We’ve all heard of a roadmap, but what is a customer journey map? On a very basic level, it is defined as a visual representation of the process a customer goes through to achieve a goal (making a purchase, joining a loyalty program, signing up for a webinar, etc.) with your company. Customer journey mapping is valuable for entrepreneurs and business owners looking to gain a better understanding of their consumers behaviors, allowing for strategic adjustments to be made regarding any hiccups you find within your marketing tactics, customer service, and operational framework.

theBLOQparq (tBp) understands the challenges that come along with business ownership and we are here to alleviate as many of them as possible. As a community designed with the entrepreneurial spirit in mind, we provide an environment filled with opportunities to collaborate, be inspired, gain new skills, and get ahead of the competition. So get ready to map your way to success — starting with a customer journey map.

5 Steps To Creating A Customer Journey Map

Journey maps are created in a multitude of ways including diagrams, infographics, or illustrations. As you read through the steps below, you’ll want to pinpoint which visual tool works best for you and your team.

1. Identify Objectives And Information Breakdown

The first step is clarifying your reasoning for creating your customer journey map in the first place. Do you want to improve the online experience? Explore further website functionality? Develop a user-friendly client app? These goals can be woven into the design and content of the journey map and will help determine which department needs to provide input. Every proper customer journey map should include the following components.

  • The Buying Process: Define the path you would ideally want a customer to take when interacting with your business in order to reach a goal.
  • User Actions: Create a detailed account of the customer’s buying process and what they do during each step. Consider all the ways they could go about achieving the end goal of making a purchase.
  • Emotions: Incorporate emotions into your journey map in order to determine where negative feelings may be experienced, then find ways to eliminate them to keep your brand’s reputation intact.
  • Pain Points: Behind every negative emotion is a pain point. Calling out where your customer experience is falling short can help you determine the cause and make the proper changes.
  • Solutions: This is what it’s all about — coming up with ways to improve the buying experience for your customers. Use the information you’ve gathered to further eliminate any pain points or potential for negative associations with your brand.

2. Do Your Research

Feedback is the foundation for any customer journey map. You can look at several methods by which to pull your research together. This includes the review of social media engagement and your website analytics, which can clue you in on customer behavior. Surveys and user testing are also great ways to gather honest feedback. The important thing is to only reach out to actual customers or prospects as the main purpose of creating a customer journey map is to improve the experience for people who have interacted with your company before or have the intention of doing so. Here are some great initial questions to ask:

  • How did you hear about our business?
  • Was it easy for you to navigate our site? If not, what was the confusing part?
  • What made you decide to purchase our product or services over the competitors?
  • Did you require customer support? If yes, what was the issue and was the experience a positive one?

3. Create A Customer Persona

In order to develop a customer persona, you must review the demographics of your most frequent and loyal customers. Doing this will help paint a clearer picture of who your target market truly is (and it may not be the demographic on which you are currently focusing your marketing efforts). Knowing the smaller details will result in the development of a customer map that offers a view of your brand’s farthest-reaching touchpoints. Once you’ve learned about the various customer personas that interact with your brand, you’ll want to limit your focus to just one or two of them. Keep in mind what makes a customer journey map effective is the way in which it tracks a detailed path of a specific individual’s interaction with your business.

“Customer journeys have the potential to increase customer satisfaction by 20 percent and lift revenue by 15 percent.”
Source: McKinsey, The Three Cs of Customer Satisfaction

4. Outline The Customer Touchpoints

In your customer journey map, you’ll want to call out all the touchpoints your customers use throughout their experience. A touchpoint references any instance where your customer can form an opinion about your business. Touchpoints can involve in-person contact, an advertisement, technical difficulties when on your site, or a customer review. Your brand is much more than your logo and advertising campaigns. A strong, positive reputation that leads to loyal customers is built upon countless touchpoints that must consistently provide positive experiences for your clients. A customer journey map will reveal where any shortcomings may exist so you can make the necessary improvements.

5. Analyze And Adjust Accordingly

Analyzing the results is the most important part of the customer journey map process. Until you actually take the time to experience the customer journey firsthand, everything you’ve managed to map out remains theoretical. Once you walk the walk and follow the steps of the customer journey you’ve strategically managed to map, you can begin to implement change. You can target the weakest areas and plot a plan for improved support along with a more streamlined process, providing a smoother journey for your customer from start to finish.

It’s Not About Perfection — It’s About Improvement

As a business owner, you would be surprised at how small changes can make a huge impact. The idea behind a customer journey map is to avoid inefficiently making changes based on guesswork. Having the ability to identify specific pain points and weaknesses that exist within your business model makes all the time and effort of putting together a customer journey map worthwhile. As is the case with most things in life, your map is never completely finished and should remain a work in progress. Revisiting it on a quarterly basis would be wise in order to ensure any potential new issues are recognized and addressed.

A journey map is an effective and eye-opening tool for gaining business insight into the path your customers’ walk. Of course, part of the customer experience includes where you choose to house your business. With tBp’s innovative build-to-suit retail and workspaces, location will be an easy touchpoint win on the journey to building a successful business.

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