A customer journey map is an essential tool that affords companies the opportunity to understand the state of their organization’s customer experience by outlining points at which their customers interact with their brand. By creating a detailed map of customer interactions and touchpoints with an organization, customer feedback can be compiled at each stage and relevant action can be taken to improve the overall customer experience.
Customer Journey Maps allow you to monitor everything from marketing, to user experience (UX), customer service, the purchasing process and beyond, to create = a better product and general overall customer experience.
Why is it so important?
As the saying goes, ‘you can’t see the forest for the trees‘. At least without a map.
Nowadays there are as many customer touchpoints as there are trees in a forest. Each time a customer interacts with your brand is an opportunity to delight. Which means that without a proper customer journey map in place, understanding where these touchpoints are becomes infinitely more difficult and could cause you to get lost in the data. Without a clear over-arching goal and a means of communication between each touchpoint, inconsistencies begin to appear and customers may lose faith in your company’s ability to fulfill promises. A customer journey map is a visual representation of all of these touchpoints and essentially encourages you to look at the bigger picture.
By developing a detailed customer journey map you will be able to take every customer interaction seriously, streamline your processes and design the best product for your users. Identifying potential weaknesses and pain points in your service or product will allow you to make changes that your customers will value and will keep coming back for.
How do I create a Customer Journey Map?
Do Your Research: Use any feedback that you have gathered to date on all stages of your customer journey. Ask your customers directly, via email, web plugins, kiosks, etc. to point out what they like/dislike about the interactions that they have had with your organization.
You can also learn a lot from how your competitors deal with similar touchpoints. Find out what they are doing better or worse than you. You may even be surprised to learn about certain interactions that you simply hadn’t even considered yet.
Identify Touchpoints: Put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Walk through your process from start to finish, covering everything from awareness (marketing) right through to product and delivery. This is commonly known as creating a ‘user persona’ and can help you empathize with and understand your customer better. It is a great opportunity to take note of each stage that your ‘user persona’ interacts with your company so that you can identify the method of communication that is used (face-to-face, phone, email, social media etc).
Embrace Detail: The detail is where your customer journey map comes to life. Once you have outlined the main touchpoints, go through them meticulously one-by-one to identify what important features and interactions occur at each stage. Make this a collaborative effort, involve everyone who deals with customers at these touchpoints and ask them to give their opinion.
Expectation vs Reality: This is where the truth comes out. At each touchpoint, ask yourself what is the desired outcome of an interaction with your customer. Then compare these projections with actual results. A great way to get this type of information is by asking customers directly. Using Feedbackly’s multichannel solutions you can gather feedback from customers at any stage of the customer journey via email, sms, website, offline and of course in-store kiosks.
Create Your Customer Journey Map: Having gathered all of the above information you can finally get down to business and create your own map.
Download your FREE Customer Journey Map Template
Jaakko is an award-winning CX professional and entrepreneur at Feedbackly, founder and community professional at the biggest entrepreneurial digital community in Finland – Yrittäjä.io. He is a notorious keynote speaker from entrepreneurial stories to day to day human communications and customer experiences.