Want to improve your conversion rate and customer retention? If your bounce rate and shopping cart abandonment rate are increasing, it is high time you started creating your customer journey map. Here in this article, you will read about a customer journey map and how you can create one.
What Is a Customer Journey?
Knowing the needs of your target audience is of extreme importance to your business. If you know what satisfies your generated leads and meets their needs, you can determine why they show particular behaviour on your website.
Now, you may be confused about why they leave your website right after visiting a page, leave their shopping carts, spend a short time on a particular page, constantly move from page to page to find the best product, etc. This is because you have not created a customer journey map for your website.
The customer journey is your generated lead’s path to interact with your brand and fulfil a goal. This goal can be to purchase physical products, a digital service subscription, a download of an ebook, or anything else, depending on your website. In other words, a customer journey starts when they see your social media post, for example, and ends with a successful bank account or PayPal transaction.
What Is a Customer Journey Map?
A customer journey map is closely associated with improving the customer experience on your website. It represents the journey your customers should take on your website. Customer journey mapping allows you to plan better motivations for your customers to achieve your goals.
What Is Customer Journey Mapping?
The process of visualising a customer journey map is called customer journey mapping. You may think that you already have something in your mind, but that is not enough. You should create a visual diagram and write everything in detail so that your team members can see and make it a resource for their tasks. Mapping a customer journey can give all your team members a clue about where they are heading and how they should put in their efforts.
Customer journey mapping is a challenging process because a customer journey map is never linear. Customers do not move from point A to point B, which adds to the importance of creating a customer journey map.
You can do customer journey mapping in several ways. You can write notes and stick them to a boardroom wall, organise an Excel spreadsheet, design an infographic, or use a customer journey map template. What matters most is that the map should make sense to team members who will use it.
What Are the Benefits of a Customer Journey Map?
Let’s take a look at the benefits of a customer journey map:
1. Focus on inbound marketing
Instead of investing money, time, and energy in outbound marketing, you will focus on inbound marketing with a customer journey map.
Outbound marketing entails techniques that are poorly aimed at a broad or uninterested audience. It is highly likely that it irritates and discourages customers, stakeholders, and prospects. On the other hand, inbound marketing entails providing engaging and valuable content that your clients are already looking for.
A customer journey map helps you understand the needs and interests of your target audience. Then, you can create engaging content that both educates and entertains them and adds value to them.
2. Attract new customers
Customer journey is highly relevant to customers’ demographics. If you don’t have a clear understanding of your target audience’s demographics, you may be continuously targeting a larger audience than those who will be interested in your products, services, and content. So, you will be taken away from reaching your goals.
Mapping out a customer journey helps you with finding out the needs and pain points of your customers. It can give you a decent idea of the types of people attempting to attain a goal with your business. As a result, you may focus your marketing efforts on that precise demographics attract new customers with the same demographics as your current demographics.
3. Improve customer service
As we said, a customer journey map functions as a road map for the customer journey. It is capable of providing both happy and unhappy times for people. Knowing this ahead of time allows you to improve customer care and act at the most advantageous periods to increase the value of your brand to the buyer.
Customer service is indeed important for increasing customer retention. Videos are thought to be the most popular format nowadays for grabbing people’s attention so that you could take advantage of that. Customer service videos can help you engage customers at different stages of their customer journey. If used properly, it can boost brand awareness, brand love, and even sales rates.
4. Increase customer retention
When you have a customer journey map, it’s much easier to identify places where the customer journey needs improvement. Accordingly, there will be fewer pain points, and your customers will be less likely to replace you with a competitor’s brand.
With a customer journey map, you can identify those customers who have bought from you but may not be likely to buy from you again. You can start spotting these customers before they depart if you keep track of their online behaviour on your website. This is particularly efficient for your business because generating new leads is much more expensive than keeping the current customers.
5. Creating a customer-based mindset
Last but not least, a customer journey map changes your mindset in business. You will focus more on customer needs and customer satisfaction. A customer journey map is specifically necessary if your business is growing larger and larger. Creating a customer journey map keeps your sales and marketing teams aligned with the same goals.
What Does a Customer Journey Map Include?
To create a customer journey map, you should know what it includes. Significant milestones in the customer journey are depicted on a customer journey map. Start mapping your customer journey by sketching out the path you want a customer to take to achieve a goal. These milestones are:
- The process
- User emotions
- Actions and behaviour
- Pain points
How to Create a Customer Journey Map
Having known the definition and importance of a customer journey map, you can now learn how to create a one in this section:
1. Define clear goals
As we said earlier, a customer journey map is a path that leads your customers from a starting point to an ending point where they fulfil your goal. Your goal can be different regarding your business. But how seriously do you consider those goals?
