What is a Customer Journey Map?
A customer journey map tells the entire journey from initial contact to all engagement and long-term relationships.
Journey maps can depict one story or the entire experience of the customer. It identifies all key interactions that a user has with our product or service. Journey maps help to identify how a user is feeling, their motivations, and the questions they might ask while interacting with each touchpoint.
What are the Benefits of Customer Journey Mapping?
In this exercise, you will learn that CMJ helps organizations focus on the most crucial stakeholders of the business as they are the reason for the long existence of the product or service. And improving their journey is essential to keep them engaged and coming back for better user experiences.
There are other benefits too:
Helps in collaboration within your organization: once you've finalized your organization's goal, everyone can work together because each department has the same focus.
Uncover hidden interactions: when you study and analyze how your user interacts with any touchpoint, you may discover something you had not given importance to earlier.
Helps to empathize: always remember to understand and empathize with a user when working with a user. They are not data or figures.
Allows for prioritization: once you've recognized all the difficulties people are having at any given touchpoint, you can easily work out what you need to address first.
Accountability: once you've explored your issues and prioritized them, it's efficient to set which team in your organization is best to take care of those issues.
- Predict customer behavior: Journey maps can predict customer behavior as they move through the different stages of the sales funnel. These patterns help forecast which kinds of potential customers are likely to make a purchase.. Knowing your audience can help you decide what you can do to further them along in the sales process.
- Enhance your content marketing strategy: By mapping out the progression of each customer's journey, you can understand what marketing strategies some customers preferred over others. Based on that information, you can choose different marketing strategies for each demographic.
A customer journey map helps create shared goals from a bigger purpose perspective and a common vision throughout your organization. CMJ can be imagined as the roots of a tree. It's what builds the common vision for the teams of the organization. Journey mapping places focus on the customer experience during the entire customer lifecycle.
The market changes very rapidly, and it is the need of the hour for companies to convert and retain loyal customers. Taken From Article, Generative AI for Customer Service
What are the Components of the Customer Journey Map?
There are three important components in any customer journey actor, the scenario, and the journey lifecycle.
- The one who experiences the journey is an actor. It may represent your customer base or the potential leads we are searching for.
- Scenarios are specific journeys to be mapped. You must have something specific in mind for this. For example, imagine you are a businessman looking for a new phone and price is not a priority, but you want unlimited minutes and low call rates on phones abroad and good customer support. All these details can form your particular scenario. There will be no generalizations, and it will allow you to prioritize only the essential parts of the journey.
- The journey life cycle refers to the user's activities during the journey. In each activity, you will track the actions they take (i.e. research, discuss) and their thoughts and feelings (i.e. frustration, happiness, thoughts about changing loyalty). These activities define the overall journey and all potential points of interaction.
What are the processes involved in Customer Journey Mapping?
The processes of Customer Journey Mapping are listed below:
1. Define Your Customer Persona
The first step in customer journey mapping is to define your customer persona. A customer persona is a detailed profile of your ideal customer. It should include demographics, interests, behaviors, pain points, and goals. By creating a customer persona, you can better understand your customers' needs and tailor your customer journey map to meet their specific requirements.
2. Identify Stages of the Customer Journey
The next step is to identify the different stages of the customer journey. This typically involves breaking down the customer journey into four or five stages: awareness, consideration, purchase, retention, and advocacy. Each stage represents a different phase in the customer journey and includes different touchpoints.
3. Map the Customer Journey
Once you've identified the customer journey stages, the next step is to map the journey. This involves creating a visual representation of the customer journey, including all the touchpoints at each stage. Touchpoints include website visits, social media interactions, emails, phone calls, and in-store visits.
4. Collect Data
To accurately map the customer journey, you need to collect data. This can include customer feedback, website analytics, customer service, and sales data. By analyzing this data, you can gain insights into how customers interact with your business and identify areas where you can improve the customer experience.
5. Analyze the Customer Journey
Once you have mapped the customer journey and collected data, the next step is to analyze the journey. This involves identifying areas where customers may be experiencing pain points or friction and areas where the customer experience is positive. By analyzing the customer journey, you can identify opportunities to improve the customer experience and increase customer satisfaction.
