On the surface, it looks pretty easy to sell a product to the customer. It does seem like that the steps only include pitching the right product and the customer will buy it. However, if you look closely, there are a million other ways by which the customer interacts with your brand long before they even reach your product.
The communication between the customer and the brand doesn’t always have to be verbal. It doesn’t always include talking to the customer care helplines. It includes creating the website, the UX and UI of the website, the way it loads on the screen, the way everything is presented, descriptions and so much more. All of this is before the customer has even reached the product they wish to buy.
As the time passes, customers are constantly looking for something new and better. The pace to keep up with the customer’s expectations is too high. And this is where the customer journey map comes into the picture.
What Is Customer Journey Map?
Customers are the biggest priority of any business to flourish in the market. The best of the best business idea won’t be able to survive if the customers don’t buy it. And the way to go is giving the best experience possible to the target audience. This requires a laid down strategy and a customer journey map to help organise the process. And the question now arises that what is customer journey map?
In simple terms, a customer journey map shows the way a customer is likely to reach the product(s) offered. It visually represents a customer’s journey of searching through the website and how it would look to the customer as they are searching the product(s) and service(s) offered by the brand. A customer journey map not only covers the official website of the brand but also the social media, emails, live chat and other channels of communication or reaching the target audience.
Creating a well planned customer journey map helps in organizing the steps from every channel towards the product. For example, if your medium to reach the customer is through social media, your customer journey map will include the next steps. It would have clicking on the link, reaching the website or checking the social media page, number of tabs that would open, the first category they are likely to explore, etc. It will help you understand the shortcomings your customer might have while accessing the products and ensure that they don’t fall through the cracks.
The process of creating a customer journey map helps the brands to understand where the customer might feel a setback or lose interest while reaching the product. This in turn helps in bettering and easing the entire process.
Why Is A Simple Customer Journey Map Important?
Creating a customer journey map is one of the top priorities of any business to survive. It is a strategic approach to understand the customer’s expectations and their pain points. It helps in bettering their experience with the brand.
One of the most important things about a customer journey map is personalization. Your customer will feel better and more connected with the brand if they are given more options to personalise their searches. At the same time, creating a customer journey map without hampering their freedom has its own benefits which help the businesses in the long run. The benefits are as follows:
- Allows you to optimise the customer onboarding process
- Bettering the customer experience
- Understanding the customer’s experiences from researching the product to buying it
- Helps in creating a logical order to buyer journey
The biggest benefit of creating a customer journey map is to better understand the customers. The better you understand their expectations, the better you’ll be able to provide to their needs and journey.
How To Create A Customer Journey Map?
A customer journey map is equally important for small and middle businesses as it is for the larger enterprises. However, it doesn’t have to be anything complex. It can only be a simple customer journey map without too many complications and details to take care of. At the same time, if you are creating a customer journey map for the first time, it can get a bit tricky if you are not focused. There are certain steps you must follow to create a customer journey map efficiently.
Set a Goal
No two customers will be the same, each to their own. But customer journey map cannot be created for every persona available. So it is important for you to create something that covers up the journey of pretty much every kind of customer from your target list.
It means while you are creating a customer journey map for your brand, it is crucial to have a goal. Without having a goal, it will be tough for you to understand if your customer journey map will be able to bring out the right outcome as desired. You will not only need to chalk out a map for your existing customers but also for the future buyers.
While setting a goal, talk to as many people as you can. This will help you understand how each user would perceive your brand and their entire journey before they make a purchase. Gather as much information as possible and then set an attainable goal. Make sure that your customer journey map answers questions about the limitations and how to further improve the journey.
While you are creating a customer journey map, it will be based on how the customer perceives your brand and their experience overall. Depending on how long your brand is in the market, you will be able to get a handful of records and data regarding how they perceive your brand and their experiences with it.
However, the most real customer personas can be studied while talking to people in real time. You can conduct interviews, talk to the employees who are in constant contact with the customers, email surveys, check through customer support and complaint logs, check the recorded customer center conversations, check your social media pages and online discussions.
Customer Touch Points
Customer Touch points will take up a majority of space in your customer journey map. It talks about how and where your customers will interact with your brand. You will be able to understand the customer touch points while you are interacting with the customers. At the same time, you must include information about the action, emotion and potential challenges that your customer might face throughout the journey.
Once you have identified your customer touch points, you can start arranging them in order for your customer journey map.
Format For Customer Journey Map
A customer journey map does not really have a format. But putting the right content over aesthetics of the map is important. Don’t be afraid of getting feedback from other people. Creating a customer journey map can be a collaborative process.
Keep Your Resources In Check
Your customer journey map will be used in pretty much every part of your business. It will showcase the resources you have used to create the customer experience. So keep track of every resource that you use to scour out the information along with the ones you use to improve the customer journey map.
For example, while you are creating a customer journey map and you happen to find a flaw. It could be that there is no proper tool for the customer support to follow up with the customers. So you can use that data to explain the need for the right tool or a system that can make the required changes.
In such a case, you can use the information to invest more in the tools required to improve your customer interaction and manage your team better. This will also help in pitching your ideas to the investors to give them a better understanding.
How To Create Customer Journey Map Template: Customer Journey Map UX
As we mentioned earlier, there is no correct way to make a customer journey map. But you can surely ease the whole process in a much more organized process. There are various software that you can use as a customer journey map tool to ease the entire process and make it better for other people to understand as well.
Hubspot Customer Journey Map Template
Hubspot is a free customer journey map tool that you can use to create templates as per your requirements. It provides the necessary outline for the companies who are starting to make a simple customer journey map.
B2B Customer Journey Map
B2B offers the five steps that they believe a customer goes through while interacting with the brands. It goes beyond the purchasing phase and adds the before and after of the purchasing requirements.
B2B customer journey map tool offers the answers to simple questions regarding the customer’s emotions while interacting with the brand.
Ecommerce Customer Journey Map
This software goes beyond the actions and emotions involved. Ecommerce customer journey map also focuses on the customer experiences on a regular day. It measures the customer’s state of mind on the amount of freedom they get after a stimuli.
A business’s success is not measured solely on the ideas and the products and sometimes even on the number of sales. It is measured on the customer’s experience. A good customer experience helps build customer’s loyalty towards the brand. The easier and unique their experience will be, the better the relationship is likely to build. And creating a customer journey map helps ease the process.