Customer Journey Mapping: A Practical Approach
If you might have been asked to create a customer journey map or perhaps you a created it a few times, but after it's done, it just ended up in somewhere in your computers and has been used. Whatever the reasons are, creating a customer journey is important as it helps you to understand your customers more, shape your customer engagement and marketing initiatives.
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Why is a Customer Journey Map Important
When done well, the customer journey map should be a master tool among all other tools you have in your toolbox. It can bring great insights into how your customers discover your product, why they are purchasing, what kind of experience they had, and the reasons why behind why they are converting. Not only that, but a good customer journey map should also allow you to device proper action to improve each of the touchpoints and create a better journey for customers.
Mapping a practical customer journey
Like always, there must be an objective behind why you want to create a customer journey. What is the goal or objective you are trying to achieve? Is it to improve annual revenue? Or to improve the customer experience while using your App? Having the right objective in mind will lay down the right foundation to achieving your goals
Create a Persona
The persona you create here should be based on the goals you created at the previous step. If your goal is to increase customer loyalty, find out who your loyal customers are. Start analyzing their data and interview them to gain insights into the reasons behind their loyalty.
If your goal to venture into a new sector, conduct a competitor analysis, and start interviewing your potential customers and discover how they discover your competitors' products and services.
Your interview should have questions like: How did you discover our products? What affected your buying decisions? Did you do any additional research? How satisfied are you with our products and services? How do you feel during each of those journeys?
Depending on the amount of research you are doing, you should be ending up with a few personas. Each of those personas should have their own journey as combining all personas' journey into one might end up having the incomplete picture, causing it to be less actionable and specific. The purpose is to get as specific as possible to make the journey map more actionable.
Listing down all information
After you have chosen the personas, it's time to start listing out all the touchpoints, actions, emotions, and pain points. Each of these information should be validated and researched. You can conduct more research to listing down the points if required.
Touchpoints are how your customers are discovering your product and services. While listing out all the information, it's important to note that, not to get overly obsessed over a single touchpoint as it's the journey that counts. If you are an E-commerce, your touchpoint might be something like these:
- Paid Serch
Actions are all the actions the customer's haven taken, such as viewing your website, talking to your customer support, or browsing the articles you have written.
Emotions of those actions are important as emotions are a big driving force behind a purchase decision. How do they feel when they go through each step in the journey? Were they feeling frustrated when they look at your website? How about when they talked to your customer support? Having a good idea of the emotion felt on each touchpoint will allow coming out of ways to improve the customers' experience.
Pain points are the difficulty they faced when they are trying to reach the end-goal in your journey. For example, when they are trying to add-to-cart, is your navigation too difficult to use, or is your payment process too difficult to understand.
Choose the type of customer journey map
In general, there are many types of customer journeys map, and depending on your objectives, you might need to create only one or multiple of these customer journeys map as different journey maps provide various insights to your customer journey. The three common types are:
1. Current State Customer Journey Map
This customer journey map is created to show the present and use to reveal what your current state of customer journeys are. This is the most common customer journey map, which reveals each touchpoint customers are going through before reaching your goal.
What it's for: To understand the current state of the customer journey.
3. Future State Customer Journey Map
The Future State Customer Journey Map is a more goal-oriented journey map out there. The purpose is to map out what the ideal customer journey should look like. This journey map can be used alongside the Current State Customer Journey Map for comparison and used to drive significant improvement.
What it's for: To understand what an ideal customer journey map should look like
4. Service Blueprint Customer Journey Map
*Blueprint Customer Journey Map created by nn/g Nielsen Normal Group
The Service Blueprint Customer Journey is like an add-on to the other customer journey maps. It reveals what is the behind-the-scene operation of that your business has taken to interact with customers at each touchpoint.
What it's for: To gain an understanding of the behind-the-scene operation when a customer's move through the customer journey.
Identify, highlight and Organize your points
Once you have chosen the journey map that is most suitable for your goal, it's time to fill in the data. Conduct additional research if some parts can't be filled due to a lack of information. Please take note that the purpose of Customer Journey is to gain insight into how your customers are using your products and services in real-life situations. Hence, it is important not to be biased when filling up the information.
Analyze & Take Action
If you have come so far and completed the customer journey map, it's time to give yourself a pat on the back! However, it's not a done deal yet. Now it's the most crucial moment, which is to sit down and analyze the customer journey map created. The most important part of this exercise is to discover at which moments you can reach out to your customers and at which moments you could improve to provide a better experience.
Examples of Customer Journey Maps
1. Hubspot's Customer Journey Map
Created by Hubspot
2. Best Buy's Customer Journey Map
Created by Anthony Conta
3. Standard Bank Customer Journey Map
Created by Marli Ritter
4. Customer Journey Layers
Created by Bright Vessel