7 Steps to Map the Customer Journey
There are several points you need to consider before coming up with a simple customer journey map.
An ideal customer journey map
They are categorized into 7 easy steps, as explained below.
1. Research and Analytics
First and foremost, when mapping the customer journey, simple tools for web
analytics can perform user analytics to track user actions. A customer journey analytics solution such as a product analytics
tool identifies roadblocks using user analytics. These roadblocks will eventually lead companies to take the right action at the right time while discovering any scope for improvement.
User analytics tools can gather user information to help your product development teams and marketing teams focus on creating better user experiences. They will tell you some simple yet very useful information about your customers and users, like which channels your users are coming from, whether they click on an advertisement from a particular channel, or if they responded to your promotional email.
However, analyzing users too broadly can be misleading, and analyzing them individually is daunting. This is why most product analytics tools also provide cohort analytics
as a solid solution to group users. Based on users who display common characteristics, groups of cohorts will fall into a specific category for specific marketing strategies.
For example, if users whose session count is more than 3 are most likely to make a purchase from your product page, you can group such users into a cohort and market to them for your best-selling products. Now you can start mapping this user group’s customer journey through a customer journey map.
2. Create Customer Personas
Any given organization will have several different customer personas who seek to get the most out of their products and services. But this information on personas is gathered through different means, such as questionnaires, customer support team inputs, user analytics, social media, and more.
Companies can run analytics across various channels to improve their knowledge base on customers. The importance of finding user personas is to define the target market and to build better product capabilities that suit those personas. Customer/buyer personas help you empathize with the customer’s side of the story and tackle problems they encounter in their customer journey more effectively.
While mapping a customer journey, keep your customer/user personas ready so that you know, more accurately, what the customers might feel, think, or do when they are searching for a solution to their problems.
For example, if you are a travel agency, your user analytics will tell you which personas of customers drive the most business to you. They are the frequent fliers who use your services on a regular basis. Targeting this persona and building an identity around them will help you bring out the proper business messaging and service representation.
Incorporate the buyer persona behaviors and preferences into your customer journey map for better targeting, and you can subsequently improve your business design.
3. Target Touchpoints and Devices
Reiterating on the point we touched upon earlier, customer success depends on how well product vendors understand their customers. Spoilt for choice, customers find it easy to move from one product vendor to the next without a second thought, putting more pressure on companies to understand their target markets better.
Forbes reports that 84%
of companies that work to improve their customer experience report an increase in their revenue.
A smooth customer experience depends on how well users are engaged with your product. Device analytics, product heatmaps
, churn and crash analytics
, and behavior analytics are valuable sources that will tell you where users drop off from the sales funnel.
With this information on touchpoints and devices listed out on a customer journey map, you can plan to increase the points of engagement, whether through a website, social media platforms, advertisement channels, or email campaigns. For instance, putting up a chat option on your product page and application interface lets users address challenges more easily.
A successful interaction also improves the customer’s trust in a brand, eventually making them an advocate and promoter for your business.
Now it is finally time to conduct a workshop to map the customer journey. In this workshop, the teams involved in product management
are encouraged to think from the customer’s point of view instead of a product view. This will involve putting together all the information from the previous steps by laying them out sequentially.
Additionally, teams need to focus on the customers’ emotions through this journey as they progress through each step. Could they be feeling worried, excited, impatient, satisfied, or frustrated at any point? What if there is room for improvement in any stage of their interaction?
Pointing out customer feelings and emotions along the map will be a motivator for your organization to address them in the future. This leads us to the next step - identifying and addressing customer pain points.
5. Identify and Address Customer Pain Points
Your first customer journey map will not come out looking clean. Your customers are not happy at many stages of the journey, and you will know that these stages are not leading to conversions. The above steps help you clearly identify where customers are facing an issue.
Now it is time to delve into these issues with clarity so that you can take the necessary steps to address them. Ultimately, identifying the pain points in a customer journey is what will lead to progress.
6. Monitor and Feedback
Customer journeys do not end with a purchase. Existing customers are valuable assets to a company, and their opinions matter in order to increase retention. Customer loyalty and retention
analytics are important drivers to increase revenue by curtailing costs.
After you have gone through the identification and rectification stages, the results of the changes you made need careful monitoring. Customer feedback collection is an essential step that will tell you how satisfied a customer is with the brand interaction.
Apart from reviews and feedback requests, an NPS® survey
will tell you how likely a customer is to recommend your product to another person. If your solutions did not solve the issue, you would need to go back to the drawing board.
7. Come Back to the Table
Customer journey mapping is not a singular exercise that can be pushed aside after a first stint. They are subject to revisions and multiple iterations that make them permanent assets to businesses. There may still be some issues that you were not able to solve after creating the first customer journey map. You need to then regroup and actively try to address these issues from the start.