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Customer Journey Mapping Process and Its Benefits | A Quick Guide

Navdeep Singh Gill | 20 April 2022


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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.

User experience design is a user-product interaction, and improve the product, and users experience by addressing all perspectives of a product by the user's feedback & requirements. Click to explore about, User Experience Design

What are the benefits of Customer Journey Mapping?

In this exercise, you will learn that CMJ helps organizations focus on the most crucial stakeholder 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 empathise 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 should need to address first.
  • Accountability: once you're explored your issues and prioritized them, it's efficient to set which team in your organization is best to take care of those issues.

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.

Build empathy for your users through a conversation informed by your team’s observations. Click to explore about, Empathy Map - IBM

What are the components of Customer Journey Map?

There are three important components in any customer journey map: the 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 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
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All the Customer journey mapping steps are described below:

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).

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, knowledge about your target customer base:

  • Interview your actual or potential users
  • Conduct contextual analysis and research
  • Analyze user survey results

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.

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

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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 behaviours and actions.
  • Pain point. What challenges do users face?

Tip: Make sure users get a consistent experience across all channels.

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.

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.

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.

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What are the best Customer Journey Mapping tools?

The best Customer Journey Mapping tools are described below:

  • Google Analytics
  • Hotjar
  • Heap
  • Miro
  • Gliffy
  • UXPressia
  • Smaply

What's Next?

There are many ways to analyze journeys, and each organization offers different journeys through its properties, so no two journeys will necessarily highlight the same opportunities. However, to get you started, there are a few things to keep in mind…

  • They are finding the point of failure: what was missed? How to better support users? When are their needs least satisfied?
  • Gaps: Find a place that does NOT provide support. Which bad spots are not treated?
  • Redundancy: Have you seen duplicates in your interactions? Are you wasting everyone's time if more than one person does the same job?
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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.