Thanks to the increasingly competitive digital space, customers have gone from passive receivers of information to empowered decision makers over the past decade. The amount of knowledge available to customers through different channels have made them more discerning of the products they choose to consume and the brands they support. This is why figuring out how to make a customer journey map is of utmost importance.
What is a customer journey map? It is a tool that can be used to visually represent your customers' interactions with your brand. This process can give you critical insights on the customer journey -- which you can use to your advantage.
Some benefits of understanding the customer journey include: creating better customer experiences, identifying areas that your brand can improve on, and discovering new opportunities that your brand can pursue.
Read on to find out how to make a customer journey map in 7 steps!
It's easier to navigate when you know the destination you're headed to. Identifying goals and setting targets are essential first steps of learning how to make a customer journey map.
It's important to set targets and have a clear idea of what you want to achieve before you even begin. Doing so will allow you to narrow down the most efficient ways of hitting your targets. Having goals in mind while going through with a task can also help you stay on track.
The first step in learning how to make a customer journey map should have you answer the following questions: Why are you making this map? Whose perspective will it be from? What experiences will you be factoring in?
A buyer persona is a fictional character which represents a specific customer segment for your brand. When creating a buyer persona, be sure to consider the following characteristics: background, demographics, lifestyle, personality, information sources, and shopping preferences.
This is where interviews, surveys, and other forms of market research come in. You want to gain as much data as you can through research because this information will help you place yourself in the shoes of your customers.
Quick tip: be sure to ask 'why' questions. These will provide you with more insight on a customer's behavior and motivations. Since your customer journey map will be build around the buyer persona, you want it to be as accurate as possible. The more data you use when creating the buyer persona, the better!
Ideally, you'll want to limit each customer journey map to a maximum of 2 personas.
Technically, this step of how to make a customer journey map can be included in Step 2. Motivations and pain points can still be considered part of the buyer persona. However, we wanted to highlight the importance of understanding customer motivations and pain points in the later stages of learning how to make a customer journey map.
Consider your buyer persona. What keeps them going? Conversely, what's stopping them from reaching their goals? Do they have fears and reservations?
Most importantly: How can your brand help?
Keep the answers to these questions in mind. They will be crucial in the following steps.
It's important to note the different stages of the buyer's journey in order to be able to provide more personalized experiences for your customers down the line.
There are 3 stages to the buyer’s journey: awareness, consideration, and decision.
In the awareness stage, buyers are able to identify the challenges that they are facing. Consider these questions: How does the buyer view these challenges? Is dealing with these challenges a top priority for the buyer? Will there be any consequences if the buyer does not deal with these challenges?
In the consideration stage, buyers are actively looking for ways to deal with the challenges that they are facing. Consider these questions: What options are available for the buyer? How will they search for information on these options? How will they weigh the pros and cons of the options available to them?
In the decision stage, buyers have settled on a solution and are only searching for the most suitable product or service (Hopefully your brand!). Consider these questions: Who are the stakeholders in this decision? How would the buyer evaluate the pros and cons of your brand vs your competitors? What criteria would the buyer use to determine if a product or service is suitable?
Traditionally, brands have almost always been able to make first contact with the customer at the beginning of the buyer’s journey. In the digital age, your brand's first contact with the customer won't always be at the beginning of their journey.
Touchpoints refer to the many channels through which a customer may encounter your brand. These are important because they are where the opportunities to make the right impression on the customer will take place.
Learn the ropes of your touchpoints so you can maximize their potential.
Note that your strategy here need not be purely digital or purely traditional. Mix things up! Go with what feels the most right from the perspective of the customer.
As you move towards completing the process of how to make a customer journey map, you'll realize that every step so far has been equipping you to deal with one of the biggest hurdles that brands face: earning your customer's trust.
Moments of Truth are crucial points in the customer journey. These are instances wherein a customer's opinion about your brand are formed based on their experiences.
Now that the customer journey is an omnichannel experience, your brand won't be the only one that you customer interacts with. So how do you stand out? More importantly, how do you earn their trust?
Around 64% of customers want brands to connect with them and they value authentic, meaningful interactions. Earn customer loyalty for your brand by using the insights gained from previous steps of the customer journey mapping process to create genuine and memorable experiences for every touchpoint you have with the customer.
You won't always get everything right on the first try -- and that's okay! Continue refining your process until you get it just right.
Don't think of customer journey mapping as a one-time thing, either! The customer journey can change and your brand must be ready to adapt.