What is a “Customer Journey”? and Why Is It Important?
- What is a customer journey?
- How Do I Create a Customer Journey Map?
- Success Starts With Finding the Right Path
- Free Download!
What is a customer journey?
A customer journey is the complete experience a customer has with an organization. It encompasses all customer interactions across all channels, devices, and touchpoints throughout every stage of the customer lifecycle – from awareness to loyalty.
Getting to know the customer journey is about nurturing the customer experience
So often, when customers purchase a product or service, they’re anticipating that a pleasant feeling will accompany the purchase. There is a feeling of satisfaction, or a “high” people get from finding something they want, going through the process of purchasing it, and finally, enjoying what they bought. Customers notice this experience–the ease or hassle of it–even if you’re not consciously mapping out and planning the experience they will have.
How Do I Create a Customer Journey Map?
1. Define clear objectives for the map
Identify the purpose of your customer journey map, the experience it is based on, and its audience. Your map can be based on an actual, hypothetical, or future customer experience.
2. Conduct customer research to understand your customer’s goals
Collect info on your customer, including variables they’re likely to experience during their journey with your company. List related touchpoints, actions, channels, motivations, pain points, and ownership.
3. Start mapping the user journey to include touchpoints
With your customer’s info collected, add elements to your customer journey map that address the touchpoints and objectives specific to your customer.
Touchpoint definition: A touchpoint is any time a potential customer or customer comes in contact with your brand–before, during, or after they purchase something from youSurveyMonkey
4. Identify gaps along the customer journey and refine
Identify potential pain points in the customer journey. An actual chart makes it easy to visualize and refine the journey to ensure the customer has an efficient and satisfying experience.
When analyzing the stages and timeline your customers go through along a customer journey map, note the following:
- Actions: After you lay out the stages of your customer’s journey map (they hear about you through a review, visit your store, etc.), ask yourself what the customer is doing at each one of the stages.
- Motivations: What will encourage your customers (or discourage them) from moving to the next stage? What kinds of emotions do they feel in each one of the stages?
- Questions: Where do customers get hung up? Do they have questions and have a hard time finding answers? Could their uncertainties cause them to give up and find a different company? If your product is inherently complicated, could you improve the customer experience by proactively addressing your customers’ questions as they move through the stages?
- Obstacles: What kinds of obstacles do customers confront in each of the stages? Is cost a factor? The return policy (if applicable)? Think about anything that might cause the customer to give up and not complete the sales cycle while moving through the customer journey.
Success Starts With Finding the Right Path
Once you fully understand your customer’s experience with your business, you can delight them at every stage in their buying journey.
Many factors can affect this journey, including customer pain points, emotions, and your company’s touchpoints and processes.
A customer journey, and mapping the customer’s experience is the most effective way to visualize this information, whether you’re optimizing your journey for the customer or exploring a new business opportunity to serve a customer’s unrecognized needs.
Have you mapped your customer’s journey? Did you get into this much detail outlined here, or did you create an outline on a scrap piece of paper? You’re selling yourself short if you don’t dig in further.
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