Creating a customer journey map in a day

7 min read

In a fast-paced world, customers move quickly and have high expectations. In order to  meet your customers' needs, you need to deeply understand their journey. Creating a customer journey map is key to providing excellent customer service and meeting customers' expectations. By following these seven steps, you can create a customer journey map in a day.

1. Define a specific goal for your customer journey map

Before diving into creating the map, it is a good idea to establish goals for your customer journey map. Why are you creating the map? What goals do you have for this mapping process? Where is this map helping your customer get to? Who group of customers or prospects will it encompass? What experience is it striving to create?

Your goal for the map might be mapping out the entire customer journey, from them discovering a pain point to becoming an advocate for your product. Or, it could be something like a new sign-up experience, upgrading an existing account, or leaving a review after a purchase.

To define goals for your customer you can leverage internal stakeholders as well as customer research.

When you bring together different stakeholders and ask them about their perspectives on improving the customer journey, you can get great insight into how different teams operate. You can also gain valuable insights into how to create alignment and remove friction during customer transitions.

Your customers have their own goals, which may be different from the ones you want for your business. While it might be tempting to try and squeeze them into an internal perspective of what is considered "success" in a given scenario (your company), truly understanding how paying clients see things can help guide future actions on behalf of both parties involved.

2. Create customer personas

In order to create a realistic customer journey, you need to deeply understand the customer. A customer persona is a great tool – and this is where creating a persona really helps.

You should build out multiple personas. Ideally, the top two to four core consumer personas that your business serves. These personas can be derived from customer surveys, interviews, insights, and demographic, lifestyle, and interests data. They may be based around the most common customers, new customers, or big spend customers.

What do you include in your customer persona profile? Start with these characteristics:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Job role
  • Family status
  • Professional goals
  • Personal interests

Your customer journey map reflects the experience of one person with your company. This means that if you group too many different personas into one path on the customer journey map, their unique story will be lost and they won't encounter all aspects of what makes it special about working together!

When starting out, focus firstly on getting an accurate representation for just this single persona. Pick your most common customer persona for your first journey map. Once you are comfortable with the entire journey map process, you can build out maps for other customer types.

3. Collect the customer data and insight

Once you have identified the goals of your customer journey map, you need to collect relevant data and insight that you will analyze as part of your mapping process. Good sources of relevant data to consider are:

  • Data and metrics from analytics tools, such as Google Analytics. They can give you great insights into how your prospective customers discover your products and services, how they navigate your site, where they spend their time, and when and where they convert.
  • Behavior analytics data from tools like that can show you how people interact with your pages or within your app.
  • Customer surveys are a scalable way to collect both qualitative and quantitative customer insights.
  • Customer calls and chat transcripts, frontline employee feedback, operational sources

Ideally, in addition to data and metrics from your analytics tools, you can speak with real customers.

Conducting customer interviews can provide you with valuable information about customer goals, needs, actions, and motivations. Identify people who are part of your persona profile and either have met or failed to reach their goal. During the interview, you'll want to cover several areas:

  • What steps do your customers take on their journey?
  • What problem are they trying to solve?
  • What caused the problem in the first place?  
  • Did your product or service solve the problem for them?
  • Did they get confused, frustrated, or had questions that went unsolved during their customer journey?
  • Did they experience any roadblocks that stopped them from achieving their goal?
  • How did they feel, before, during, and after their interaction with your company, product, or service?

4. Identify journey stages and customer touchpoints

The goal of this step is to identify stages of the customer journey and identify customer touchpoints across each of the stages. You can start with these five stages of the customer journey:

  • Awareness: The prospective customer discovers a need or a problem and identifies a possible solution.
  • Interest: Te prospective customer becomes interested in your specific product or service as a solution to their problem or need.
  • Consideration: The prospective customer tries your product or service or they research your brand through, reviews, social media, and other channels.
  • Purchase: The prospective customer purchases your product or service.
  • Advocacy: The customer recommends your product to others.

