A business is a versatile thing. It has many aspects. If we customize different parts like organs, customers will be the hearts of a company. Hence, understanding clients and accordingly creating strategies is essential. With this goal in mind, the idea of a customer journey map started. Such a map covers a lot of aspects of a business regarding customers, ensuring its success. You will get to know more about your benefits shortly.
In the next paragraphs, we will talk about client journey maps. We will include how you can create such a map. The title includes ‘the ultimate guide.’
Therefore, we will discuss the topic accordingly. We will also share some customer journey map templates with you.
Hopefully, at the end of the article, you will have a better idea about client journey maps.
However, our primary target will be how to create a customer journey map. But first, let us share what customer journey and what customer mapping is.
What is the customer journey map?
New business owners ask a question very often. What is customer mapping? Well, a map is a visual representation of an area.
It can represent something else, too, like the customer journey. So at first, let us know what the customer journey is.
A customer gets involved with a company and ultimately buys its services or products. From the very first introduction to the handover of the products, the total pathway is the customer journey.
The customer journey may seem very easy to understand at first. However, merely understanding it is not enough. Understanding your customer journey is essential.
We will talk about its usefulness later. That is why you should have a visual overview. From this perspective, such a map is born.
It presents how customers interact with your company and experience different services and products from the same.
How does it help?
Customer journey mapping helps a business in various ways. However, in this article, our target is not the benefits.
Hence, we will share only a few advantages with you. At the end of 2020, we understand that great customer experience can overcome any obstacle for a business.
Eventually, the company gets its expected success. But how to achieve that customer experience? We don’t find many articles answering that.
Well, customer mapping answers the ‘how.’ It works for a better customer experience by the following terms.
Visualizing the motivations, pain points, and drivers of the customers
Customers get motivated at some point and proceed to buy your products. If your employees know those points, won’t that be great?
Well, you can provide your employees with graphs, charts, and other trending items. They can get an idea from those.
Or, you can put them in front of a map that highlights the motivation points of your customers, including their thoughts and wishes. Undoubtedly, that will help your employees a lot more than the previous one.
That is what customer journey mapping does. It makes the total journey of your customers understandable at your fingertips.
As a result, you can easily understand the emotions of your customers at specific points of their journey. Eventually, you can offer them according to what they need and want.
It will improve your customer experience and bring success to your company. And with that, we got an answer to the ‘how’ question.
Making alignments between different teams of your business easier
In a business, there are many teams. Some of them work in sales, some in marketing, some in user experience, and so on.
The best client journey maps do not only help the team regarding user experience. It also covers the other groups.
As a whole, it combines the efforts of all teams and presents them with a perfect visualization of what customers want.
It also provides them with the material to think from the perspective of a customer. As a result, maintaining business gets a lot easier for you.
Clarification of areas
When a company grows big, all its components grow as well. Its sales department, marketing department, different support groups, etc., become haphazard.
As a result, a customer can get confused about where and how to proceed. We find many businesses fail just for the same reason.
However, if there were a clear guideline, it would be easy for both the customers and the owners of the company. Also, with the centralization of the map, the ownership would be crystal clear then.
Converting visitors into customers
It is the key to the success of any company. The more your customers are, the more successful you are.
And how to increase the number of customers? Well, a fraction of your visitors become your customer.
So if you can convert enough visitors into customers, you can hope for success.
And guess what? A client journey map will benefit you in this way, too.
With a map, you know what your customers expect from you and how they proceed. With this knowledge, you can persuade your visitors the same way.
When they get what they wanted, they will surely buy from you. Also, your customer experience will get better with a map.
As a result, your customers will self-advocate for your company. And eventually, you will get more customers, and your business will be successful.
Targeting new customers
Customers define the success of a company. If your service is good, customers are satisfied, then you are successful.
And if your customers are not satisfied with you, you are not. A customer journey does not only work for your present customers.
A customer-friendly map helps you find faults in your current marketing strategy. Based on that, you can change your strategy and plan a new one.
And guess what? You can attract customers with your newly planned journey map. And when you start to provide customer service accordingly, the services will get better. And with time, you will succeed.
How to create a customer journey map?
Now we have come to the central part of this article. In the next paragraphs, we will discuss step by step how to do customer journey mapping.
Determine your objective
An objective is essential for a comprehensive plan to work correctly. If you have no purpose or the purpose is not clear to you, your whole plan may go in vain.
So before you create your map, ask yourself why you are making it. Some may find this question illogical. But believe me, many maps don’t work just because they were not made according to any plan.
You should know to what goals you are targeting your map and what purpose this will serve. Based on your target, your design of the map and its procedure will change.
You may even want to create a customer persona. What is a customer persona? It is a fictitious character with all the characteristics of a customer.
The characteristics include all the psychographics and demographics of them. If you have a crystal-clear persona, it will help you create the map for your ideal customers.
