The Ultimate Guide to Customer Journey Mapping
As customer expectations reach a fever pitch, organizations can no longer get by with adequate customer experiences. To grip customers and build long-term devotees, brands need to understand the customers’ journey, identify their needs, and launch a strategy to wow them.
Customer journey mapping is the ultimate tool to help a brand reach into the customer’s experience, identify pain points, anticipate needs, and craft experiences that set companies apart. By employing customer journey maps effectively, brands can boost customer experience, fortify brand loyalty, open new cross-selling and upselling opportunities, and unlock substantial growth.
That’s why we’ve designed this ultimate resource on customer journey mapping. We dive into the ins and outs of customer journey mapping and pinpoint the secrets to mapping strategies that engage and draw in more customers.
What is customer journey mapping
Customer journey mapping is a strategy that organizations can use to identify a customer's needs, values, desires, and friction points across different touchpoints.
These insights can inform a broader customer experience strategy and reveal growth opportunities. It’s important to note that successful customer journey maps are not designed from the viewpoint of company leaders or brand managers. Instead, they peer into the perspective of the customer to plot out their experiences, frustrations, and needs.
Why is customer journey mapping important?
Customer journey mapping is critical to align an organization’s mission with customers’ needs, desires, and expectations.
On a more granular level, here are a few ways that customer journey maps sharpen a view of the customer’s perspective and elevate the customer experience (CX):
Gather in-depth customer intelligence
Customer journey maps dig deeper into the customer’s experience than traditional survey approaches. As a result, they reveal the moments that are important to customers and unearth instances that impact their perception of the brand.
Pinpoint inconsistencies and friction points
Separate intentions from reality
Understand customer feelings
Types of Customer Journey Mapping Plans to Target
Plans to Target
Moment of truth
Advanced maps, like those created at Andrew Reise, use these general formats as a starting point. To build in-depth maps, professionals will dig down into a series of important customer areas, including:
- Lifecycle phases/journeys
- Micro journeys
- Mindset articulation
- Pain and gain points
- Moments of Truth
- Voice of the customer
- Operational, channel, customer score, and performance data
Steps to Building a CX-Focused Journey Map
Wondering how to develop customer journey maps that zero in on the customer’s experience? These are the steps to building a CX-focused journey map:
Step 1: Plan
Not sure where to start? Here are a few guiding questions to carve out a plan:
- What is this map’s purpose?
- Who are the key users?
- Which customers are being targeted?
- What is already understood about these customers?
- What segments should be included?
- What time period will the map cover?
- Where will the map live? Will it be digital only, presented at a visual image in a conference room, or take another form?
Step 2: Gather Research and Data
- How did you feel when ... ?
- What’s most important to your purchase decision?
- What’s going well?
- What’s missing?
- What took too long or was harder than it should have been?
- What has been critical to your experience?
- What steps are repetitive or unnecessary?
- What would you change?
In addition to listening to customers, it’s important to gather input from key stakeholders. These figures can help identify sensitive areas or opportunities in the customer experience that deserve a deeper look.
Step 3: Build Map and Moments of Truth
The next step is to build the map and plot critical moments. During this stage, build out the map’s wireframes and gradually fill these frames in with touch points, channels, and pain points with customer experience data to add insights to the journey. Throughout the process, it’s important to identify how customers started their journey and note any clear steps or interactions that emerge from the findings.
After customer paths and interactions are charted, search for moments of truth. These are those critical instances that define the customer’s experience, and ultimately are most impactful to a customer’s decision to purchase, engage or stay with a brand. Choose carefully. Moments of truth should be interactions that have the power to make or break the customer’s experience and bring the brand to life.
Step 4: Identify Opportunities to Take Action
How many people will be needed to seize this opportunity?
- What processes need to be changed?
- What technology changes are needed?
Step 5: Socialize
How to Wring the Most Value Out of Journey Maps
Once journey maps are designed, it’s time to start using them to deliver a memorable customer experience. At this stage, there are ways to pull more value out of mapping and drive more lasting results. These are a few creative tactics to wring more out of journey maps:
Tying Customer Journey Maps to Key Metrics
Customer behaviors can shift, and one of the best ways to keep up with those changes is to connect customer journey maps to metrics—for instance, gathering ongoing feedback about customers’ preferred digital channels or methods of communication. With this info in hand, the organization can adjust to and keep up with changing customer preferences.
Act Out Role-Play Scenarios
One way to help employees crawl into the skin of customers is to act out roles. For instance, organizations can list out common challenges and role-play as customers and service providers. This helps bring customers to life, and it can jumpstart problem-solving.
Create Visual Graphics
Another way to amplify journey maps’ messages is to distill takeaways into visual graphics. This breaks down the customer’s full journey in an easily digestible way during onboarding. It’s also a useful way to pass messages on quickly to multilingual global staff members.
Using Journey Analytics to Supercharge Strategy
The best journey maps aren’t stagnant. They’re living documents that shift alongside customers’ needs and organizations’ goals. That’s why journey analytics is so important. Measuring journey figures can identify what’s working, how customer experiences are changing, and new opportunities to propel growth.
Common Goals and a CX Vision