Customers are increasingly savvy and look beyond products or pricing when they make purchasing decisions. They want to buy from businesses that offer a high level of customer service and deliver a seamless buying process.
In fact, 86 percent of buyers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.
In order to design an outstanding user experience (UX) for your brand, put yourself in your customers’ shoes and understand how they interact with your company. Which you can most effectively do by creating a customer journey map.
What Is Customer Journey Mapping?
Customer journey mapping is the process of creating a visual representation of every interaction or experience your customers have with your brand, from the first encounter to the subsequent engagements.
Today’s customers come into contact with businesses via a variety of touchpoints. A customer journey map illustrates how prospects experience your brand, allowing you to account for every interaction in your UX design to deliver the best customer experience.
Why Is Customer Journey Mapping Important to Your Business?
Customer journey mapping allows you to see your brand from the customers’ perspective so you can design a UX that builds trust and increases conversion.
It helps you understand the needs of each audience segment at different stages of the customer lifecycle or sales funnel. You can then fine-tune your marketing message and sales process to deliver the desired brand experience.
The insights can help increase customer satisfaction, reduce churn, improve the sales process, and cultivate customer advocacy.
A customer journey map also informs development priorities and helps focus your marketing budget on touchpoints that can optimize user results and increase revenues for your business.
How to Create an Effective Customer Journey Map
The creation of an effective customer journey map involves the gathering and interpretation of customer data that allows you to gain insights into how users interact with your brand.
Here are the key steps to creating an effective customer journey map:
- Establish goals and objectives: Identify who the map is about and what experience it’s depicting. Depending on your goal, you can use current state mapping, future state mapping, or day-in-life mapping.
- Define the buyer persona(s): Get feedback from your internal team and customers to inform the creation of buyer personas, which will become the foundation for understanding how customers interact with your brand.
- List out all customer touchpoints: The channels through which prospects and customers interact with your brand (e.g., website, social media, phone, email) can influence how you deliver your marketing messages and structure the interactions.
- Define customer actions: List out the actions you need users to take at each touchpoint and analyze what could be impacting your conversion rate (e.g., too many choices, asking for too much commitment too soon).
- Understand the obstacles and challenges: Find out what’s preventing your customers from taking the desired action at each step of the customer journey so you can mitigate them in the future.
- Identify the critical elements to focus on: Based on your business objectives, decide what needs to be depicted in your map that will help focus your team’s efforts and maximize your results.
- Follow the customer journey and make adjustments: Put yourself in the customers’ mindset and go through the entire journey to identify areas that require adjustments.
Customer Journey Mapping Improves Design Thinking
A customer journey map helps you gain practical insights into how prospects and customers experience your brand. By understanding the starting points and the desired endpoint of the relationship, you can design a marketing strategy to progress prospects down the sales funnel cost-effectively.
This invaluable tool also helps you gain important insights that inform the design thinking process so you can convert more leads and improve customer engagement.
- The mapping process allows you to see the brand experience from the customers’ perspective and develop empathy for your audience. By understanding their emotions and motivations, you can structure touchpoints and create messages that appeal to your ideal customers.
- The customer journey map helps you define the problems your ideal customers face so you can establish and position your products’ features in a way that’s relevant to them.
- Customer journey mapping helps inform the ideation process (e.g., for product development or marketing content), allowing your teams to develop human-centered problem statements and come up with innovative ideas that are customer-centric.
- The customer journey mapping process also takes into account prototyping, testing, and post-sale customer interactions to ensure that you’re improving your products based on market demand while cultivating customer loyalty to increase retention and customer lifetime value.
Customer journey mapping is an essential tool for today’s businesses. Not only can it help you develop a product that’s relevant to your market, but it also informs the design of marketing strategies that will appeal to your ideal customers.