Your goals heavily depend on the needs and demographics of your target audience. You need to create a customer persona and address their needs in every step of your customer journey map.
2. Conduct market research
After creating your buyer persona and setting clear goals to make your typical customer satisfied with their journey, you need to address them by reaching out to them. Remember that you need people who are the same as your buyer persona. If they are different, your efforts are in vain.
For instance, your buyer persona is a 30 to a 40-year-old man who lives in the UK and loves playing tennis on the weekends. Those men who are gamers and love to play games on their weekends are not your target market.
After reaching out to your target market, you need to check if they can enjoy buying from you or are interested in your products or services. There are several ways to do this, like using surveys or doing some A/B testing.
3. Narrow down your target market
After knowing your target market feedback, you should narrow down your target market based on the feedback. Perhaps you need to target 30 to 40-year-old men who live in the UK, love playing tennis on the weekends, like yellow colour, and enjoy eating out often.
Remember that a customer journey map visually represents one customer’s experience with your business along a certain path. Your map will not truly reflect your customers’ experience if you group too many persona varieties into one route.
4. List all customer touchpoints
If you are thinking about what touchpoints are, we shall say that all of the places on your website where your customers can interact with you are known as touchpoints. Make a list of all the touchpoints your customers and generated leads are using now, as well as the ones you believe should be used if there is no overlap.
A customer journey map allows you to see what actions your customers take on their journey. Is it possible that they are being turned away and leaving your site early because they are using fewer touchpoints than expected? Is it because your website is complicated, and they have to go through multiple stages to get to an answer if they use more touchpoints than expected?
Understanding and listing your touchpoints leads you to get to your goals and satisfy your customers much easier than before. And keep in mind that your touchpoints are not limited to your website only. Rather, they can also include your social media platforms, paid ads on social media or Google, email marketing, podcasting, etc. In other words, touchpoints include every action that your customers take from the very beginning and the very first interaction they make with your brand.
5. Enrich your business
To create a customer journey map that gets you to your goals, you need to enrich your business with resources and experts. The resources and experts can help you fulfil your goals by taking every step firmly and correctly. Remember to improve your resource management skills as well.
A customer journey map can show how efficient your social media content team is, how knowledgeable your product team is, how attentive your customer support team is, etc. As a result, you can improve the weaknesses of your business by providing more AI tools and automation, for example, or by educating your team members.
For instance, you can set up a virtual contact centre to improve your customer service. If you have difficulty managing your staff and asking for tasks within deadlines, you can use a project management tool to make your work more efficient.
6. Test it out!
When you finally create your customer journey map, you may think it is the end, but you are wrong. You should keep testing your customer journey and see if it works properly. You won’t notice if it’s functioning well unless you take the journey yourself and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Without the testing process, the entire task of mapping the customer journey remains hypothetical.
Another way to test your customer journey map is to analyse your customers’ online behaviour who are actually taking the journey. See how many people leave their shopping carts, why they leave time on a page, why they skip a page so quickly, etc. You can also look at what kind of problems they have with your competitors. You might be able to resolve some of their short-term concerns. This helps you realise why your customers’ needs are not being met.
Here is an example of content from Mailbird, where they covered technical issues at Outlook. The emphasis on the customer’s needs regardless of which email client they use has helped Mailbird attract new customers.
7. Optimise your customer journey
After the testing and data analysis step, you need to adapt your customer journey map to the new changes. Perhaps you need to work more on your social media campaigns, making your monthly newsletters more engaging, changing call-to-action buttons on your landing page, etc.
Changes will be beneficial regardless of how big or tiny they are because they are directly tied to what customers mentioned as their pain points. Instead of making adjustments haphazardly in the hopes of improving client experiences, you can be confident that they will. You can also ensure that those demands and pain points are always addressed with the help of your customer journey map.
Your customer journey map should be a work-in-progress at all times. You can find gaps and chances for further optimising your customer journey by reviewing it regularly. Check for any barriers using your data analytics and customer feedback.
You can please different customers at every point of their buying process after you thoroughly grasp their experience with your business. Customer pain points, emotions, and your business touchpoints and processes are all aspects that can influence this journey.
Whether you’re optimising your customer journey or investigating a new business opportunity to meet customers’ needs, a customer journey map is the most effective way to visualise this information. Start mapping out your future consumer success now! I wish you the best of luck!
Originally published Aug 06, 2021, updated Jan 16, 2023