What Is Customer Journey Mapping?
To understand what customer journey mapping is, let’s look at what the customer journey is. The customer journey is a set of sequential steps or interactions that a customer moves through while deciding to do business with a company. It’s different from the customer experience, which is how the customer feels about the interactions they have with a company.
Customer journey mapping is a visual representation of all the touchpoints your customer interacts with. A customer journey map lets you see where your customers turn, and what resources they utilise, when they want to connect with your brand.
Why Is Customer Journey Mapping Important?
Customer journey mapping is important because it shows you which channels your customers turn to when they want to connect with you. Creating a customer journey map gives you a unique insight into what customers go through when they try to contact you (and what pain points they encounter along the way).
You might discover that people are reaching out to you through live chat, yet your brand isn’t responding, potentially repelling leads. Today, customers’ expectations of the experience they want from your organisation have changed. If their customer journey is poor, they won’t want to work with you.
How Can You Incorporate Customer Journey Mapping into Your Marketing Strategy?
Customer journey mapping should be an integral part of your marketing strategy. Here’s how to incorporate it:
- Create customer personas
- Research customer goals
- Determine which customers you want to target in this map
- List all touchpoints
- List all actions customers take during the customer journey
- Understand customers’ pain points
- Decide which elements you want to show on the map
- Take steps to improve the customer journey
Create Customer Personas
When you engage in customer journey mapping, you’re not just mapping out a journey for any old customer. Rather, you’re targeting the journey for a specific type of customer.
The customer persona represents a particular demographic (a particular segment of the population) and psychographic (a particular set of attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological criteria). These are the people who buy from you, so you want to understand what they’re going through when they want to connect with you.
Research Customer Goals
When your customers embark on their customer journey, what is their goal? Their goal might not just be to buy from you; they want to accomplish certain things during their customer journey, such as finding certain information about your product or service.
That’s why researching customer goals is an important part of customer journey mapping. Here are some helpful questions to ask when you’re trying to understand the customer journey:
- What pain points are we trying to solve?
- How easy is it to navigate our website?
- If you needed help from a salesperson or a customer service representative in our organisation, how easy is it to obtain?
- What can our company do to support our customers better or improve their customer journey?
Determine Which Customers You Want to Target in This Map
Your customer journey map should reflect the customer journey of the most valuable and common type of customers with whom you work. If you’re adding customers from categories with which you don’t work very often (perhaps customers from industries outside of your sphere of experience), that won’t lead to an accurate customer journey map.
List All Touchpoints
Your touchpoints are every single digital presence your organisation has. A website represents one touchpoint, while social media channels, paid ads, email marketing, and third-party reviews each represent another.
Understanding which touchpoints you have shows you how your customers are interacting with you. Maybe you’ll discover that there are some neglected touchpoints in which you should be investing more time and energy.
List All Actions Customers Take During the Customer Journey
To understand the customer journey, you have to know all of the actions the customers are taking during their journey. That means creating a list of every single step, no matter how small.
For example, if the first step is a customer Googling your company, put it on your list. The next step may be the customer signing up for your newsletter, or browsing your FAQ page. Listing all customer actions gives you deeper insights into the journey your customer takes.
Understand Customers’ Pain Points
What pain points do customers encounter when they interact with you? Pain points can take a variety of forms:
- Difficulty in finding information on your website
- A complicated checkout process
- Poor customer service
By taking the time to understand your customers’ pain points during their journey, you can start improving the customer journey. Addressing the pain points will make your current customers happier and help you attract new customers.
Decide Which Elements You Want to Show on the Map
The last step in customer journey mapping is to decide which elements you want to include on your customer journey map. There are four ways of depicting the customer journey:
- The current state—what the customer journey looks like now
- A day in the life—how customers interact with all brands, not just yours
- The future state—what you’d like to see happen in the customer journey
- Service blueprint—choose one of the customer journey maps from above, then add in whatever factors (people, policies, processes, and technologies) responsible for delivering that experience
The type of map you choose depends on your purpose. In other words, do you want to understand what your customer journey looks like right now, what it will look like in the future, or what your customers' pain points are?
Let Enlighten Designs Help You Map Your Customer Journey
For over two decades, Enlighten Designs has been delivering amazing digital experiences. We understand the importance of customer journey mapping within a marketing strategy. To learn more, contact us.