Thursday, September 16
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How to Create and Use Customer Journey Maps to Improve Your Business

Have you ever wondered what the process the customer undergoes when buying from you looks like? You may not realize it, but all of the customers take a multi-step journey each time they make a purchase.

If you want to start a business from scratch or boost the conversion rates of an existing one, the first step is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What are they thinking about? What makes them happy or upset? What factors influence their buying decision? You need to be able to answer all of these questions to succeed. 

Luckily, you don’t have to do all of this on your own. Instead, you can use customer journey maps to view things from your customer perspective and better understand their needs, wants, and expectations. Below is an example of such a map:

Source: UXPressia

Keep on reading this article to find out everything you need to know about customer journey maps and how they can help you solve уexperience and business problems.

What is a Customer Journey Map and Its Benefits

Customer journey mapping is a methodology whose purpose of which is to help you better understand your customers and improve their experience with you.

Visualizing your customer journey on a map step by step will help you see at what stages you deliver a great customer experience and where you fail to do so. You will also find out: 

  • Where customers come into contact with your business. This can be a company website, social networks, call centers, offline stores, etc.
  • How different types of customers interact with your company.
  • The customer journey stages that users go through and their experience at each of them. For example, when a person fills out a feedback form on your website to get advice on a product and the form doesn’t work properly, which leads to a negative experience.
  • The burning problems that customers face. The more problems there are, the less are the chances that someone will purchase your product. Knowing them, you will be able to think of improvements.

When working on a journey map, the main goal is to include all the essential components of the journey in it. Be sure to view things from a customer perspective, not a business one. 

Instead of marking the goals and processes of your company, it is better to point out those of clients throughout the entire journey. This kind of information is necessary for better understanding them and finding out experience problems.

Five Steps to Creating a Top-Notch Customer Journey Map

When it comes to the actual mapping process, there are no strict requirements in terms of graphic representation. You can draw a map in the form of a table, diagram, or create a mind map. You can create a map using a whiteboard and stickers, PowerPoint, online journey software, or any other tool you like.

Now let’s move on to step-by-step instructions for creating a CJM.

1. Set Clear Objectives

Before getting started, ask yourself why you are creating the map. This will get you off to a good start. You should also consider answering the following questions:

  • What purpose will this map serve?
  • What scope will it have?
  • What persona to build the map upon?
  • Who should be involved in the process and when?

2. Create a Customer Profile and Outline the Goals of Your Ideal Customer

At this point, you should do some research. There are many ways to get customer feedback. For example, through surveys and customer interviews.

If you cannot come into contact with the customers, talk to customer-facing team members.

When creating a customer profile, be sure to include all the important information: customer motivations, frustrations, goals, skills, channels, and so on. Naming your persona and adding an image representing this persona to drive empathy. 

3. Break the Journey into Stages

Before you start mapping out the journey, you need to define its stages. So list the actions your customers have to take throughout the journey. Then organize them into logical groups and name these groups. These will be your stages.

You can also break stages into substages if you want. 

4. Decide on Map Sections

The information you are going to include in the map depends on the map objectives you set. Nevertheless, you need to logically group them into sections. E.g., these can be customer actions, emotions, goals, problems, expectations, and so on. You may even decide to add a storyboard illustrating the same journey.

Once you have specific sections in mind, it’s time to create a draft.

5. Produce a Draft and Work on It

Populate your map with the data you have collected and that doesn’t need any double-checking. A proven way not to get stuck is to start with outlining processes.

Then go deeper: look for customer quotes to include, add screenshots that seem relevant, and images to support the story. In a nutshell, make your map more data-driven.

Once your map is full of data, it’s time to define your customer problems, barriers, and pain points and list ideas and opportunities to improve customer experience and address their challenges. 

Conclusion

Creating a detailed customer journey map can help you understand what your customers go through and develop empathy with them. Once done, the map should be put into action. And remember to keep it updated and enriched with the actual data.

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