By Carrie-ann | Nov 20, 2016 | Planning Your Marketing

What is customer journey mapping?

A customer journey map is a tool you can create to provide an improved and more attractive service to your customers and potential customers. It gives you, the business, a better understanding of another person’s or business’s desires, needs and expectations, and how they come to decisions about your worth. Getting it right will help you to tailor your activities to the market and improve your chances of success.

What is a customer journey map?
The customer journey map is a record of your relationship with the customer from first contact through to engagement and along the length of the relationship. It can focus on a specific aspect or cover the whole relationship. Most importantly, it is a record of key interactions between the business and the customer, and the customer’s impression of these interactions. It picks up on wishes and expectations and whether these were fulfilled, plus the emotional side of the interaction. Did the customer feel good about the exchanges and outcomes? It can be as simple as an Excel table, but is more impactful when presented as an infographic.

Why use a customer journey map?
A customer journey map is a great way to understand where new customers are coming from when you first make contact and what they need and expect; likewise, it will show you how often customers do not know what they need or expect and how they are relying on you to tell them. It gives managers a clear understanding of the process of ensuring customer satisfaction as they progress through the sales funnel.
Essentially, customer feedback will identify gaps in the journey that occur as customers move through departments and channels. For a website designer, this could be a jerky movement from the initial social media pages to the company’s secure website; in product sales, it could be the gap or disconnect between the sales experience and any support received later. Taken as a whole, the map encourages the team to think holistically and put the customer first. If the customer is not satisfied with the experience, the quality of the product is irrelevant. By considering the user’s feelings, the whole team can work together to ensure satisfaction.

Research a customer journey map
Most businesses already collect information from their users and it is best to use this first when starting a customer journey map project. Collecting information is time expensive and you are likely to meet resistance from department heads who wish to avoid it. By using what you already have, you can begin to create examples and show the knowledge they deliver. Use both analytical and anecdotal evidence to create a well-rounded example.

Presenting a customer journey map
An infographic with a timeline of the user’s experience is by far the easiest way to present your findings to others. You could also get creative with a storyboard or animate a video presentation, which should contain facts, figures and anecdotal evidence. How the user feels should be the bedrock of the map, while key touch points should be clear and self-explanatory; after all, these are the moments the whole team needs to see as vital to the success of the business.