How much do you know about your customers? Do you know the reason they buy from you? Or what exactly it is they’re looking for when they visit your store? Your products or services could be the best in the market but that might not necessarily be the reason why your customers love you so much! It might be because they feel seen and heard by your business. By becoming a customer-centric organisation, you can ensure that customer satisfaction is a top priority across every step of your customer journey.
Launching a product or service into the market requires putting your customers at the centre of your design process. When you know who they are, their wants and desires, their pain points, and their experiences, you can create solutions that they actually want and need. Customer journey mapping isn’t just a tool for marketers and designers. They help you understand your customers and improve their experiences. In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about customer journey mapping: what it is, who should be involved in creating it, and why you should do it at all.
What Are Customer Journey Maps?
A Customer Journey Map (CJM) is not just about understanding the customer but also about understanding yourself as a business and how you can improve your products and services to create better customer experiences. By mapping out their experiences throughout their journey with you (both online and offline), you can identify pain points in your service process that require improvement—both as an individual employee and as an organisation at large.
Customer journey maps visually represent a customer’s experience and process before purchasing a product or service i.e. all the touchpoints between your company and your customer, from the point where they first become aware of you to their final interaction with your brand. It’s a way for companies to identify gaps in their service and product offerings and create better experiences for customers by focusing on each stage of the sales funnel.
This process can vary depending on different industries. Still, there are five fundamental stages on which they’re based:
- Awareness—the prospect becomes aware of a problem that they want to solve e.g., seeing an ad or hearing about a product.
- Interest—the consumer is actively seeking solutions e.g checking out more information online to solve their problem and sees your company (and the products or services you offer) as a potential solution.
- Consideration—the consumer is evaluating whether you or your competitors are a good fit for their needs. This could include activities like looking at reviews or comparing offers.
- Conversion—the consumer decides that you’re the better option and are ready to make a purchase from you.
- Retention—the added value your customer receives makes them continuously purchase from your business and act as a brand advocate.
Understanding these processes can help you categorise the different problems your business is facing so you can come up with suitable solutions.
Assembling a team that consists of a representative from each key stakeholder group (i.e. customers, employees from different departments, department heads, etc.) will provide insights into what is working and what needs to be improved at various stages of their journey with your company.
The Importance of Customer Journey Maps
At the most basic level, customer journey maps can help us understand our customers.
They are also useful for mapping out experiences from a consumer perspective, which is particularly valuable when designing products and services that are centred around the user experience. They help create empathy and understanding about who you serve as well as how best to serve them.
Through customer journey maps, you can:
- Identify which stage of the journey your customers sit in so you can provide solutions that help move them along to the next stage.
- Gather insight into your customers’ perception of your products or services (such as emotions, behaviours, and pain points) which can help you improve customer experiences.
- Identify areas in the overall user experience that need improvement so you can have superior products or services.
It’s important to note that customer journey maps don’t just have to be used internally—they can also be shared with stakeholders, including clients or internal teams (such as developers) who may not always be on the same page with regard to what users need or want when it comes time for implementation.
Who Should Be Involved in Creating the Customer Journey Map?
The answer is simple: everyone. The customer journey map should be created by the entire team with a stake in the user experience. This includes customers, users, designers, product managers and product owners, marketing, sales and anyone else who has an interest in improving the user experience—or just wants to understand what they’re doing right or wrong!
It’s also good practice to include someone from outside your company who can provide a fresh perspective on how you’re doing things and whether or not there are any prominent blind spots (such as unclear messaging).
Customers have multiple touchpoints with a company and when we think about those moments in isolation, they often feel distinct and separate from one another. However, when we look at them collectively, it becomes clear that there’s more than meets the eye.
Customer journey maps are a way to understand the user’s journey. They help us understand the customer’s needs and wants, as well as their behaviour. By understanding these things, we can design better experiences for our customers.
Think of customer journey maps like an atlas of your brand—they show how users interact with it at every stage of their interaction with your product or service.