Creating Your Customer Journey Map

by | Marketing

Creating Your Customer Journey Map

Understanding your customers can be one of the biggest challenges of the marketing process. Even if you think you have a customer avatar built, sudden changes can leave you wondering what they’re thinking.

That’s why customer journey maps can help you dive into the demographics your business is targeting and help you better understand the customer experience you’re delivering. They’re an essential process of building a lifelong relationship with your customers.

What Is a Customer Journey Map?

According to a recent study done by the Baymard Institute, the average online shopping cart abandonment rate is 70.19 percent. This means that almost 7 out of every 10 shoppers on a site abandon their purchases before completing the transaction.

What if you could drop that number to six or five? What would that do to your sales?

That’s one of the biggest reasons for creating a customer journey map.

A customer journey map visually represents how a customer travels through your user experience. It provides you with information on how a customer moves through the process of working with you from beginning to end. It highlights strengths and weaknesses of the journey, giving you a chance to improve conversion rates and customer retention.

Why Should You Design a Customer Journey Map?

Marketing efforts are almost always one of the most challenging processes a business faces. John Wanamaker’s famous quote, “Half the money I spend on marketing is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half,” comes to mind.

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A customer journey map can optimize the process and help you make better decisions. A customer journey map can:

  • Identify your ideal customer and help you connect on a deeper level
  • Give you insights that help you evaluate your customer’s motivations
  • Improve sales conversions
  • Reduce customer complaints by giving you more information as to what they really want
  • Solidify your marketing campaigns and make them stronger, more relevant
  • Bring in repeat business

The stronger your marketing process, the higher your sales.

Designing a Customer Journey Map

Think of a customer journey map as a “point A to point B” design. Start where you first connect with a potential customer and move along the path all the way to building deep relationships with your customer base over time.

Start With Your Goals

Like every function of a good marketing plan, you can’t create a functional customer journey map if you don’t understand why you’re doing it. Be as specific as you can about what you hope to accomplish. For example, you may wish to decrease your shopping cart abandonment rate from 7 out of 10 to 6 out of 10. This gives you a target to shoot for and allows you to look at your customer journey differently.

Create Your Customer Avatar

If you don’t already have a customer avatar in place, now is the time to develop one. Use this to dive into who your ideal customer is and what they really want. The more realistic your view of who they are, the more you can understand how to relate to them along the buying journey.

Identify Pain Points

What makes better marketing is being able to speak directly to the heart of your customer. If you understand their weaknesses and drawbacks, you’re more likely to be able to speak to them in their language. Give them what they’re truly looking for. A little research may reveal pain points you’ve never thought about before.

Identify Channels

There seems to be a checklist of channels to use to market a business. Websites, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok. On and on it goes, guiding you to a variety of resources to reach out to your potential audience. In most cases, it’s better to get a clear picture of who your audience is and where they most like to hang out. Then give them what they are looking for, and get good at delivering.

Draft Your Customer Journey Map

As you define your customer journey, map it out so you can see it in visual form. This can help you reveal contact points you might not have considered before. It can also alert you to communication points, and how best to deliver the message. Maybe you’ve never considered video before, but your map reveals several perfect places for video messages. This isn’t a draft-it-once kind of project. If you use it regularly, refine it over time.

Test and Validate

Having a customer journey map allows you to see your marketing process in a new light. Test out different points along the journey, and see if you can improve your ratios.

Remember, the map isn’t something you’ll do only once. It’s a tool you can update and validate continuously over time. Review it quarterly or monthly, whatever suits you best.

The beauty of having this in place is it allows you to see your customer experience in a new light. The more you apply your marketing strategies to the process, the deeper you go and the more you can see how it all fits together.

Glaring weaknesses can easily come to light and show you where customers may need a little extra push to move to the next level of the buying process.

Customer Journey Maps Are for Everyone

Think your customer journey maps are just for the marketing team? Think again. The marketing team might not know where a touchpoint might be beneficial.

Once you have this in place, share it with the entire team. Ask others in your organization where they would make changes. This is a great way to get input from customer service, billing, or even production.

This can help you align your entire team around what’s most important … the customer journey. It can help align your goals across the company, and even create more empathy for what the customer goes through. It can highlight what they’re looking for.

Do you fully understand your customers’ journey? It’s no longer about guessing what they want. There are specific ways to define who they are and give them what they want and need most.

How can we help you develop your digital marketing strategy to fully advance your customer experience?

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