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Customer Journey Mapping: The Ultimate Guide
  • Contest Factory
  • September 21, 2022

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How to Create a Customer Journey Map in 2022

While most companies get the strategic value of optimizing the customer experience (CX), far too few go through the process of breaking down what a good customer experience looks like from the vantage point of their actual customers.

This is why the customer journey map exists —a visual representation outlining how your customers experience each stage of their journey interacting with your brand, from engaging on your social platforms to purchasing online, and beyond.

In an era when customers value experience over price or even quality, understanding and influencing your customers’ journey can pave the way to your company’s success.

Let’s review how to develop a comprehensive, effective customer journey map that will bolster the CX and your bottom line.

  1. Set clear objectives for your map

Before you dive in, it’s important to get clear on your “why.” Most organizations use customer journey maps to identify and remedy any gaps or sticking points in the customer experience. You want to get as specific as possible, both to achieve your end goals and to avoid scope creep. Your first go around will be purely documenting the current experience as you methodically navigate your marketing in the shoes of your different personas.

Once you see what you have today, you may start defining new journeys with specific goals in mind —improve conversion rates, expand your audience, or perhaps find ways to break down silos within your organization?  You may find in your current customer journey that you have low social followership – identify where integrating your customer into social makes sense and add that element with an inducement. You will continue to elevate your gaps or deficiencies and identify where these fit into your perfect customer journey.

  1. Identify your buyer personas

If you haven’t already, you’ll want to define your buyer persona/s. Knowing who you are engaging is essential for establishing how best to engage them—this includes demographics, psychographics, socio-economic factors, as well as previous customer interactions. When done well, your buyer personas should capture a lot of essential information that will feed into your customer journey map.

Most likely, your audience is made up of more than one persona, which you want to consider when mapping out the overall customer experience. That said, incorporating too many personas into one journey map could dilute your results or overwhelm your capacity to implement viable change.

You want to consider the various perspectives but narrow your focus to the most common customer personas and how to best optimize their path to purchase experience.  Below you will see an example of a Buyer Persona Template to help you build out your buyer personas. You may download the Buyer Persona Template here.>>

Customer Journey Mapping

3. Talk to your “personas”

Regardless of how developed your buyer personas are, you still need to consult your prospects and current customers to get feedback on what is and isn’t working at each stage of the journey.

You can use everything from questionnaires and surveys to good old fashioned phone calls and one-on-one interviews.

Some good questions to ask include:

·         How did you hear about us or find our website?

·         What needs/problems led you to look for us/our products?

·         Have you purchased our products/services before? If so, what influenced your decision?

·         How was your purchase experience?

·         Did you find it easy to navigate and purchase on our website? Why or why not?

·         Do you have any recommendations or complaints you want to share with us?

4. Factor in customer emotions and stressors

People don’t buy for logical reasons.  They buy for emotional reasons.”  – Zig Ziglar

Most every purchase decision a customer makes is motivated by emotion…as is every decision not to make a purchase. This is why it’s not just important, but essential to uncover what, why, and when emotions are triggering your customers.

If this seems daunting, remember that emotions are usually driven by an acute need or desire in the present, a pain point experienced in the past, or a perceived stressor that might happen in the future.

5. Capture every possible touchpoint

Touchpoint analysis is another crucial process for capturing a 360-degree view of your customers’ entire journey. This is important, because each of your touch points, no matter how fleeting, has an impact on the overall experience…and each has the potential to make or break your customer relationship.

Start by brainstorming at all the ways in which your customers or prospects might find and interact with you throughout their entire journey, both online and off. (Be sure to include a list of those not being used, as well).

Here’s a list of key touch points to get you started:

You can use the template below to document all the touch points you have at each stage of the customer journey.  Click here to download the Customer Journey Mapping template now.>>

customer journey mapping

6.    Optimize your CX across touchpoints

After you have a complete picture of your customer journey, start to finish, it’s time to take action.

You should have a detailed list of all the improvements you need to make at each touchpoint. You’ll also want to take inventory of the resources you have and the ones you’ll need. Whether it’s new technology, data, or human resources, if your investment results in a more personalized, meaningful experience for your customers, it’s worth it.

And don’t worry if you can’t tackle everything at once. Ideally, you’d want to prioritize what will have the biggest impact. But even small changes can strengthen trust and build rapport if you are genuine, transparent, and consistent in your efforts.

And remember, companies that leverage tools like customer journey maps reduce their cost of service by 15-20%.

Forging the Path to Customer Success

Mapping your customer journey isn’t necessarily the easy path, but it’s the best route to longevity, success, and satisfaction, on all sides. No matter how big or small the initial changes may be, you can act with confidence, knowing you delivering the right message at the right time to provide the ultimate customer experience.

Mission accomplished.

 

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