6. Implement Changes
The final step in the customer journey mapping process is to implement changes. This can involve changing your website, customer service processes, or other touchpoints to improve the customer experience. It's essential to continuously monitor the customer journey and make adjustments to ensure customers have the best possible experience with your business.
What are the steps of Customer Journey Mapping?
Before starting with a user journey map, it's essential to review your business/service goals. This will help you align and prioritize business and user needs. The steps of user journey mapping are:
- Choose a scope
- Create a user persona
- Define user scenarios and expectations
- Create a list of touchpoints
- Consider User Intent
- Outline the trip
- Consider the user's emotional state at every stage of the interaction.
- Validate and refine the user journey
All the Customer journey mapping steps are described below:
1. Choose a scope
The extent of a user journey map can vary from a high-level map that represents the end-to-end experience to a more detailed map that focuses on a specific interaction (e.g. paying a bill).
2. Create a user persona
User journey maps always focus on the experience of the leading actor - the user who experiences the journey. User personas should always be crafted based on the information you have about your end customer. That's why I always start with user research. Having concrete information about your end users will prevent you from making wrong assumptions. Collect and analyze all available information, and knowledge about your target customer base:
- Interview your actual or potential users
- Conduct contextual analysis and research
- Analyze user survey results
3. Define user scenarios and expectations
The scenario describes the situation to be solved by the journey map. It can be a fact or a prediction. It is essential to define user expectations regarding interaction. For example, one scenario could be - to order a taxi using the mobile app with the expectation of getting it in 5 minutes or less.
4. Create a list of touchpoints
Touchpoints are the user's actions and interactions with the product/company. It is essential to identify all major touchpoints and all channels associated with each touchpoint. Touchpoints can be a website, CTA or any physical interaction with the product as well
5. Consider User Intent
What drives users to engage with your product? What issues are users looking to solve when they decide to use your product? Various user segments will have different reasons. Take a look at an e-commerce site. There is a massive difference between users who look around and users who want to complete a specific task (buy a particular product). For every user journey, it is essential to understand:
- Motivation. Why are they trying to do this?
- Channels. Where the interaction takes place.
- Actions. Actual user behaviors and actions.
- Pain point. What challenges do users face?
Tip: Make sure users get a consistent experience across all channels.
6. Outline the trip
Gather all the information and outline your journey in an interactive, step-by-step format. Each stage represents the character's experience with the service/product or another person.
7. Consider the user's emotional state at every stage of the interaction.
How do users feel when interacting with your product? The products we design must reflect the thoughts of our users. When we consider the user's emotional state, this knowledge helps us connect with the user on a human level. That's why it's so important to add an emotional path to the user journey map. By visualizing the emotional "highs" and "lows" of the experience, you will identify areas of the experience that need to be refined.
8. Validate and refine the user journey
Customer journey maps should lead to true stories, not fairy tales. Even if the user journey is based on user research, validating it is essential. Use insights from usability testing sessions and app reviews to ensure your journey resembles real-world use cases. Regularly collect and analyze information about your users. For example, user feedback can be used to improve your understanding of the user journey.
What are the best Customer Journey Mapping Tools?
The best Customer Journey Mapping tools are described below
- Figma / FigJam
- Adobe XD
What is the future of Customer Journey Mapping?
Customer Journey Mapping is about understanding how customers experience your business in different ways. Each company has its own unique journey for customers. Here are some things to think about:
- Point of failure: See where customers struggle and how to help them better.
- Gaps: Look for places where customers aren't getting enough help. Fix those problems first.
- Redundancy: Avoid making customers do the same thing over and over. It wastes time and makes things harder. Instead, make things smoother and easier for them. By paying attention to these things, businesses can make their customer journey maps better and improve how they serve their customers.
It's essential to keep in mind that the goal of creating a user journey map is to have a shared vision within teams. Please share it with your team members once a user journey map is created. Ensure that everyone in your team looks at the entire experience from the user's standpoint and uses this information while creating the solution or service for users.