With customer journey mapping in place, brands can detect gaps in the service or product quality, see the opportunities for improvement, and establish tailored customer experiences.
Why use customer journey mapping?
As consumer behavior evolves rapidly, businesses need to get up to speed to meet customers’ expectations, earn their loyalty, and stay ahead of the market. Here, customer journey mapping can come in handy. This methodology enables companies to explore their business from the buyer’s perspective, identify and fix blind spots and flaws in their customer experience, product, or service, and come up with a strategy for improvement. However, to drive more insights, you should know how to use the technique to your advantage.
In this article, you will find tips and tricks on creating an effective customer journey map.
1. Opt for ready-made templates
If you are new to the technique and not sure where to start, ready-to-use customer journey map templates can be a great asset. Find a template that fits your industry, such as finance, retail, transportation, digital services, etc. Having it in front of you will allow you to better understand an average persona and their journey. Instead of starting from scratch, you can tweak the template to visualize your persona’s journey with your business, determine possible flaws you could never think about, and seize growth opportunities.
2. Start with buyer personas
Customers are unique in their backgrounds, views, tastes, and expectations. Before building a map, you have to pull together all these distinctions in a single buyer persona. You will therefore ensure your service or product is tailored to a specific persona to easily predict customer behavior and align your business strategy accordingly.
3. Make a map simple yet informative
Keep in mind that a customer journey map is to alleviate the understanding of your target audience, not to make it even more complex to grasp. Given all the data at your hand, you can be tempted to include every minor point in your map. However, this may be confusing, as you can get wrapped up in the details and won’t be able to gain valuable insights. On the other hand, if you go too high-level, it will be impossible to take specific actions based on the map.
4. List down the core touchpoints
Try to map every stage where your customer can potentially engage with your business and document all touchpoints. The touchpoints may include a website, an ad campaign, a social media account, a product demo, e-mail, etc. In addition, it is important to know how customers feel when coming into contact with your business, whether they are satisfied, ready to buy from you, or recommend your brand. When visualizing the exact way a persona interacts with your business, it is easier to see some specific points to improve. As a result, you will identify actionable items to tailor your product or service up to consumers’ needs, as well as achieve a better customer or user experience.
5. Look out for Moments of Truth
Moments of Truth (MoT) are touchpoints that occur between your business and a customer, where the latter forms his/her opinion about your brand. This experience can be both positive and negative and make a customer either establish or break further relationships with your company. Why is it so important to include MoTs on the map? For example, you are pitching your product to a customer. However, the presentation won’t load due to some technical bugs. This is a negative touchpoint. In order not to lose customer’s trust, you have to come up with some positive experience instead. This way, when you simulate customer expectations and certain outcomes, it is easier for you to understand the effort and resources needed.
6. Add visualization
A customer journey map is a convenient way to deliver new ideas and insights. Let your design team create pictures for each stage of the map so that it can clearly demonstrate the core point. Moreover, screenshots, storyboards, graphs, videos, and infographics make your journey map more appealing and easy to comprehend.
7. Capture customer emotions
Many organizations tend to focus on the service quality, internal processes, interaction touchpoints as core aspects that form an unparalleled customer experience. However, you should not ignore the fact that consumer emotions are equally vital, as they drive decision-making after all. Highlight the emotional state of your buyer personas during their journey to pinpoint the most painful and rewarding experiences.
8. Derive valuable data to take actions
It does not suffice to simply build a journey map. A well-considered map can shed light on some flaws in your service or product that affect customer experience. With this information at hand, you can draw findings on the gaps to fix, as well as the necessary tools and resources needed.
9. Engage your employees and distribute tasks
Now, when you are aware of specific improvements to be done at a particular stage, you can easily allocate tasks among your teams. This will alleviate the process of implementing changes, making it faster, more transparent, and easier to track. Also, try to involve your employees across different departments. Following such a brainstorming session, you will drive even more insights from different angles.
10. Take your time
Now, when you have a better view of what your perfect journey map should be, you might be eager to immediately start reworking it all at once. However, you should remember that prioritizing your efforts is key. Try to rank improvements from the top-down, add KPIs, and engage dedicated employees to do the job.
Researching, identifying, and addressing consumer needs are the core objectives of every business. As customers’ behaviour and expectations change, so as your business processes, you should adjust your services and offerings accordingly. This way, a customer journey map is not a one-time deliverable, rather a constantly evolving asset. Make improvements and updates, as well as add actionable insights all the way long. With brand-new findings in place, you will create a one-stop hub to work collaboratively on taking customer experience to the next level.
About the Author
Iryna Kandrashova is a head of marketing at UXPressia, a user experience platform that allows you to сreate, export, and share customer journey maps, personas, and impact maps online. Iryna is keen on traveling (there are still some opportunities even now!), prefers an active lifestyle and amateurish sport. You can get in touch with her on LinkedIn.