Profile the personas and define goals
In the last step, we mentioned persona. We also included what they are and what their purpose is. Now, it is time for some research. It is time you profiled your personas.
Also, you should define the goals of these personas. Only then can you create a good customer journey map. The best way to profile your customers is through some questions.
Ask them some questions and find out their goals. We already mentioned the importance of an accurate persona.
Therefore, you must be willing to get the feedback of those who are really interested in your services or products. They may already have interacted with your company or are planning to do so.
Some good examples of such questions are as follows. Keep in mind that these questions are just some templates. Depending on who you are asking, these questions will vary a little or much.
- How did you come to know about our company or us?
- What attracted you to our company or website at first?
- How long do you usually spend on this website?
- Which of your problems is this company solving? Or, how are you getting benefitted from our company?
- Have you ever purchased anything from us? If so, how did you decide, or what was the deciding factor?
- How easily can you navigate our site? If marked from 1 to 10, what would it be?
- Have you ever contacted our customer support? Or, how helpful is our contact support on a scale of 1 to 10?
- Have you ever left our website without making the purchase you wanted to? If so, why didn’t you make the purchase?
- Can we help you any further? If so, how can that be?
Highlighting different target personas
After the questions in the previous step, you will have knowledge about different customer personas. You will determine their difference based on their answers to the questions.
Now, some of these answers will suit your business, and some others won’t. For example, some will buy no product from your company although they wanted to.
Indeed, you do not want your customers to leave your company like that. Therefore, they are not your target customers.
Yeah, indeed, you will try to hold them back. But your strategy will determine that, not your customer map. So your task now will be to highlight your target customer personas.
There is another reason to highlight some. Let’s assume that you are creating a map for the first time. Hence, you cannot do something elaborated.
For the same reason, you will have to keep your focus on a few different personas. After judging their differences, determine which of them suits your company the best.
Now keep your focus on one or two as such. If you are capable of targeting more, you can.
But if you take so many personas into your consideration, your map won’t reflect customer experience anymore. And even if it does, that won’t be very accurate.
If it is the first time you are creating a customer journey map, you should pick the most common persona. It will help you to engage with your customers more conveniently.
To compare them, you can do it from the perspective of marketing. It will be easy for you to determine the best fit.
There is nothing to worry about the many personas you are leaving behind. That is because once you are successful with your current one, you can come back and try a new map with another persona.
List the touchpoints
At first, we need to know what a touchpoint is. Well, mark the work ‘touch.’ It indicates your interaction with your customers.
So basically, touchpoints are the steps of your map in which your customer can interact with you. Among these touchpoints include both- those you know your customers will surely be in touch with you and those you are not sure about.
Because in the near future, that might be a significant touchpoint, and you don’t want to leave any possibility behind.
Touchpoints are essential for customer journey mapping. That is because it gives you informative insight into what your customers are doing.
If your customers are using more touchpoints than expected, that means your site is complicated. It takes them more time to understand your products thoroughly. In that case, you can improve your customer experience.
In the same way, if your customers are using fewer touchpoints than expected, maybe something is turning them away.
And as they are turning away, they are not reaching the next touchpoints. In this case, also, you will have to improve your customer experience.
Just keep in mind that you want to make things easier for your customers. If things get complicated, customers will turn their back on you.
Indeed, that is not something you want. Another thing to keep in mind is that touchpoints are not confined to websites.
There are so many other means to reach your customers, like social media. Social media channels are even more effective touchpoints now.
Some different touchpoints might be advertisements, including paid ones, mentions, email marketing, etc.
Identifying the elements to show on your map
As you are customer journey mapping, you will have to identify the elements you want to show on your map. For example, there are different types of customer journey mapping.
All of them have their own benefits. Based on your purpose and marketing, you can choose the perfect one for your company.
It is the most wide-spread type. It visualizes almost everything your customer experience includes- the actions, emotions, and thoughts of your customers.
This type of customer journey mapping is the perfect type for the continuous improvement of your customer journey.
If you have already developed a customer journey and acting according to it, you can consider creating a new one of the present state. It will help you evaluate your improvements.
As the name suggests, this type of customer journey mapping denotes what you think will be, not what has been. You create such customer journey maps from your current experience.
And it includes your customers’ future interactions with your company. We can say that it is a visualization of your vision and objective. It is just an outline of your expectations of customer service.
The previous two evolved around your current interactions and your expected future interactions. But this customer journey mapping does not include your interactions with customers at all.
So what does it do? Well, it maps out the regular lives of your customers, rather than determining their interactions with only you.
In this method, you get to know how your customers are doing in their regular lives.
Most importantly, you identify their problems. And based on the acquired knowledge, you can set your marketing strategy.
When that customer comes in touch with you, they will be relaxed as you offer them what they want without prior information.
