A customer journey map displays a bird-eye view of how your buyer interacts with your brand. It is an essential part of a marketing strategy that practically keeps one from drifting off track.
Companies often employ customer journey maps as a guiding star when they craft their marketing and sales campaigns. If you’re planning to launch your product, you’ll need a proper Customer Journey Map (CJM) to lay the groundwork for your strategy.
Here, you’ll learn everything about the customer journey map to get you started.
What is a Customer Journey Map?
A customer journey map literally depicts your lead’s journey—and your involvement– from the time they notice your product to the point they convert into a paying customer.
You’d think a buying procedure would be a simple matter of I saw, I visited, and I bought, but trust me, behind the linear equation lies an in-depth thought process.
A buyer goes through three major stages before they decide to make the purchase.
- Awareness — They discovered a problem that may require a solution.
- Consideration—They will explore various options available in the market.
- Decision—They will pick a product and purchase it.
If you consider it from a customer’s perspective, you’ll likely recall a similar experience you must have gone through while buying an item.
Take something as simple as an oxford shirt shopping journey.
A shirt Ad caught your eye, and you realized you need a white oxford shirt for the executive meeting next month. Later, you will notice that particular Ad on your timeline, showcasing a man from different angles, confidently conducting meetings. Over the days, the advertisement will pop up everywhere as if enticing you to buy it. Still, as budget constraints make you feel reluctant, you will probably add it to the wish list for fun.
Suddenly, the previously mild AD becomes an aggressive sales deal and rushes with a sense of urgency, implying buy now! Or you’ll regret it for the rest of your life! And after much pondering, you will inevitably find yourself clicking on the buying cart button.
This, precisely, is a customer journey and coupled with your marketing strategy, it turns into a customer journey map.
How Does a Customer Journey Map Help?
The customer journey map will help you decipher strategies that generate higher ROI and filter out those which might prove a lost cause.
Suppose you are an HR consultant and you have gained ten clients through word of mouth. How would you determine which mouth broadens your reach and where? Or better, what exactly does that mouthpiece say to pique your prospect’s interest in the first place?
As an online brand, you’ll be competing with a hundred others offering similar services—all armed to the teeth and ready to grab leads from your hands! In such an aggressive market, your understanding of your target market will give you an edge over your competitors.
To surmise, a structured CJM delivers the following results;
- Insight into customer’s minds: Knowing what influences your prospect will help you discern your customer’s pain points.
- Identifying Touchpoints: Realizing which touchpoint generates more leads will allow you to cut down on unproductive campaigns.
- Providing Customer Engagement matrices: Recognizing and monitoring the source of customer engagement will give you the opportunity to improve the user experience.
Remember, customer satisfaction is now a top priority for brands. Build your customer journey map to optimize marketing strategies and increase user experience.
How To Create A Customer Journey Map (W/ Example)
Customer journey maps usually come in three types.
- Current state Map—It estimates how a prospect would interact with you at this very moment.
- Future State Map—it predicts a customer’s future actions.
- Daily Routine Map—it shows a buyer’s common shopping habits.
Here, I am going to share Uxpressia’s current state fictional map named Daisy Groceries as a sample example.
The SaaS company provides a user-friendly customizable framework to design maps and personas. Remarkably enough, the tool also offers tailored-made-free templates for beginners—Daisy Groceries being one among them. Explore the software to discover which template suits your business.
Let’s create the map together in five steps.
Build A Buyer’s Persona
A buyer’s persona is the reproduction of your ideal customer. It describes your prospect’s personal details, demographic data, behavior, and motivations.
Marketers build a buyer’s persona to get a clear picture of their target market. It allows them to perceive their customer intentions to optimize their campaigns.
Use the market segment method to create your buyer persona.
For example, a potential customer’s cost of living affects the item type a grocery store keeps. In Daisy Groceries’ example, the store would probably order products based on demographic location.
Similarly, your prospect’s interests can immensely influence your sales. If you’re familiar with Walmart, the company is a massive success in the U.S. region. But Walmart momentarily stumbled in China because of inadequate market segmentation.
Compile your target market information to build a well-structured profile.
The below is the fictional Persona of Daisy Groceries target market.
As most grocery store customers are females, Daisy Groceries first buyer’s persona is naturally Olivia.
The grocery store owner also realized Olivia was a non-tech-savvy young woman. Which means she may prefer in-person reviews. But considering her Instagram usage, an online advertisement on Instagram might attract her to your store.
Every detail you fill in your buyer persona form will help you hone your marketing channel.
2. Forecast Your Customer’s Thoughts
Your customer’s thought process is the foundation upon which your entire journey map is constructed.
Since it’s designed from your buyer’s perspective, understating your prospect’s motivation is the key to developing a well-structured map.
