Steve Jobs said, “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.”
Nowadays, a clear vision and strategy for customer interactions is no longer an optional nice-to-have, it’s essential. As you refine customer experience, one of the most powerful ways to understand current and future states is a customer journey map.
A customer journey map is a key to building a solid marketing strategy. By understanding your customers better, you will be able to provide them with the best possible experience.
Now let’s find out how to create effective customer journey roadmaps.
Set clear goals for the map
Without a goal, it will be difficult to determine whether your customer journey map will translate to a tangible impact for your customers and your business. You will likely need to identify existing and future buyers. So you can set goals specifically for those audiences at each stage of their experience.
Highlight your target customer personas
Once you’ve learned about the different customer personas that interact with your business, you’ll need to narrow focus on one or two of them. Remember, a customer journey map tracks the experience of one customer who’s taking a very specific path with your company. Therefore, if you group too many personas into one journey, your map won’t accurately reflect your customers’ experience.
If you’re creating your first map, it’s best to pick your most common customer persona. And then consider the route they would typically take when engaging with your business for the first time.
Define stages and identify goals for each
A customer journey map (or buyer’s journey, as it’s often called) can have many unique stages. The stages you define for your map depend largely upon the goal you are trying to achieve and what you want it to show. However, a typical customer journey has four distinct stages:
- Awareness stage
- Consideration stage
- Purchase (or decision) stage
Map out buyer touchpoints
A “touchpoint” refers to any time a customer comes into contact with your brand before, during, or after they purchase something from you.
You’ll want to take all potential touchpoints that occur between your customers and your organization into account. That way, you won’t miss out on any opportunities to listen to your customers and make improvements that will keep them happy.
Identify customer pain points
At this point, it’s time to bring together all your data (both quantitative and qualitative). Look at the big picture to identify potential roadblocks or pain points in the customer journey.
To do this, ask yourself questions, and interview customers and customer-facing staff. Some potential questions might include:
- Are my customers achieving their goals on my website?
- Where are the main areas of friction and frustration?
- Where are people abandoning purchases (and why)?
Once you know where the roadblocks and pain points are, mark them down on your customer journey map.
Understand your available resources
Creating customer journey maps presents a picture of your entire business and highlights every resource being used to build the customer experience. Use your plan to assess which touchpoints need more support, such as customer service.
Determine whether these resources are enough to give the best customer experience possible. Additionally, you can correctly anticipate how existing or new resources (such as updated customer service tools) will affect your sales and increase ROI.
Take business action
Having a visualization of what the journey looks like ensures that you continuously meet their needs at every point while giving your business a clear direction for the changes customers will respond to best.
Analyzing the data from your customer journey map will give you a better perspective about changes you should make to your site to reach your objective.
Once you implement your map, review and revise it regularly, so you continue to streamline the journey. Use analytics and feedback from users to monitor obstacles.
Customer journeys are ever-changing. Journey maps help businesses stay close to their customers and continuously address their needs and pain points. They provide a visual of different customers which helps to understand the nuances of their audience and stay customer-focused.
With regular updates and the proactive removal of roadblocks, your brand can stand out, provide meaningful engagement, better customer experiences, and see positive business growth.