Сustomer Journey Maps

In this brief review, we will explain what a customer journey map is, and how you can use it for your own business needs. 

CRM provides information with insights about your target client. If you are interested in reaching new customers for your business, check out our CRM service page .

In today’s digital marketing landscape, this mechanism might play a crucial role in establishing your business’ digital footprint. To understand the customer’s needs and challenges, you have to develop critical thinking marketing skills. 

The customer journey funnel helps marketers visualize customer’s experience, preferences and simply, increase audience engagement. Mapping is an illustration that helps to understand the decision-making stages that your consumer undergoes and create a better marketing strategy accordingly.

And there’s more. This type of consumer research provides insights on the gaps and weaknesses in your marketing strategy and helps understand reasons for liking or disliking. The main principle behind the customer journey mapping is to provide a clear picture of the product development strategy and form the basis for decisions in future actions. 

Read further to learn about how customer journey maps work and choose the right customer research method. 

How To Create A Customer Journey Map

To visualize and learn from customer experience, you have to create a customer journey map. You will see that a customer purchase journey is inconsistent – it is not just a straight line. Indeed, consumer buying choice is generally irregular and spontaneous, but it also has important implications for brand awareness and engagement.

Сustomer Journey Maps Example
Сustomer Journey Maps Example

For instance, you can research what devices consumers use to access your website; this knowledge might be helpful when creating a responsive website design. Further, think of your company’s technical strengths, and how you can use them to help meet your customers’ goals.

The information gathered will help your UX designer to create a product that provides the best possible user experience. 

Buying Behaviour Analysis 

You also need to be able to determine if your business is in trouble. Think of how you treat your customers – are you delivering the value they are looking for? Do you succeed in solving your customer’s problems? Knowing your business’s weaknesses helps you understand where to put your time and effort; whether the problem is limited to a single source e.g., CRM system, or exists all the time in one particular department. 

So why is it important to understand how people use your product? Customer journey mapping allows you to feel what the consumer feels, and follow in the steps they need to go through before they can reach the “awareness phase” of their purchase journey. 

The following components describe the typical stages a consumer goes through in the marketing funnel: 

  • Awareness. The customer first learns about your products and services. 
  • Decision. Then there’s the consideration stage when they try to make a buying decision. 
  • Action. The final step of the consumer decision process.

Naturally, customers do not talk with these terms to describe their buying experience i.e., no one is out there describing their experience like, “I’m in the awareness phase of buying sneakers.”, no, they’re just saying, “Hey, I’m taking this pair.”

Post-purchase analysis

Those steps are core indicators of your customer’s purchase journey. When you get to know your customer better, you are able to develop a powerful marketing strategy based on what they like about your products and services. At this point, your role as a marketer ends. The rest of the stages of the funnel process such as cases when the customer is not satisfied with the goods, the process of returning them etc., that all happens at the post-purchase evaluation stage. So you really get the chance to present your product only in the beginning of the customer’s purchase journey.

It’s critical to note that these challenges are not simply marketers’ alone – they concern every department of an organization. While marketers might be primarily responsible for market entry stages and revenue growth, there are many other parts of the organization that play an equally important role in fulfilling customers’ dreams. Your Customer Service, Finance, Operations Management departments, – those who are responsible for the operations behind the scenes, who never have to meet customers during their entire employment, like finance and IT-specialists.

Engaging Your Employees 

Customer journey mapping gives business insight into how their clients engage with their brand. These maps also enable marketers to find out firsthand what they need to deliver to satisfy and surpass the customer’s needs. It also might help employees in your company who are responsible for customer’s experience – they can feel the effect of advertising and what it’s like to be promised to as a customer.

Furthermore, it is really a good way to organize things differently, encourage your employees to take conventional approaches and re-strategize them towards sustainable marketing; try to engage them to build mutual relationships that will keep them committed to the company’s goal. People that work within one organization must respect the upper management values,  so maintaining a sense of respect between your coworkers is the best thing you can do. 

So how do you create a culture of collaboration in the first place? How to get every employee to understand the importance of mutual responsibility and accountability?

Journey Mapping Example

Before we examine the rest of the processes, let’s look at a simple method of journey mapping. The easiest way to map the customer journey is by using a whiteboard, some colored sticky notes and highlighters, or you can buy a package of recycled office paper. Try to use the bright stationary to find and highlight the main points of the journey map. Once you find them, mark them down using different sticky notes. Then use highlights to define colour values by customers’ touchpoints. Now choose a suitable wall space and hang your map on the brainstorming sessions to better analyze the customer journey.

Journey Mapping
Journey Mapping

As we mentioned previously, the stages of the buying process your customers go through might be different and involve various circumstances. Situations when you buy incorrect sizes online can happen at least once in anyone’s purchasing cycle. To not let that happen, you have to define metrics for every stage of customer journey. 

The following five stages framework provides a good outline of the customer’s buying process.

  • Interest. The customer searches for the product. Follows a link to a website/ finds site with Google Trends tool.  
  • Information search. The customer learns about your product. 
  • Evaluation.
  • Purchase. The customer buys your product. 
  • Post-purchase evaluation. The customer tries the dress on, but it’s not going to fit here. 

And now we get to the famous crux of disagreement between sellers and buyers. If the last is not satisfied with goods, they will naturally go to the brand’s website to find the return information. Next, they will call customer service and arrange a refund. Finally, the customer will send the product by mail , and then they’re going to drop the box off at the shipper.

You can use this basic example to visualize the journey mapping. The main goal is to understand each step your customers go through and map out everything your customer does during the buying process. Remember that your marketing, branding, and sales strategies depend entirely on buyer’s behavior. 

Users Portrait
Users Portrait

Again, if you decide to create a map using your own hands and office supplies, use some bright colours; it is really effective to use contrasting markers, like red and blue, when you need to differentiate the positive and negative customer’s experience. This can serve as a good illustration of the strengths and weaknesses of your customer service, and what important things you should focus on. 

Further, you can drill in all the controls, and start analyzing your customers’ feelings that target their behaviour. Try drawing tech trends across the company’s strengths and commonly-used features. You can also highlight all of the different communication channels that they’re using. Are they calling a support contact center? Do your customers visit the website? Do they use search engines when looking for your products? Whatever means of connection they use, based on the information analyzed, you can identify which department in your organization is responsible for every stage of the exchange process. 

In order to improve internal processes of your business, and increase productivity, we recommend conducting educational meetings with people from across your organization. For improving organizational communication, engage the employees from all of the organizational silos in creating your customer journey map. Gather all your best people from different departments, maybe some of your key partners at the brainstorming meeting, and map the purchase journey based on the best experience and interest of your customers.

But don’t jump to conclusions, because, very often, our conclusions do not represent the objective knowledge about customer experience, but rather traditional assumptions of customer needs. What you can do is introduce the gathered data to your customers and have them have them validate it. Indeed, using questionnaires can help arrive at a precise estimate of current strengths and weaknesses of your business. Share a clear customer journey map with the entire company to help them improve and maintain the customer’s liking and loyalty. 

Wrapping Up

We hope that this guide on customer journey mapping is going to be useful in improving your organization’s customer service. If you would like to strengthen your customer relationship, call our manager today! We will work with you, and together, will find the best custom solution for your business. 

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Julia
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