a straight line.
You can draw this picture using Excel, pictures, or diagrams. This map also helps businesses aim for specific goals and attract new types of customers. It’s like making sure everything is about what the customer wants. This leads to happier customers, more sales, and more money for the business.
Customer journey maps also assist brands in these ways:
- Planning to attract customers with a focus on their needs.
- Trying to get the attention of a different group of customers.
- Making sure everything revolves around what the customer wants.
- Most importantly, it will help you to know about how to map customer journey.
These improvements result in happier customers, more sales, and higher earnings.
Characteristics of Customer Journey Maps:
Customer Journey Map Characteristics:
These are different types of customers. They’re based on real information.
Buyer vs. Customer Personas:
A buyer persona is a picture of your ideal customer. It helps you understand them better for effective marketing. It includes:- Personal details (like age, job, location)- Goals (what’s important to them)- Values (what matters to them in products and companies)- Preferences (how they like to get information)
Different big steps in the customer journey (like learning, deciding, etc.).
Useful for scenarios with steps or involving different ways of communication.
Actions, Thoughts, Feelings:
Actions are what customers do, influenced by their thoughts and feelings.
Getting the results you want from the customer journey, providing insights for a better experience.
Finding good results. Maps should include key things based on what you want to achieve.- These insights help make the user experience.
Steps for Creating a Customer Journey Map
Step 1: Start with Understanding Your Customer’s Needs
Initially, customers realize they have a problem or something bothering them. They might not know what they need to fix it yet, but they start looking for answers.
Don’t forget that customers often have problems they need to solve. They might not have a clear solution in mind yet, but they’re looking for answers. Businesses should provide valuable information without pushing for a sale. In the beginning, you can provide resources like guides, articles, and valuable documents, which build trust and help you guide customers.
Step 2: Define a Clear Goal for Your Journey Map
Establish a clear objective for the customer journey map before you start. Let’s look at Asif, a project manager who wants to share information more effectively with his team. If we look at Asif’s journey, we can figure out if Tipsoi HR Solution is right for him. Keep everyone focused by explaining who the map is for and why it’s being made.
To make a good journey map, you need to know who it’s for and why you’re making it. This helps everyone focus on the same goal and not get lost in too many details.
Step 3: Choose the Right Customer Persona
Once you have made profiles for different types of customers, it’s time to really understand each one better. Imagine you’re like a detective, trying to figure out exactly how they feel.
You need to pick the right customer persona to make your journey map successful. You’ll create a more accurate and effective map if you know how customers typically interact with your company. Each customer persona is unique, so categorize them according to what they do.
Step 4: Gather Data on Customer Interactions
Customer journey maps require direct feedback from your customers. This can be done through surveys or direct conversations. Understanding how people first find your business and what they want can help you make better decisions. You can also get valuable feedback from customer service reps.
Step 5: Identify All Customer Touchpoints
List out all the places where customers engage with your business, like your website, social media, or email. In this step, you’ll figure out where customers get to know your business for the first time. You need to make sure these touchpoints align with what customers use, which shows how accessible your offerings are.
Step 6: Chart the Customer’s Emotional Journey
Create a visual representation of the customer’s emotional journey. This involves plotting a line to illustrate how their feelings change throughout each step. Watch out for highs and lows, as well as sudden drops in sentiment. With these insights, you can improve the overall experience and fix pain points.
Step 7: Share the Customer Journey Map Across Teams
When you share a customer journey map across teams, it’s most valuable. Make sure that everyone keeps the customer at the forefront of their decisions and actions. Provide each team with access to the map so that they can collaborate and get feedback.
Customer Journey Map Tools
To successfully map the customer journey, it’s important to have the right tools that align with your team’s work style. Let’s explore some helpful options:
- FullStory: With this tool, you can build accurate journey maps based on valuable insights about customer interactions.
- Lucidchart: Lucidchart is a user-friendly platform that can assist in visualizing the customer’s experience effectively.
- Figma: With the help of Figma, teams can collaborate seamlessly on customer journey mapping.
- Smaply: This tool allows users to draw detailed customer journey maps.
- Miro: Miro is a versatile platform that supports visual collaboration, making it a useful tool for mapping customer journeys.
- Custellence: With this tool, you can build a comprehensive journey map by focusing on customer-centricity.
