Using a customer journey map template can help your company continuously identify and anticipate the needs, motivations, and actions of your customers.
By mapping the customer journey, your organization can construct customers’ decision-making scenarios — and better understand the factors that influence their purchase decisions. This then aids your efforts to deliver improved customer experiences, drive more sales, acquire and retain more customers, and improve your business processes.
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What is a Customer Journey Map?
A customer journey map is a visualization of each step your customers take — from the moment they encounter your brand to when they make a purchase and how they react afterward.
You can think of it as the visual storyline of every engagement your customer has with your company, brand, product, or service. A customer journey map helps companies achieve a better understanding of how consumers interact and engage with their brand.
How to Build a Customer Journey Map
Before you can influence consumer behavior, you must first be able to understand it: from initial contact, through the process of engagement, to post-transactional interactions and long-term relationships. This is why it’s so important to learn how to map the customer journey or use a customer journey map template.
Step 1: Know Your Goals
Your customer journey map should be shaped by the goals you are trying to achieve. Perhaps you’d like to determine which marketing and sales channels work best for your business. Or maybe you’re looking to refine your customer service processes.
By knowing your goals for mapping the customer journey, you can customize your map and refine this over time in order to meet your organization’s needs.
Step 2: Define All Key Interactions and Touchpoints
As you begin to design your customer journey map, you may want to organize it with touchpoints. Where do potential and existing customers engage and interact with your brand?
By listing this down, you can break down the customer journey and understand what their needs are at key touchpoints throughout their journey.
Keep in mind: touchpoints are not limited to just your company website. Make sure you look at other areas, too, such as:
- Local listings
- Social media channels
- Paid advertising
- Email marketing
- Online reviews and mentions
- Physical customer touchpoints like physical events, print marketing materials, brochures, business cards, store locations, salespeople, and product packaging
Step 3: Identify the Stages in the Customer’s Journey
Every time your customer engages with your brand, there is typically a goal-driven action behind it.
A website visitor who lands on your blog for the first time, for example, can be somebody who is simply looking to have a specific question answered. Meanwhile, an email subscriber who has also downloaded content assets from you and asked for a quotation or requested a demo is more likely to be in the consideration or decision stage: they are much closer to making a purchase.
A basic customer journey map template may include the following stages:
- Retention / Post-sales
Step 4: Create Your Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are profiles of your target customers. These summarize their demographic information, needs, motivations, frustrations, habits, and lifestyle.
You don’t have to create personas from scratch. For more accurate representation, you can conduct different types of customer satisfaction surveys to understand who your buyers are and what their journeys are like. You can also analyze unsolicited feedback from customer reviews and social media in order to pin down the sentiment, feelings, pain points, and emotions of your customers.
Step 5: Use a Template or Example to Build Your Map
Once you have gathered the necessary information outlined above, you can get started on building your customer journey map.
Find a way to incorporate the above elements into your map in a way that makes sense to your organization. Be sure to consider the following:
- What actions do your customers take at each touchpoint and stage?
- What are their emotions and motivations as they move forward with their customer journey?
- What are specific frustrations and pain points that customers may encounter at various touchpoints and stages?
- What questions are customers likely to ask as they move forward with their customer journey?
Best Practices: Using a Customer Journey Map Template
If you’re getting started with journey mapping, it’s good to look at customer journey map templates and examples so that you can determine which ones align with your objectives and goals. Hopefully, some of these examples will provide your team with much-needed inspiration.
- Spotify Customer Journey Map
- Current State Customer Journey Map Template
- B2B Customer Journey Map Example
- Retail Customer Journey Map Template
- TopLearn Customer Journey Map
Be sure to keep these pointers in mind as you map the customer journey.
Empower the Voice of the Customer
Demonstrate your understanding of your customers’ journey by letting them have a say. (After all, the worst way to learn about the customer is to guess.)
Encourage online reviews, gather insights from your customer feedback system, and urge your customers to share and be more vocal about their experiences. Invest in tools and technologies that capture customer feedback and customer experience analytics.
Not only does this help you achieve greater visibility among customers; but it also harnesses the tremendous potential of having happy customers whose trust you have already earned. From static sources of revenue, they can become brand advocates who won’t hesitate to make recommendations and drive word-of-mouth marketing referrals for your business.
Redesign the Customer Journey Based on Needs
Grow your customer relationships beyond the transaction level and focus instead on the customer’s actual experience.
Make next-level service, support, and customer experience management an investment priority. Reengineer your sales and marketing strategies based on feedback. And tailor your communications in ways that offer customers a better understanding of how your products and services can meet their goals and expectations.
Nurture Your Digital Channels
In an on-demand economy where social and mobile innovations have significantly expanded the range of crucial touchpoints, winners and losers will be determined by their ability to diversify and personalize methods of engagement across the entire customer journey.
Empower your customers by giving them the tools they need to make informed purchase decisions. If you haven’t been doing it already, digitizing the customer lifecycle allows your customers to research and learn more about your brand through digital touchpoints.
This can also help you cut costs and offer increased convenience. As you develop these digital sales and services, however, always keep customer behavior and preferences in mind in order to optimize adoption rates.
Final Thoughts: Customer Journey Mapping for the Win
Customers are the lifeblood of your organization. It’s crucial that you empathize with their expectations, pain points, wants, and needs so you can deliver customer experiences that delight.
By using a customer journey map template, you can put your customer front and center of your organization and make the best decisions for your business.