When it comes to business, one thing is particularly important: understanding the needs and problems of customers. A suitable tool for this task is the customer journey map. It can be extremely helpful when used correctly. Read on to find out all the essential information about customer journey mapping.
What is a Customer Journey Map and Why is it Important?
You can think of a customer journey map tool as a visualization of the customer journey. In other words, it is used to describe the path your customers take to make a purchase and thereby gain insight into the experiences they have with your brand. As a result, you can better understand what exactly your customers need.
Nowadays, companies realize that it is no longer enough to put the product at the forefront of their activities. A holistic view of the customer journey is important, especially online. This is exactly where CJM comes in, which highlights touchpoints of the customers with their own brand and connects them with the goals of each phase of the customer journey. In short, it ensures that your customers get exactly what they expect at every touchpoint.
This starts with the brand’s Instagram presence and ranges from a clear product description to a quick check-out process and easy returns. Where should the information be presented? Are there still some gaps in the journey? And how can the overall experience be optimized?
6 Essential Steps for Customer Journey Mapping
To create a practical customer journey map, follow the six simple steps below. They will help you get a holistic picture of your customer groups, touchpoints, and goals and to connect them all together. Here’s what these steps look like in a nutshell:
- Deal with customer / buyer personas.
- Collect all customer touchpoints and their formats.
- Apply the See-Think-Do-Care framework.
- Connect touchpoints across the customer journey.
- Bring everything together to draw conclusions about the design of touchpoints.
- Implement the changes.
Let’s take a look at the whole thing in detail:
1. Develop Customer Personas
Customer personas are the basis of your customer journey mapping. They are used to generalize the characteristics and behaviors of your customer group.
Above all, the customer persona requires a qualitative data basis. An ideal scenario for companies is to identify somewhere between three and six customer groups and their personality types.
2. Collect Touch Points
Next, you need to collect all touchpoints that your customer has with the brand. Touchpoints are points of contact between the customer and a company. They can be either a direct or indirect interaction between him/her and your brand. For instance, this could be a Google Ad or the description of a certain product.
It is important that you only write down the formats of touchpoints that you can also influence. Word of mouth could be an indirect touchpoint (e.g. when customers recommend your brand to their friends).
However, you cannot control the content of this narrative. Such a touchpoint is therefore irrelevant for you. The goal is to individually adjust touchpoints through customer journey mapping at the end.
3. Use the See-Think-Do-Care Model
It’s important to always keep in mind the stages of a buying process. And that’s exactly what the See-Think-Do-Care framework can help you with. Every customer goes through certain stages before their conversion, which can be generalized. They range from general information about a topic to conversion.
These phases are essential for the customer journey map because they enable you to assign touchpoints to the actual needs of the customer. For example, if a potential customer is still at the top of the funnel and wants general information about a problem, it would be counterproductive to offer them detailed information about a product.
4. Connect Touch Points
Now the actual mapping begins. Combine touchpoints collected in step 2 into a consistent customer journey path. By now you should already know what the typical path of your customer groups is. You can also use additional data that you collected from the web analysis.
There are two possible approaches to mapping:
- Product-related mapping: Here you go from the product upwards along the customer journey and connect touchpoints.
- Customer persona-related mapping: In this case, you need to trace the typical path of your customer persona. In the end, you will have a sequence of touchpoints that your typical customer group will go through.
5. Combine Touchpoints and Goals
You now compare the collected and ordered touchpoints with the goals of the See-Think-Do-Care framework and use the findings of the customer persona from step 1. This is the most important step of the mapping because here you can see how you should optimize your touchpoints.
6. Implement the Changes
All that’s left to do is put your knowledge into practice. This is how you sustainably improve the customer journey and ensure that your customers have an experience that is tailored to their needs and your goals on the way to conversion. As a result, you can count on higher customer satisfaction and more conversions.