- Mural: Mural offers templates and features for mapping creative and insightful customer journeys.
- PowerPoint or Google Slides: You can also use these familiar presentation tools to create a customer journey map.
- FlowMapp: This app streamlines the process of mapping user experiences, including the journeys of customers.
- UXPressia: It simplifies teams’ process of mapping customer journeys with dedicated features.
When you use these tools in tandem with the right mapping approach, you can overcome any obstacles and make your journey mapping project scalable and successful. Combining quantitative and qualitative insights, customer intelligence, such as heat maps and scroll maps, can enhance the mapping process even more. To map the customer journey effectively, you need a holistic approach.
There are Several Components to a Customer Journey Map:
The Buying Process:
It describes how customers go from learning about your business to making a purchase. Break it down into stages like awareness, consideration, and decision.
There are many emotions customers feel through their journey, such as relief, happiness, worry. Include these feelings on the map so you can identify any negative experiences.
The first part of the article explains what customers do at each stage of the buying process.
The buyer investigates where and what they need during their journey. At the awareness stage, they rely on search engines like Google.
Think of ways to improve the buying process, aiming to make it less painful for customers.
Customer touchpoints are when they interact with your business. It’s how customers judge your brand. They can happen through ads, employee interaction, website issues, or even customer feedback. These touchpoints reveal ways you can improve the buying experience beyond just your website and marketing materials, so it’s essential to recognize them.
Types of Customer Journey Maps
The four types of customer journey maps serve different purposes. Choose the one that’s right for you.
1. Current State
Customers use these maps to figure out what they’re doing, thinking, and feeling when they interact with your company.
2. Day in the Life
It’s a way to see how your customers think, feel, and do stuff, whether they’re using your company or not. You can use this type to address unmet customer needs and explore new market strategies. It’s a broader view into your customers’ lives and their real-life challenges.
3. Future State
Through these maps, you can see how your customers will act, think, and feel in the future when they interact with your business. By using these maps, you can illustrate your vision and set strategic goals based on the information you have gathered so far.
4. Service Blueprint
It starts with a simplified version of one of the above map styles. Then, they add all the stuff that makes up that experience, like people, policies, and technologies. You can use service blueprints to figure out why customers aren’t getting what they want or what steps to take to get what they want.
Examples of Customer Journey Mapping
The main goal of a business is to lead its customers from one point to another. This usually involves buying something. Potential customers need to be guided through this process.
These examples should help you create your customer journey map in the right direction.
1. B2B Customer Journey Map
This customer journey map from Dapper Apps outlines five steps customers take when they interact with them. It goes beyond just the purchase phase by including initial research and post-purchase needs. The map helps employees understand customer questions and emotions. As well as suggesting specific steps Dapper Apps can take, it also helps them figure out what to do.
2. E-commerce Customer Journey Map
Using this fictional customer journey map, you can see what a customer does on a typical day, not only those things that have to do with the company. It’s a way to figure out what stresses target customers and what problems they might face based on how free they are from certain stimuli.
3. Future B2C Customer Journey Map
The customer journey map for Carnegie Mellon University explains why a future state customer journey map is so important. It outlines the thoughts, feelings, and actions the university hopes its students will have. With the diagram, CMU explains the company’s vision and lets departments know what they’re supposed to do to improve the user experience. It contains specific proposed changes for each phase.
4. Retail Customer Journey Map
A customer journey map of a fictional restaurant shows both direct (front-of-stage) and indirect (back-of-stage) interactions, as well as support. Every action that happens to a customer, a restaurant employee serving diners and someone behind the scenes is covered in this map. If a company analyzes how each of these factors impacts the customer journey, it can figure out what the root cause is and plan to fix it.
Benefits of Customer Journey Mapping
You might think, “This seems unnecessary for my company or for me. We understand what our customers need.” That’s all true. It’s crucial to break down the customer journey, align each stage with a goal, and adjust your interactions accordingly.
Remember, everything you do should be focused on solving customer problems and helping them succeed in the long run with your product or service. Here are some more benefits:
1. A New Perspective with Inbound Marketing
With helpful inbound marketing, you can let your customers find you instead of trying to find customers through disruptive outbound marketing. Customer irritation and cost can be high with outbound marketing. The goal of inbound marketing is to create useful content that customers want. This way, you can create content that attracts and engages your customers by understanding what interests and helps them, as well as what might push them away.
