Whether you build a website, brand, service, or minimum viable product, it's always for a customer. From the starting point when a customer discovers you to the end stage, there are several steps that a visitor goes through before and after becoming a customer, which is called a customer journey.
Customer Journey helps to gain insights about your customers and aid in the overall decision-making. In this blog, we will unfold what is customer journey mapping, its significance, the merits that it provides, steps to create your customer journey, and much more.
So without wasting another second. Let's dive in.
What exactly is Customer Journey Map?
A customer journey map is an overall visual representation of a user's experience with your website, product, service, or brand. It reflects their challenges, touchpoints, and the process that they experienced while processing.
There might have been times when you were running late and wanted to have a quick sneak peek of your customer's overall experience with your website, product, service, or brand. That's an example of a situation where the customer journey map comes into the picture.
Significance of Customer Journey Map
Customer journey maps help you to get a clear vision of your customer's overall experience, avoid critical issues before time, increase customer retention, and much more.
It's crucial to understand a customer to provide a better solution. When you ultimately know your customer better, you can satisfy them with the best. And customer journey maps do that well for you.
It helps you to get insight into where things didn't work as expected. By analyzing and evaluating customer journeys, you can plan strategies and make improvements.
Customer Journey Stages
Now the question that might strike you is what are the different customer journey stages? So, in general, there are 5 major steps that a customer goes through which include Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, Retention, and Advocacy.
The awareness stage is the first phase, where a customer encounters that they have a problem in hand which needs to be solved. The sole purpose of the awareness stage is to inform the customers about the product or service. What you could do here is share educational content that can provide them value.
Consideration is the second phase, where customers already know what they need and are looking for solutions. At this stage, they compare the offerings and decide on what matches their needs. The objective of this phase is to motivate customers to make a purchase.
Purchase is the third stage, where the customer has already made a decision and is ready to buy. What they look for is simply a seamless experience to make it quick.
Retention is the fourth stage of a customer journey, where customers have already purchased and are still connected to the company. The objective of this phase is to provide your customers with the best experience and services so that they don't churn.
Advocacy is the last stage that cultivates loyalty. Here your customer has already achieved their goal with you and happily promotes it to others. The end goal of this phase is to foster a great relationship with your customers by providing them seamless, quick, user-friendly, and hassle-free experience.
Merits of Customer Journey Mapping
Customer Journey mapping offers various benefits that aid in the overall development of a business. It includes:
Improved Customer Experience
It helps to evaluate your customer's needs, challenges, and choices. When you know what your customers need, you can satisfy them better, which results in an improved customer experience.
Enhanced Customer Engagement
A great customer journey mapping helps to identify the main touchpoints to engage with customers. By evaluating what a customer expects at different stages, you can provide personalized and relevant experiences which help to enhance customer engagement.
Increased Customer Loyalty
When you understand your customer well and satisfy them, you build trust and deliver an experience that uplifts the bond between a brand and a customer. When this happens, you become your customer's favorite and they become your loyal customers, which fosters advocacy.
Identification of Pain Points and Opportunities
It helps you to identify challenges that a customer faces throughout their journey. It could be anything from user -friendliness to technical support. When you know the pain point, you can fill the gap between the pain point and the solution and can enhance your customer's experience.
Steps to create Customer Journey Map
Following are the steps to create Customer Journey Map:
Establish a clear objective.
Before creating a customer journey map, you must know who can be your potential customer. What is the objective that you want to achieve with this Customer Journey Map? Having a clear objective helps you to understand your customer's requirements clearly and precisely.
Conduct thorough research to uncover the challenges or phases your customer goes through at each touch-point. You can also use surveys, interviews, feedback, reviews, and other useful resources for your research.
Plan your customer journey stages
Decide the various stages that your customer will go through, from being an initial visitor to the post-purchase activities. These stages will include awareness, consideration, purchase, retention, and advocacy.
Prepare a list of customer actions and emotions
Identify all the actions that your customer will take and the emotions that they will experience during their customer journey. It will help you to get a clear vision of the customer's problems and motivations. Thus you can make necessary improvements.
Plan strategies and improvements
Based on your analysis, plan out the strategies to improve the loopholes that your customer faces during the journey and make necessary improvements.
Try your customer journey on your own
Just making a customer journey won't be helpful. You have to try it on your own to check how effective it is, whether your goals are met or not, whether it is solving the issue that you face from a customer's perspective, etc.
Various tools and techniques can make your customer journey mapping quick and easy. Let's have a look.
Tools & Techniques for Customer Journey Mapping
Customer Surveys and Interviews
You can conduct surveys and interviews to get insight into the customer experience and the difficulties. It will help you to elevate your customer journey and improve the cracks.
Data Analytics and User Behaviour Tracking
You can use tools that provide data analytics and user behaviour tracking. That would help you determine users' preferences, demographics, engagement rate, etc. You can also avail of these details using website analytics, heatmaps, clickstream analysis, etc. It would help you to have a clear idea of the pattern most followed and areas that need improvement.
Customer Journey Mapping Software
It is a tool that helps businesses evaluate and visualize the customer experience. The organizations can mark out various touch points that a customer experiences,from the initial awareness stage to after-sales support.
These tools help organizations create a visual representation of the customer's touchpoints, highlighting the challenges and improvements that a business can make. The customer journey mapping software helps to enhance customer satisfaction by focusing on the customer perspective.
Visual Diagramming Tools
Visual Diagramming tools are the tools used to create a pictorial representation of an idea or process. Using these tools, one can effectively create diagrams, flowcharts, mind maps, and other visual models to communicate complex information.
In conclusion, customer journey mapping is a great practice that can be used to enhance the overall customer experience. Customer Journey aids businesses by identifying bottlenecks in the customer journey, optimizing interaction at every stage, and creating a seamless experience.
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Q: Who should be involved in the customer journey mapping process?
A: Customer journey mapping involves people from various departments working together. For example, it should include resources like the research team to research the customer needs and preferences, the marketing team to segregate the customer and for touchpoint optimization, the sales team to highlight the customer's buying journey and sales touchpoints, the customer service team to identify gaps in customer experience and improve post-purchase, development team to understand the requirements and design team make it user-friendly.
Q: What data sources can be used to create a customer journey map?
A: Customer Surveys and feedback, Website and App analytics, customer support interactions, social media monitoring, online ratings, reviews, etc can be used to create customer journeys.
Q: Can customer journey mapping be used for both online and offline businesses?
A: Yes! Customer journey mapping can be used for both offline and online businesses. The concept of customer journey mapping can be applied to any business aiming to improve customer experience.
Q: How often should a customer journey map be updated?
A: The frequency of updating a customer journey depends on various factors. It includes changes in customer behaviour, feedback and insights from customers, the introduction of new touchpoints, performance evaluation, etc.