Reset your aim
The first step in your pursuit of creating a customer journey map was to determine your objective. You have taken the next steps based on that primary objective.
But as you proceed through these steps, you will have to make some minor changes in your objective. For example, you have targeted a specific marketing plan for your customer journey planning.
Now, after forwarding a few steps, you found that your marketing needs to change to make the customer journey mapping better. What should you do then?
Well, just change your objective according to that new marketing plan. You need to keep something in mind in order to do that.
Don’t change your aim drastically. If it changes too much, your whole customer journey mapping will go in vain. Instead, make changes only where necessary.
As a result, your ultimate objective will be close to the primary aim of customer journey mapping. Also, your plans will be accurate and problem-solving.
Determine your resources
To succeed in any task, you must be aware of what you have and what you need.
The same applies to customer journey mapping.
At first, you will have to determine the requirements to achieve your goal. Then, you will need to determine the necessary resources to reach there.
After you have identified the required amount, check what you already have.
In most cases, we have all the required resources. The only lack is technology or capability.
Hence, you should emphasize the capability of your company. If need, don’t hesitate to hire experts for the necessary fields.
For example, if you lack expertise in the marketing field, hire someone with marketing expertise. This way, you can ensure the proper use of your resources.
Most of the time, companies don’t want to spend on hiring people. As a result, even after having the required amount of resources, most businesses fail.
Now, the resource does not confine to money, employees, and expertise. It includes your customer service offer as well.
If you find that your customer experience is not up to the mark, surely you will need to offer better customer service. Think of your customers as your resources.
Utilize them; make them self-advocate for you. How to do that? Well, offering better customer service might do the work.
As a whole, be aware of what you have and what you need. When you determine that, the rest gets a lot easier.
Make the customer journey yourself
Your work has not finished with customer journey mapping. You still don’t know if it works the way you expect it to do.
Indeed, you don’t want your customer journey to remain hypothetical. And to ensure that it is not theoretical, there is no alternative to a practical lesson. And who is there to take the steps if not you?
A good leader does what he shows.
Why don’t you do it practically? Yes, we are suggesting that you make the customer journey yourself. Start from the very beginning.
Follow every step your customers would make, or at least you think they would. Move wherever your customers would move. And then stop where your customers would stop.
When you take the customer journey yourself, you gain better knowledge about your customers. That is because you have walked in their shoes.
Now, you can provide the necessary customer experience yourself because you yourself have acted as a customer. More importantly, you now know whether the customer journey mapping works or not.
Make changes where necessary
Now comes the final and most necessary step for your customers. You have already made necessary changes in your customer journey previously.
Now, as you have taken the customer journey yourself, you now know better about your customers than you ever knew. You now know if there is any lacking in your customer journey.
If there is, you know where to make the changes. And most importantly, you know how the change will affect your customers.
So it is time you made the necessary changes in your customer journey mapping. The change in your customer journey may be making the product descriptions shorter.
Or, it might be increasing touchpoints. It can be anything. No matter what it is, you need to make sure that your customers don’t face the problems on their customer journey that you encountered on yours.
When you can make sure that the customer journey is alright, you are ready to launch the customer journey mapping.
Review the customer journey map constantly
It is not actually a step. It is just a continuous process that you need to keep doing to provide better customer services. After all, better customer service and customer experience are all that matter.
After you have launched your customer journey, you need to make sure that it is up to date. What does that mean?
Well, a customer journey changes from time to time. For example, there was nothing like social media marketing once.
But now, such marketing sectors are ruling over a customer journey. Therefore, review your customer journey regularly.
When you regularly review your customer journey, you will know where any change is necessary. Also, it will help you adjust your customer service accordingly.
Make sure that customer experience is up to the mark. If customer experience falls behind in the line, your whole effort will be in vain.
The entire customer journey will end in smoke. Hence, improve customer experience regularly.
No matter what the recommendations are, keep improving your customer experience. That is because improved customer experience will help you outcompete others.
Customer journey mapping is essential for any business to achieve success regardless of the type. Especially if the company is online-based, it is far more critical.
Always prioritize customer experience over others. Keep in mind, the better your customer service is, the better will be your customer experience.
That is because customer experience talks on behalf of you. Good customer experience will be your advertisement. You won’t need to advertise for yourself anymore.
Again, remember that customers are the hearts of a company. If your customers run away from you, from the customer journey, you are nothing.
On the other hand, if your customers embrace you, if your customers think you are one of them, you are successful. Hence, always think about the customer journey, keep it under continuous review.
And if necessary, change your marketing policy. No matter what, make sure that your customer experience is good and the customer journey is working well.
You will find many customer journey templates online. You can get help from those.
Besides, we have tried to include all the necessary information in the article. Hopefully, you will find the perfect solution for your company.