What is a customer journey map and how can you create one?
If you seek better and more consistent results for your company, you have asked yourself what is the customer journey map and how to create one, haven’t you? In this article, we will explore not only its definition but also the best way to do it, so you can have a clear view on how to reach out to the most favorable results that this tool can bring to your business.
For some people, this subject seems quite nebulous due to the complexity of the customer journey in the current marketing and how to cope with that. However, with the right information and directions it is possible to identify the pain points of your client and to deploy intelligent strategies to approach it to offer the best solutions. If you want to learn more, keep reading and discover what is the customer journey map and how to create one.
Are you ready to sort out your main questions on what is the customer journey map and how to create one? Check below the topics we will address on this content:
- What is a customer journey map?
- Why you should build one for your company?
- How can you create a customer journey map?
- How to optimize your customer journey?
What is a customer journey map?
A customer journey map is a great resource that you can apply in your business to clarify how your client goes from being aware of your product or brand to the moment he or she buys it.
Considering that nowadays this process is not linear and might involve back and forth moves and cyclical moments crossed by a multi-channel environment in which tools for interactive assessments can help your customers to engage with your brand, it is really important to map it in a detailed fashion.
Therefore, you can use different approaches to cope with it, going from post-it messages in a board defining the key points, to graphics and Excel sheets, for example. It all depends on who will make use of the map. Informations regarding it needs to be clear and easily understandable for those who will use it.
Why should you build one for your company?
Even if you think your company has matured enough on comprehending the journey of the client, it is not advisable to remain in this comfort zone. We say that because, in the current digital field, things can change very fast (and believe us, they do!), so you need to keep an eye on how your customer interacts with your brand and how you can take the best of this interaction.
For this reason, you need to comprehend the customer journey in detail and what is going right or wrong in this process. Even if the sales go right and the relationship with your customers has been great, there are always gaps that need to be improved or filled up. Pay attention to it and do not lose good opportunities for believing that your business has already got everything it needs to go well.
How can you create a customer journey map?
Ok, now that you understand what is the customer journey map and why it is important for your business, it is time to visualize how to create one. Check the directions below.
1. Understand the graphic language
There are several ways to develop graphics, right? You can use lines, bars, charts and so many other alternatives as the post-its we have been pointing out previously in this content. For this reason, you can choose the one that most fits your priorities and the way you see the customer journey. To make it even more evident, we explained a little more of each option below. Read it:
- line graphs: one of the most common, useful and popular graphs, in which you outline the evolution or decrease of a value in a timeline or any other relation between x and y lines;
- bar graphs: you can see more thickly the situation of each assessment in the graph, which is very helpful to highlight certain information;
- combo chart: you can combine both options quoted above (lines and bars) in one chart making it even richer and more detailed;
- pie graph: very popular and useful, also helps you to see things in a more outstanding fashion which is great to highlight important data.
These are not the only options available in terms of graphic language. All you have to do is research a little and find the one that better fits the aims of your company. There are plenty and you can make use of the most favorable for you.
2. Define your behavioral stages
As we have outlined in a prior passage of this article, the behavior of your customer in his or her journey can be quite diffusive. You need not only to identify the different ways they access your product or service but also how you want them to do it in a more efficient and prosperous way. That is why it’s common to recommend marketeers and business people to take the customer journey by themselves. It is a very good test to do this to imagine how your customers would feel about it.
One of the most useful and easiest manners to realize it is coping with the 6 behavioral stages of the customer buying process. Here they are:
- problem recognition: your product or services need to meet the pain points of the customer or at least, make them realize the problem exists;
- information search: if they are aware, they will start to search for information. Here you can use great tools as content marketing to bring them over;
- evaluation of alternatives: after realizing what’s their problem and how to solve it, they will start to look for someone from whom they can buy it. Here you are closer to sell something to them;
- purchase decision: if they discovered the best option, they will be prepared to finally purchase it.
- purchase: the purchase finally happens after going through all this process.
- post-purchase evaluation: your relationship with the customer cannot end in the fifth stage, you need to feed it constantly to maintain them around your brand.
As you can see, this will give you insightful information on how to approach customers. This is the best manner to be efficient with the customer journey.
3. Delineate a customer persona
Do you have enough data about your customers to delineate an ideal persona that sum up their core features? In a customer-centered society as the one we live in now, this is fundamental. Do not dismiss the value of developing customer personas to have a better view of who is your client.
Nonetheless, you can go beyond one single idealized customer and create as many as necessary for the different products and services you offer in the market. Just remind that the more objective you are, the more well-asserted your actions will become.
4. Align the customer goals with each stage
Well, we told you the customer journey would be a very detailed and efficient resource, remember? Another manner of being assertive is aligning the customer goals with each stage of their journey. The behavioral stages can be extremely helpful regarding they allow you to see specifically what is the interest of the customer in a given moment. Use this strategy as best as you can to obtain the most significant outcomes.
5. Plot the touchpoints
Do you have clear in your mind what are the touching points of your customers’ journey to guide them to the purchase and consistent relationships with your business? You need to know what you want from the customer and how to achieve that.
For instance, imagine that your customer is a heavy-user of social media, especially Instagram. It probably means that his contact with brands and companies on the internet happens through this application. In this case, you would have to primarily consider how to start the journey from there and identify the touching points of each phase of the journey to make the customer walk through the whole process properly.
Create a plot based on real data and information but also on your customer personas profiles. This will give you a clear sight of what to do to achieve the results you need.
6. Manage your results
Do not act based on guessings on how your company is going at the moment. Rather, manage your results through an accurate follow-up of what you have been achieving through your marketing performances. This is the only way to make sure you are on the right path and, if not, to adjust it to improve your outcomes. If you dismiss the importance of this self-supervision, you might be fooling yourself in the long-run. Avoid this type of attitude in your business.
How to optimize your customer journey?
One of the best ways to optimize your customer journey is by utilizing interactive experiences. There are various manners to do that so we will highlight the main ones for you to evidence the best of the available possibilities in the current marketing. They are:
- the assessment: with a direct approach to the customer, you can offer valuable information whilst they give you relevant personal data to generate a record of their experience. Jobs websites have been utilizing it and obtaining great results;
- the infographic: the traditional infographic containing a series of important data can be now improved with interactive elements as hyperlinks, videos and diverse forms of media that make it more appealing for the reader and your company;
- the calculator: customers want readiness and ease in the resolution of their problems and nothing better than an ROI Calculator to help them manage their own companies;
- the solution finder: you can go deeper in the user experience and develop an interactive experience of helping them to find solutions as educational businesses helping students to manage their financial life in a better way;
- the interactive e-book: in the same way infographics have changed, e-books can be more appealing and interactive now.
This is just the most useful means to do it, but there is more to discover. Find out the best strategy for your company to enjoy these outstanding approaches.
Now you can see that creating interactive marketing is key when the subject is the customer journey map. The production of relevant content has been one of the most effective strategies to attract new customers and retain them in the long-run. If you comprehend that, it becomes possible to reach significant outcomes for your business and transform the view you had on the customer journey.
Take the chance that you have the best information now to change your approach and achieve the greatest results. You will see that everything is possible when you have the right information as you do after reading this article.
If you enjoyed discovering what is the customer journey map and how to create one, do not miss the chance to understand how to produce content that drives sales.