Say you run a repair shop. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask yourself, why would anyone step out of their comfort zone in the blistering heat or numbing cold to visit your store? The only reason to induce such action can only be an urgency.
Highlight your buyer’s priorities and expectations in every stage of your customer journey to identify their goals.
In Daisy Groceries case, Olivia had just moved in with no prior knowledge of nearby shops. Unfortunately, she is starving and needs to restock her pantry. To solve her problem, she would likely inquire from a passing neighbor about a nearby grocery store and drive there to buy essential items.
That’s how Daisy has forecasted Oliva’s thought process.
If we shift the example to a B2B organization, the buyer’s musings over a product will boil down to the following points.
- Awareness Stage: The prospect will realize their company is quickly growing and they might need a tool to automate some of their activities. They consulted their peers and received recommendations on the best software.
- Consideration Stage: They would explore online reviews and conduct in-person meetings with a representative to learn more about the tool.
- Decision Stage: They will try the free trial and finally buy the plan.
Research and collect data of your buyer’s behavior, keeping in view your customer’s thought process.
3. Identify Touchpoints to Discover Best Marketing Channels
A prospect generally connects with your brand multiple times before they buy your product.
You saw an advertisement and became aware a brand exists. You were browsing the aisle and recognized its product. You heard one of your acquittals raving about it. These small encounters are typically called touchpoints through which you come in contact with the brand.
Do you recall our fictional lead, Olivia?
Her first touchpoint was the good neighbor from whom she heard of Daisy Groceries. Her second touchpoint was the store building’s parking lot. Her third touchpoint was the salesperson, and the fourth, the checkout counter.
Do you see where I am going?
By identifying your prospect’s touchpoints, you can find the best route to draw them toward your sales funnel.
For example, Daisy Groceries owner used word of mouth to establish a reputation, banners to make discovery easy, and excellent service to make sure repeat customers.
If you run an eCommerce business, check out some digital touchpoints that generate maximum leads.
- Website layout: Your website layout plays a major role in drawing your traffic.
- Social Media: Social platforms are widely known for holding a massive audience. You can use it to engage with your customers.
- Blogs: Articles are a significant source of qualified leads. Through blogs, you can influence your buyer’s actions.
- PPC Ads: Google Ads can help you boost your reach.
- Demo: Free trials bring in more sales-qualified leads.
- Discounts: Sales discounts increase customer acquisition
4. Predict Your Customer’s Reactions and Expectations
Noting your buyer’s pain points is an important aspect of a customer journey. It can help you improve the user experience, ultimately boosting your conversions.
Believe it, or not. Savvy businesses have astonishingly increased 80% of their revenues by merely focusing on customer satisfaction. If you’ve ever been to Target, the popular superstore has constructed relatively smaller stores in bustling New York City primarily to make shopping procedures convenient.
Predict your prospect’s pain points to find practical solutions. By speculating on future obstacles, you can fix the problems before they hinder your lead inflow.
There are several methods to spot your buyer’s pain points. I am sharing the top three for your consideration.
- Study your proposed strategy in past states. Every marketing campaign initially goes through a trial process to take the measure of the customer’s reaction. Use their experience to your advantage.
- Ask For Reviews: Direct feedback is the best method to get insight into your customer’s motivations. They often show a glimpse of small things you’d otherwise not notice.
- Social Media Engagement: Lead nurturing posts on social media can tell you a lot about your buyer. Merely engaging in an Ad post is enough to gather valuable data.
5. Generate Ideas to Ease Your Customer’s Journey
Now that you’ve gained a fair understanding of your buyer’s pain points, take the final step and brainstorm a marketing plan to ease your customer journey.
Coming back to our Daisy Groceries example, Olivia faced plenty of problems while purchasing her grocery. She struggled to locate the store, felt peeved at the complicated parking lot, got irked at the poor aisle sequence, and after standing forever behind a long queue, she left the store displeased.
How do you suppose you can achieve customer satisfaction in such a situation?
Daisy Groceries sent a brochure to increase brand visibility. Added a signboard to facilitate aisle scanning, and created a pleasant ambiance to make waiting bearable.
You can employ similar tactics on digital platforms.
Run social media targeted Ads to generate brand awareness, build user-friendly sites to make navigation easy, and add live chats to provide excellent customer service.
Use the customer journey map you shape your marketing campaigns.
Start with Uxpressia since it is probably the best tool to create a customer journey map even if you’re a total beginner.
Don’t Forget to Add Contingencies!
No strategy is 100% perfect. At some point, you’ll encounter a situation where you may need a backup plan to manage the temporary setback.
My advice is to leave a small space for contingencies for any eventuality.