Customer experience holds the key to the success of a business. When your customers have a good experience with your brand, they return to shop again. To ensure that’s exactly what happens, you need to understand your customers’ journey and work on improving it.

Read to learn more about everything you need to know about customer journey maps and enhance your brands’ customer experience.

What Is A Customer Journey Map and Its Stages?

There’s always a particular path customers take to your brand. A visual representation of this path is called a customer journey map.

It can help you follow your clienteles through each phase as they interact with and experience your brand. In addition, you can create and modify this map to enhance your brand’s customer experience.

Drafting a customer journey map involves paying attention to moments of truth and touchpoints. At the same time, you will also have to pay attention to customers’ feelings, like confusion or frustration, and any actions you desire your customers to take.
Customer journey maps are usually aligned on a specific timeline of events. For instance, the first visit of your customers on your website and how they get closer to purchasing, approached through an onboarding email, etc. 

The Stages of a Customer’s Journey

Keep in mind that not all of your customers will behave the same way when making a buying decision. But in general, your customers will go through four primary stages:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision
  • Advocacy

At the first stage, customers get aware of their needs and start looking for a solution. Then, they begin to do some research that might lead them to your brand. However, if there isn’t much information about your brand, they will turn to another company. So, you need to make the most of your chance to impress your customer.

Entering the second phase, your customers will look through and consider their options. They won’t commit to anyone option just yet. Instead, they will compare companies, prices, and quality and determine which option suits them best.

Once they have considered all choices, they will come one step closer to their decision. You can help them in making the decision by offering product demos, customer testimonials, reviews, etc.

Loyalty is the final stage where you will supply them with what you promised. Now, the customer will be satisfied and happy with their purchase. This is your time to offer them customer appreciation and win their loyalty.

The Benefits of Customer Journey Mapping

According to a study, companies that manage their customer experience and map their customers’ journey see a 24.9% increase in their incremental revenue associated with their marketing campaign every year. Moreover, their service costs were reduced by 21.2%, and the sales cycle shrunk by 16.8%.

However, understanding and drafting your customer journey map does more than reduce service costs, increase the revenue related to marketing campaigns, and shrink your sales cycle. It allows you to explore ways to maintain consistency in offering your customers a consistent experience with your brand. This ultimately helps you retain customer loyalty.
When done correctly, customer journey mapping helps to:

  • Optimize channel to increase customer engagement
  • Identify moments of truth in the CX and optimize them
  • Get rid of ineffective touchpoints
  • Make the experience of your brand more customer-focused than company-focused
  • Close interdepartmental gaps by breaking down silos
  • Run marketing campaigns that target specific customer personas related to their identity
  • Try to identify and understand the circumstances producing irregularities in current quantitative data
  • Increase employee accountability by assigning ownership of a variety of customer touchpoints to raise employee accountability
  • Make the future UX/CX investment’s ROI assessable

How To Create a Customer Journey Map

Now that you have developed a basic understanding of customer journey maps, you can learn to visualize them. The key to keeping your customer journey maps simply is by keeping them focused. While you might be able to identify and target multiple personas, it is essential to keep yourself focused on one customer scenario and one persona to research. Then visualize them one at a time.

Then, to figure the personas or scenarios for your brand, you can simply gather a few colleagues and generate ideas.

1. Establish Goals

At the first stage of the customer journey map, you need to set attainable and logical goals. In order to do that, it is essential to lead cross-functional teamwork. Next, take inputs of unique insights and perspectives about each stage of the current customer journey and consider where it needs improvements. While you’re at it, also figure how you can measure those improvements.

2. Carry Out Persona Research

Gather as much data as you can about the persona you will be using in your customer journey map. The amount of reports, records, or other established data relating to your target person depends on your business’s maturity.

You can use the following ways to collect meaningful customer data:

  • Conduct interviews
  • Email a survey to existing users
  • Take input from employees who interact with your customers regularly
  • Maintain customer logs and customer support
  • Go through recorded clips of call center conversations
  • Keep track of social media discussions about your company
  • Grasp and make use of web analytics
  • Collect Net Promoter Score (NPS) data

3. Determine Customer Touchpoints

Customer touchpoints define platforms your customers can use to get to your brand. These touchpoints are a vital part of your customer journey map. You can determine where these lie on customers’ journey by analyzing how and where your customers interact with your brand and experience it. To conduct research and plot your touchpoints, be sure to include information that addresses elements of action, emotion, and potential challenges.

4. Map the Current State

When you draft a customer journey map, ensure that you include the most advanced means of enhancing customer satisfaction. For example, organize your data and touchpoints using visual workplace software.

However, data accuracy is more critical in a customer journey map than making it aesthetically pleasing. So, take as much input as you can from anyone who seems relevant. Ask stakeholders to give their opinion on your company’s customer journey and map it out with their collaboration to keep it as accurate as possible.                    

5. Map Future States

Once you are done mapping your customer journey, you can use it as guidance for today and tomorrow as well. However, the work isn’t done with just one-time mapping because the map still most likely has some flaws for you to detect and fix. Determine the flaws in your CX, poor transitions between stages, major pain points, information overlap, or any other obstacle in the way of providing your customers an exceptional experience.

Wrapping Up

Every company needs to draft a customer journey map in this digital age or risk getting left behind. While there are many ways to help your customers reach you now, understanding their journey is key to fulfilling their needs and pleasing them.

If you don’t utilize this key tool, your competitors will get ahead of you. So, start drafting your company’s customer journey map to achieve customer satisfaction by providing a supreme experience.