Have you created a customer journey map to better understand how prospective customers interact with your business? This kind of visual representation allows you to gain a sense of what customers aim to achieve when they choose your company, including their needs and pain points. With this information, you can facilitate a smoother customer journey that generates rave reviews and repeat business.
Even if you think you have a pretty good idea of what the customer journey looks like, building a visual diagram is still a crucial step to take. Having this as a resource to refer back to as you make key decisions will ensure your team is always on the same page. Plus, it will help keep the customer’s perspective in mind every step of the way.
How to Craft a Customer Journey Map
Building a customer journey map will be well worth your while. With these 7 easy steps, you’ll soon have a customer journey map in your hands that represents one of the most important processes in all of your business operations.
Step 1: Start by setting your objectives.
Begin with some brainstorming to help clarify your intentions for making this map. Important questions to answer include:
- What are the goals of the map?
- From whose point of view will the map be drawn?
- What specific experience will the map outline?
Answering these questions will enable you to build a more accurate buyer persona and draw a map that reflects your average customer.
Step 2: Research your customers’ experiences.
Do some in-depth research into the experiences of actual customers or prospective customers who have interacted with your company. Gathering feedback based on their experience will be essential to the creation of a useful customer journey map.
There are several methods you can use to acquire this feedback, including questionnaires and user testing software. Then, put all that information into a buyer persona tool.
Step 3: Choose a target customer persona.
Your research will likely uncover a handful of customer personas. However, as the customer journey map outlines the path one specific type of customer takes to interact with your business, you’ll need to narrow this list down to a single target personas. Otherwise, your map will be a mishmash of experiences that isn’t all that helpful in the end.
Step 4: Make a touch point list.
Your website likely offers multiple opportunities for customers to interact with your business. These are called touch points. However, touch points aren’t limited to your website. Points of interaction such as social channels, paid advertisements, and third-party review sites also qualify.
Your research into the customer experience should reveal which touchpoints are currently being used the most. Narrow this list down to those that most commonly result in customers taking specific actions.
As you make this list, try to see the touch points from the customer’s point of view. What emotions and motivations bring them to each point? What are some obstacles and pain points that could prevent them from ultimately taking action?
Step 5: Create a map type that fulfills your aims.
Depending on your ultimate goals and the types of improvements you want to make in the customer journey, you could use one of the following map templates:
- Current State maps visualize the customer’s experience of interacting with your company.
- Day in the Life maps go outside the scope of the customer-company relationship to explore the pain points in customers’ daily lives and address unmet needs.
- Future State maps help businesses illustrate their vision and set objectives for how they want the customer experience to be, rather than how it is in reality.
- Service Blueprint maps include a layer representing the employees, policies, technologies, or systems responsible for different aspects of the customer’s experience.
Step 6: Evaluate your customer journey map.
Your customer journey map should be actionable, and its effectiveness should be measurable. One way to evaluate your map is to follow the journey it lays out on your own. This should include taking on the customer persona and exploring their steps one-by-one. You might start with social media activity, online searches, or reading marketing emails to see where the journey leads you.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) can also lay out a framework for evaluating your map and making it actionable. After all, one of the main purposes of the map is to identify opportunities and obstacles based on qualitative research on the customer’s experience. KPIs can be used to visualize areas of improvement in the customer journey and prompt concrete action.
Of course, KPIs aren’t the only metrics that can be used to evaluate your map. Don’t hesitate to consider your Net Promoter Score (NPS), which measures customer loyalty and overall satisfaction, to track the customer’s experience.
Step 7: Implement changes as necessary.
Your exploration of the customer journey and analysis of important metrics should give you a good idea of changes that need to be made to your website and various touch points across other platforms.
Whether these changes are large or small, they can have a noticeable impact on the customer’s experience. Most importantly, as you’ve done the research to figure out why these changes need to occur, you can have confidence they’ll be much more effective than going the route of trial and error.
Keep in mind that no customer journey map is ever complete. In reality, these are always works in progress. Aim to review your map regularly, whether that’s every month or every quarter, to continually identify opportunities to make the customer journey as frictionless as possible.