Touchpoints are all the places where your customers interact with your brand along the customer journey stages. Your list of touchpoints may include:

  • Marketing content
  • Paid ads
  • Social media channels
  • Third-party reviews
  • Your website
  • Email marketing
  • Phone calls
  • Live chat interactions
  • In-person interactions
  • Product onboarding
  • Customer self-service

Think about where across customer journey stages these touchpoints exist.

For example, do customers find your website through organic search, advertisement or get referred by 3rd party? Do they typically visit you at a physical location, reach out via chat or prefer to call to purchase? Are they more likely to use self-service or contact you for support when they have an issue?

Identify these touchpoints out on your map. If you're mapping out the entire customer journey and don't forget to map touchpoints that potential customers go through. It takes an average of eight touches before an interested person becomes a customer.

5. Map customer’s thoughts actions and emotions

For each of the touchpoints, identify your customer's thoughts, actions, and emotions. Also, think of different types of obstacles and pain points they may be experiencing as they progress through the customer journey with your product or service.

Customer Actions

List out all of the actions your customers perform throughout their interaction with your brand.

This might include a google search for specific keywords, reading the content you shared on social media, clicking on an email or a paid ad, completing the checkout process, or starting a live chat session with a customer support agent.

Customer Emotions & Motivations

Every action your customer takes results in something they feel. Your customer's emotions will change depending on which part of their journey they're at and how well that part of the customer journey is going for them. Knowing how each stage of the journey and touchpoint makes your customers feel, will help you inform which areas need improvement.

Customer Obstacles & Pain Points

Consider various obstacles your prospective and existing customers are facing at each stage and touchpoint. For example, the reason for high cart abandonment rates might be the cost of your product. Or the reason behind high churn rates after a free trial might be the complexity of your service or lack of features that customers were looking for.

6. Resources

Your customer journey is going to touch on nearly every part of your business. So, it's important to take inventory of the resources you are currently utilizing and the ones you'll need to improve it.

People

A customer journey map will  touch pretty much every aspect of your business. It will certainly affect every customer-facing department like marketing, sales, customer success, and customer service. But it will go deeper than that. Don’t forget that even though departments like HR, Legal, Accounting, Operations may not directly interact with the customer, they are still a big part of their journey.  If you are selling digital products, your product team plays a key role as well.

Technology

The modern customer experience environment is one where technology drives the majority of the interaction between customers and your company. This includes software tools like CRM, ERP, emails, messaging, internal systems, websites, or social media channels. With a good understanding of the touchpoints, you can identify which technology your customer interacts with today, or in the future.

Processes

Your company likely has established processes and procedures for everything. Even if it is not documented somewhere, it still exists. And it may be benefiting your customer experience, or it may be creating friction. It might be a good idea at this stage to examine your processes and identify any gaps and possible improvements to them in the context of the customer journey map.

7. Test and evolve

When you create a customer journey map, it's important to remember that these are just assumptions until you can test it. we try them out ourselves. So, for each of your personas you identified earlier, follow the journey. Go through the social media activity, through reading the blog post or case study, through sign-up and onboarding experience, through contacting your customer service. Measure and analyze the results.

When it comes to improving the customer experience, the process is iterative and there is always room for improvement. Continuously reassess your data, new customer feedback, leverage the insights. Adapt and improve customer journey based on new information.

Conclusion

The customer journey map is a living document that will continue to be improved over time. It should be used as a tool to help guide your business strategy and understand how customers interact with your brand. Start by creating a basic map and then add more detail as you gather more information. Keep in mind the needs of your customers and what you want them to do when they visit your website or come into contact with your brand. Use this process to create an amazing customer experience that keeps them coming back for more. Have you created a customer journey map for your business? What tips would you add?

Victoria
I love to write with one goal in mind - to help you build amazing customer experiences. Our content is tailored to help you understand your customers, design great products and deliver world-class customer self-service. I share my knowledge and experience through my articles, videos, podcasts, templates, and more - so you can take your customer experience to the next level.‍

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