What is a customer journey map and why is it important?

Customer journey maps are a visual representation of each and every experience, touch and pain point that your customer has with your business. It allows you to visualise the road customers take to doing business with you and the roadblocks along the way that may stop them in their tracks.

With the ever increasing world of social media and the multitude of platforms available for interacting with the consumer, your customer journey map can have many mini segments and mini journeys. Once you start looking at it, things can get a little complex.

Do your customers engage with you via the phone, email, face to face meetings, your website, your blog, speaking appointments, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Podcasts etc? At what points do these initiatives cross over? At what points do these processes compliment each other?

Do you know the journey your customers are taking in each case; where they get stuck, where they don’t know what to do next, where they get put off, where they need extra information and aren’t getting it?

Customer journey mapping puts you in your customer’s or prospective customer’s shoes and allows you to see your business from their perspective. This allows you to gain myriad insights about how improve your customer experience and make your conversion process from enquiry to sale more efficient and productive, with a higher conversion rate, at a higher profit margin, and in many cases with the business growing exponentially due to a better buying experience as a whole.  

Customers want their experience with a brand to be connected, human, empathetic and of course, beneficial to their own heroic journey. In coming to a first point of contact with your business, the customer has opened up a story gap which needs closing. All customers have internal, external and philosophical motivations in their story gaps.

For a very basic example. 

  • External: I need a car
  • Internal: It should be fuel efficient and easy to handle because my wife told me so
  • Philosophical: I run a business, it needs to project status, but I also value the environment, it needs a low carbon footprint. 

Is your customer journey answering your customers motivations? Along the customer journey, do they feel like your company understands them?

Here are the benefits of customer journey mapping in short:

  • Clearly delineating where customers interact with your business
  • Having an answer and obvious next step for each customer’s every desire, motivation, objection, concern or question along the sales process
  • Identifying where the order of the process is illogical, difficult, unclear, or doubles back on itself
  • Providing a holistic outside perspective of your sales process from the customer’s perspective
  • Outlining inadequacies and gaps of expectation from what the customer desires and what they receive
  • Specifying key focus areas for developing the process and leveraging opportunities 
  • Allowing you to focus expenditure, time and resources on areas that will maximise a return on investment

So, what does a customer journey map look like?

Check out this great article from uxeria

Some final questions to consider when creating your customer journey map.

  • What are your business/organisation’s vision, mission and values. Is your customer journey living up to your brand promise?
  • What online and offline platforms are you using to drive enquiries for your business?
  • Who can you delegate to create your customer journey maps? Who understands the process the best and stands to gain the most from producing one in your company?
  • Where do you start? Well. What is the most productive sales avenue to generating business in terms of time, resource allocation, and profitability? Start there and work your way down the priority list.

These days, customers are more demanding, more savvy and more spoilt for choices. Competition is high out there. The business owners that understand this and are more proactive at providing that better experience, are going to win in the marketplace.

Which customer journey do you plan to address first?

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