Customer Journey Mapping Guide

The Best Practices on Customer Experience Journey Mapping

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Are you delivering differentiated buying experiences to your customers? What is your strategy to understand the most influential channels and touchpoints in your customer’s journey?

Remember that you can make an impact on these touchpoints only after understanding them i.e understanding the customer’s journey.

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Introduction

With 9 out of 10 businesses competing mainly on customer experience, it’s not easy to stand out.

It’s the organizations that take customer experience seriously that ultimately win loyal customers over.

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To deliver a positive experience that stands out from the noise, you have to know your customers better than ever before.For this, you will need to create detailed customer profiles that would include your customers’ behavior across multiple channels. One way to do this is with the help of customer journey mapping tools. Read this detailed post about modern customer experience mapping tools.

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What is customer experience journey mapping?

Your customers’ journey doesn’t end with onboarding. At least not in the modern customer experience journey map.A customer experience journey map is a map that consists of the stages customers undergo during their interactions with your company which is called the customer lifecycle. It’s a powerful technique for understanding your customer’s motivations, needs, hesitations, and concerns.

Although most organizations gather data about their customers, data alone fails to measure their experiences with your company at every touchpoint. Data alone will not communicate the frustrations and concerns that your customer experienced throughout his buying journey. It is here where the customer journey map – an excellent storytelling tool – comes into the picture.It’s a customer success strategy that helps you manage your customers throughout their entire lifecycle with your product or service.

A customer journey map enables you to optimize each stage in this process and map out the ideal path to improve customers’ experience. The result is repeat business, more revenue, and lowered customer churn.

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Why your business needs a customer experience journey map

According to a report titled “Share of marketeers mapping the customer journey in the Netherlands” published by Statista some couple of years back, over 45% of marketers plan to map their customers’ journey in the Netherlands. No doubt that The Netherlands, one of Europe’s superpowers, is a hub of successful digital marketers.

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A customer experience journey map can help gain insights into what your customers go through during their entire buying journey. These insights help enhance customer experience at all touchpoints and across all channels and boost repeat business.

Mapping your customer journey can help you understand how the different stages of the customer lifecycle are working out for your customers. After understanding your detailed customer journeys with your business, you can improve the customer experience tremendously.

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A step-by-step guide to creating a customer experience journey map

How do you create a customer journey map?

You can create this map by identifying and mapping milestones that mark your customer’s progress in their relationship with you. Identification and mapping of these milestones will help you make your customer engagement strategy more successful than ever. Although customer experience journey maps can have varying forms, their end goal always remains the same – identify and resolve customer’s pain points.

Here are the steps to establish a customer experience journey map:

Step 1: Define your customers' persona

Customers’ persona is an important strategic tool that helps provide an in-depth understanding of your customers, their needs, and their behavior throughout the buying journey. Much of the information for creating a customer experience journey map comes from your customer’s personas (like their goals, motivations, and pain points). Thus, it’s best to create the customer’s personas first.

To do so, first decide whose journey you want to map. Is it a specific customer type? Is it a particular segment of your customers? Or some other target group? Create distinct personas around your target customer group. You can later use these to create customer journey maps, describing the group’s experiences during their customer lifecycle.

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Step 2: Define your customer phases.

Based on your defined personas, you have to identify the stages or phases of the customer’s journey. This step must include how, when, and where your customers discover your company, research your product offerings, buy from you, and constantly choose you over your competitors.

Customer experience journey maps are typically organized by these customer stages, representing a significant customer goal in the customer’s overall buying journey. The stages, however, must define your customer’s goals rather than your internal process steps.

Step 3: Describe the touchpoints your customer uses to interact with your organization.

 

There’s a long list of touchpoints through which your customers find your business and come in contact with you. It might be through ads, ratings, reviews, your website, or a retail store, among others.

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These touchpoints are your brand’s point of customer contact throughout their buying journey. Identifying them is an essential step towards creating a customer experience journey map that will satisfy customers every step of the way.

Step 4: Conduct research

You don’t always need to offer incentives to encourage customers to give feedback on their journey experience. While you may need to do that sometimes, most people will be willing to help if they believe you are genuinely interested in enhancing their experience.

Step 5. Determine points of friction

By now, you have your persona’s goals at all their touchpoints. Now’s the time to look at the bigger picture, which is their entire experience with your company and your product and service offerings. At this step, you need to walk through each of the journey stages with your team to identify the critical points of friction within the customer experience, for instance, lack of inventory visibility, minimal product content, dysfunctional search, etc.

These friction points impede the customer from buying your product. You can drive better experiences by identifying and removing these friction points.

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Step 6. Resolve

Customer experience journey maps aren’t meant to be purely illustrative. Their primary purpose is to understand customer needs and identify opportunities and friction points to fix issues and improve the customer journey.Your customer journey map must be revisited regularly and updated as required.

Lastly, don’t forget to share this live document with all the relevant stakeholders.

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Conclusion

Don’t let the possibility of a poor customer journey keep you up at night. With the powerful customer experience journey map, you can visualize how customers experience your business, product, or service and how they feel along the way, from start to end.

Voxco’s customer journey mapping tools can help your business maximize the value of your customer experience journey map by enabling you to monitor customer buying journeys and signals.

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Hindol Basu 
GM, Voxco Intelligence

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