What is a Customer Journey Map? How to Use Customer Journey Map to Improve Customer Experience?

What is a Customer Journey Map?

Customer journey mapping is a graphical representation of how customers interact with the business at several stages. It aims to reduce friction and make the customer experience processes efficient and seamless. This consequently will lead to better customer experience and customer satisfaction. Businesses should use touchpoints and customer feedback to create the best customer journey.

Customer journey mapping is crucial to strategically understanding and predicting customer expectations. In addition, it is beneficial in the refinement process when the outdated elements regarding customers can be eliminated, and new segments can be considered to improve customer experience.

What are the Components of a Customer Journey Map?

Components of a Customer Journey Map

Five factors should be included in an ideal customer journey map:

1. Buying Process

The main peculiarity of a customer journey map is drafting each milestone a customer takes in a buying process. When tracing the path, brands should remember how this brand will help a customer achieve their goal. So, it is essential to identify each point and draft it on the map.

2. User Actions

Each action a customer would take should be added to this. For example, it can start from a customer talking with their friends or a family member about the purchase, awareness stage of identifying your brand, requesting a demo, talking to your sales executive, using their credit card for the purchase, and so on.

3. Emotions

Customers will have a specific emotion at each stage of their journey. If your product solves their problem, they will feel relief, happiness, or excitement. If you take a long time to respond in a specific moment, they would feel frustrated or angry. Depicting these emotions and other elements will help brands take necessary actions to mitigate negative feelings toward your brand.

4. Pain Points

If you identify the stage where a negative emotion triggers, that point will be the pain point in their journey. Identifying them will help to find measures to counteract the negative emotions, thereby pain points.

5. Solutions

After drafting all the above elements, the final step is to brainstorm with your team, find solutions to all pain points in the customer journey, and plan actions to offer a positive experience to your customers. Adding solutions to the map will help get directions to take the right moves on the right points.

Why is a Customer Journey Map Important? (Benefits of Customer Journey Mapping)

There are so many perks of mapping customer journeys. The main advantage is, it requires all teams to work together to get the complete picture. Many organizations work as multiple internal fragments. But mapping the journey will reveal many customer issues and the factors that hinder positive experiences. Some of the inconsistent experiences can be caused by internal siloed operations. Identifying those critical issues will push brands to break down the silos and work together to achieve goals.

Benefits of Customer Journey Mapping

Here, brands are literally stepping into customers’ shoes. So they will include all points and phases in a customer journey, which will make them realize the actual issues a customer faces instead of guessing the experience. This generates a sense of empathy in brands and helps resonate with the experience they offer to meet customers' needs and expectations.

Also, understanding the current situations and stages in the journey will help brands predict what will happen next whenever a customer takes action. Anticipating customer actions will help fit the solutions and measures in the right place in the journey.

There are many more benefits of customer journey mapping. Some other benefits are as follows:

  • It gives companies a good understanding of the ideal content to be created for customers.

  • Helps enhance the customer’s first impression of the brand (customer onboarding).

  • Understands the needs of different customers as they convert from a prospect to a customer through a buying funnel.

  • To understand and resolve rising pain points.

  • Creating a sequence of the buyer’s journey.

What are the Steps to Create a Customer Journey Map?

So how can a company begin customer journey mapping? Given below are the steps involved in customer journey mapping.

1. Understanding the customer:

Have a fair idea about the type of customers. This is necessary as you cannot track their pain points if you don’t know who they are.

Understanding customers can be done by asking simple questions like:

  • How did you find our brand?

  • What made you purchase this product?

Researching will enable you to discover multiple customer personas. However, covering numerous personas on a single map is challenging, so it is best to focus on the persona that coincides with most customers.

2. Understanding customers’ goals:

Once the personas are built, it is time to understand what each wants to achieve through the customer journey. To understand that, brands can collect data when the customer navigates the website, browsing, searching for products, and comparing products.

3. Identify different touchpoints and pain points:

Once they are collected, they can be analyzed. For example, if there are many touchpoints, it may mean that the user was curious about the product/brand or found the website difficult to navigate.

4. Decide on the type of map:

There are 3 types of map brands can create.

  • Current state: Helps visualize actions, feeling, and behavior during customers’ real-time interaction with the brand.
  • Day-in-the-life: Maps the customer journey throughout the entire day, which focuses on their habits or if they are using the brand.
  • Future state: These predict customers’ future interactions with the brand.

5. Construct the customer journey:

With all the data available, the brand can carefully construct the journey from when the customer first encounters the brand until the purchase. Along this way, incorporate all the data from the touchpoints and pain points depicting the customer’s feelings and emotions.

6. Analyze the journey:

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and understand why the customer feels the way they think. This stage can also improve customer journeys in areas where the emotion is negative. This step allows the brand to focus on the areas where the customers’ needs are unmet.

How to Use Customer Journey Map to Improve Customer Experience?

The customer journey map helps improve customer experience as it considers every aspect of the customer’s behavior and engagement at every interaction. This gives companies the scope to pinpoint exactly where improvements are needed.

The business and marketing team can build business relationships and increase growth through this data.    

Customer Journey Map to Improve Customer Experience

For more clarity, let us take an example of TurboTax software. This software package mainly focuses on helping people to prepare taxes. When they introduced their new product Personal Pro, they designed a customer journey map to understand the experience their customers would get and how the product would fulfill customer needs.

The TurboTax team used deep data research, customer surveys, and conversations with professionals in the tax industry to get a clear idea about how their product can impact the targeted customers’ lives.

Their map starts from when a customer opens their website to filing tax. This detailed mapping helped the team to understand the touch points customers will go through and the pain points and satisfaction levels their customers will experience. This led them to make the product experience even smoother.