People interpret things differently. Whether it’s what we say or what we do, we can never really tell what their first thought would be.
The same goes for when customers stumble upon your website. You can’t really predict where they will go or what they will click on next.
That’s why it’s important for us to come up with the best strategy to utilise their experience. Specifically by planning out a perfect Customer Journey Map (CJM).
A customer journey map is a visual representation of an end-to-end user experience. It illustrates all the places and touch points customers come in contact with, whether online or offline.
They help you view your brand, product, and processes through your customer’s perspective, and visualise their journey.Keep on reading to understand its importance and how you can craft one for your business.
The path a customer takes to purchase from a business is not as linear as it was before. Buyers have more ways to interact with businesses, so the focus has shifted from getting people into your funnel to delivering an exceptional customer experience.
According to co-founder of Vintage Cash Cow, David Weaver:
“A successful customer journey map will give you real insight into what your customers want and any parts of your product, brand, or process that aren’t delivering.”
These days, our fast-paced lifestyle has driven customers to seek a more seamless experience when browsing online. It is a huge bonus when companies remember their information so they can easily pick up from where they left off.
This is made possible with Customer Journey Maps, as it gives your business a way of getting into your customer’s heads. As well as help you gain insight into common customer pain points and build empathy towards them.
By taking all the data you collected, you can better pattern your website and marketing material to their specific needs.
There is no one-shoe-fits-all when it comes to CJM templates. We understand that businesses function differently, and there are different customer journeys. However, here is one example to grasp their function more.
Pretend your business is trying to pattern your buyer’s experience upon landing on your website’s homepage:
This template considers the different scenarios and the stages where the customer is at. The first row for example asks what your buyer is thinking or feeling in consideration of where they are at when deliberating on your products. We will learn more of this as you read along.
Now that we have an idea of what a Customer Journey Map looks like, let us discuss how you can create one for your business with these five ways.
The first step in constructing a journey map is understanding who your customers are and their goals.
Your customers are the very reason why you are forming a CJM in the first place, and so it should be patterned around them. Keep in mind the example above.
Having just one buyer persona won’t cut it. Customers at different buying stages will behave and interact with your business differently, so you should distinguish among each one.
Has this customer been doing market research and is finally ready to make their purchase? Or are they still weighing out their options?
One tip on how to do this is by imagining the paths your visitor may take on your site. If they are a returning customer they could log in upon entry or go straight to your products.
If they are new, they could choose to read about your business first. Once you have listed all of these down, you will be able to identify your touchpoints and goals associated with each.
As mentioned above, CJM’s should be organized by customer stages, sometimes also referred to as phases. For each stage is a goal your customer wants to achieve in their overall journey. Zooming in on each stage is an essential step.
You must imagine what process your buyer takes, starting from discernment all the way to actually pushing through with their purchase.
Define how, when and where they:
-> Discover your business
-> Research on your products and services
-> Choose you over your competitors
-> Avail of your products/services
-> And maintain a relationship with you
A “touchpoint” is any time a customer comes into contact with your brand — before, during, or even after their purchase.
This also takes different forms online or offline, through promotions, in person, or over the phone. So it is important to ensure their experience is positive for each one.
By taking all potential touchpoints into account, you won’t miss out on any opportunities to produce quality service and make improvements wherever necessary.
It can be daunting to map out each one at first but remember to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and things will be easier for you.
Ask yourself questions like:
“Where do I go when I need… (product or service you offer)”
“How can (business name) solve my problem?”
“Is this the best option for me?”
“Will I want to do business with this company again in the future?”
You can also do this by asking your customers directly for feedback via a survey.
An additional tip is to use Google Analytics to get an idea of how customers move through your site, taking note of every interaction and where they come from.
This tool can also show you the path your visitors take to complete a goal conversion, revealing whether there are any points with high drop-off rates or unexpected traffic loops.
Once you’ve consolidated your data, you can now identify potential roadblocks or pain points in the customer journey.
Focus on potential questions like:
“Are my customers achieving their goals on my website?”
“Which main areas are causing friction?”
“Where are people abandoning purchases (and why)?”
Then you can mark these on your CJM and start working on each one.
A customer’s feedback could be useful information in making changes to your website. If someone complains about your sign-up process being too tedious, then it’s probably time to make improvements.
The end goal is not to optimise each touchpoint for the sake of it, but so you can guide your customers down the proper path through their journey.
This not only brings them closer to their goal, but it also brings them one step closer to converting. Of course, it is also vital that you revisit your CJM’s every once in a while to revamp things and keep them fresh.
Applying all these techniques can be overwhelming at first, which is why it is essential to seek help from a professional UX designer.
Producing beautiful layouts isn’t the only thing that UX designers do. In fact, they are experts when it comes to the end-to-end journeys of your customers.
By analysing how buyers interact with your business, they find opportunities to develop concepts to achieve your goals. Building the CJM could take more than a few tries.
With the help of UX designers, trial and error won’t be tedious and can actually save you a lot of time and money. They can build prototypes to simulate real experiences before even developing the actual product.
By doing this, you can prioritize certain features and determine the direction you want to take. Developing an efficient customer experience in the early stages will also help you in the long run.
By having happy customers from the get-go, you will not only receive tons of positive feedback but lots of recommendations that will boost your sales, launching your company beyond your competitors.