2. Identifying Your Target Customer Base
To effectively reach your customers, you need to understand their demographics and interests. It’s a waste of time and resources to target too broad of an audience. Researching the needs and challenges of your typical customers will give you a clear picture of the kind of people who are looking to achieve a goal with your company. This allows you to tailor your marketing efforts to that specific audience.
3. Being Proactive with Customer Service
A customer journey map is like a guide to the customer’s experience. It shows you moments of delight and times when they might face challenges. Knowing this in advance lets you plan your customer service strategy and step in at the right times. This proactive approach also makes your brand seem more reliable. For instance, if you expect a surge in customer service inquiries around the holidays, you can inform your customers about adjusted hours and alternative support options.
4. Improving Customer Retention
The customer journey can be viewed as a whole in order to identify areas where improvements can be made. If you do this, customers will encounter fewer challenges, so they are less likely to switch brands. Even one poor experience can cause a third of customers to switch brands. When you understand the customer journey, you can spot warning signs that a customer might leave and take action to keep them.
5. Fostering a Customer-Centric Culture
In the midst of your company’s growth, it can be difficult to align all departments around a customer-focused mindset. They may have sales and marketing goals that aren’t necessarily aligned with what customers really want. Every step of your customer journey can be guided by a clear customer journey map, from attracting customers to providing support after the sale. In this case, everyone is on the same page: marketing, sales, and service.
Free Customer Journey Map Templates
Choosing which mindset to emphasize is crucial to moving your business from focusing on customer journeys (point A) to having a journey map (point B). This choice will guide which of the following templates you’ll use:
Current State Map Template:
B2B products might have phases such as search, awareness, options, purchase, and post-purchase support. It has phases like research, comparison, workshop, quote, and sign-off in the Dapper Apps project. Here’s a template for you to use.
CURRENT STATE CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAP
|Stages||1st Stage||2nd Stage||3rd Stage||4th Stage||5th Stage|
|Thoughts & Feelings||> Thoughts|
“Type something this customer
said in their interview.”
|> Feelings 1|
> Feelings 2
“Something this customer said
at this stage of the journey.”
|> Thoughts 1|
“This customer thoughts & feelings”
|> Feelings 1|
> Feelings 2
|Goals & Actions||> Goal|
> Step Taken
|Touch Points & Current Issues||> Ads |
> Touch Point
|> Channel Name|
> Touch Point
> Channel Name
|> Shopping Point|
> Purchase Point
> Usage Point
> Service Point
|> Channel Point|
> Touch Point
|Improvements & Opportunities||> Solution||> Solution|
|> Design Fix|
|> Technical |
> Design Solution
Future State Template:
These phases are similar to the current state template, as they reflect predicted or desired searches, awareness, options consideration, and buying decisions. This is about the future, so you can choose these phases based on how you’d like the customer journey to look in the future.
A Day in the Life Template:
This template covers all the thoughts, feelings, actions, needs, and pain points a customer experiences in their daily routine. This is whether or not it involves your company. It’s helpful to structure this template chronologically so you can pinpoint the times of the day when you can offer the most effective support.
Service Blueprint Template:
Instead of following specific phases in the customer journey, this template digs deeper and doesn’t follow specific phases. A lot of this involves multiple people, places, or objects at a time. It’s all about physical evidence — the tangible things that influence impressions about quality and price.
The fictional restaurant example, for example, has staff, tables, decorations, cutlery, menus, and food as physical evidence with corresponding customer actions and employee interactions.
Buyer’s Journey Template:
Your customer journey map can also be designed using the classic buyer’s journey – awareness, consideration, and decision.
Customer journey map templates are here to guide you. They provide a starting point and offer ideas about what to include and where. Don’t let worries about poor customer service keep you awake at night. Understand the current state of the customer journey in your business and make the necessary changes to attract and keep customers happy.
The Truth About Customer Journeys
Business journey maps help businesses stay close to their customers and address their needs and pain points. They help them understand their audience’s nuances so they can stay customer-focused.
A customer journey map can vary widely, but they all follow the same steps. With regular updates and proactive roadblocks removed, your business can stand out, offer meaningful engagement, and grow.