How to Create a Customer Journey Map

Customer journey map on the small blackboard.

One of the greatest tools you can have is the ability to understand your customer and their decisions. It may seem like a daunting task as there isn’t one type of customer, each is different and have different wants and needs. So, how do you pin down exactly how your customers go from point A to point B?

This is where creating a customer journey map comes in handy.

It’s a visual representation of the experience a customer will have with your company and should provide an understanding of your customers’ needs and wants, and how this influences their buying habits. As 80% of customers consider their experiences with a company just as important as the products themselves, creating a customer journey map can be one of the most helpful things you can do.

What do you include in a customer journey map?

  • The buying process

This is where you begin drafting your map. The buying process is significant milestones in the customer journey and by identifying those milestones, you can understand the process more.

  • User actions

This section delves into the processes further and details what a customer might do in each stage of the process. Things like reading reviews, searching for the brand social pages, and discussing with family and friends, before finally reaching the buying stage.

  • Emotions

Working out the emotions your customers could be feeling at any stage can help you to iron out any kinks with their journey. You don’t want them to have any negative associations with your brand and mapping them out can stop that before their journey begins.

  • Pain points

Adding pain points to your customer journey map can help you to figure out which stage your customer is experiencing negative emotions and the reason why.

  • Solutions

This is the final element of your map and will detail potential ways to improve your customers’ experience with your brand, meaning fewer pain points and more sales.

Creating your map

Start by coming up with a buyer persona. This persona will have all the characteristics and attributes of your average customer and will be the best model to direct the map through. Once you’ve researched your target customer and identified their buying goals, you can go onto listing all the touchpoints they’ll interact with on your website and wherever else your brand may be online.

If you find yourself listing many more touchpoints than you were expecting, this might mean that your buyers reaching the end goal of their journey might be too complicated and long. Though it may feel like a risk to reduce the number of steps and touchpoints they need to go through, remember that they’re after ease and simplicity.

Doing this will highlight the emotions a customer might experience throughout their journey. As they reach different touchpoints, their emotions will change. Knowing when and what they’re feeling will help you to provide the right content at the right time.

The most important part of this is making the changes needed to smooth their journey. Rather than blindly making changes, you’ll have a detailed idea of what needs changing and why, making it easier to take that leap.

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