How to Improve the Customer Journey
It's important to consider what factors impact customer journey and what can make it better. Learn how to improve customers’ journeys to improve your ...
August 08, 2017
Customer journey mapping is a diagramming technique that enables companies to visualize the path a customer takes from the first exposure to a brand or company through the final purchase – sometimes including the post-purchase experience as well.
It’s a flexible technique, allowing marketers to use several tools and graphic visualizations to illustrate the entire customer journey or focus on a particular line of business, product or service, or path to purchase. It’s become an increasingly popular tool for businesses as the number of touchpoints that a customer may experience throughout the buying journey has grown, meaning marketers must work harder to create a consistent experience across a variety of channels and touchpoints.
The customer journey mapping process involves gathering a vast amount of data about the buyer or prospect from a multitude of sources such as:
Because the point of journey mapping is to visualize the buyer’s experience, maps are often in the form of an infographic. After gathering this information, it’s combined into a structured format and then broken down into graphics (charts, graphs, icons, and other elements) that are used to visualize it on the map itself. There are many templates and tools marketers can leverage to create a customer journey map. Whatever tools you use, the goal is to identify the key interactions a customer (often a particular buyer persona) has with your brand from the moment of first exposure through the final buying decision and beyond.
A timeline view is one of the most popular formats for customer journey maps, allowing marketers to identify the key touchpoints, states of mind, actions, and goals and motivations of a buyer at specific intervals or points in time. According to UX Mastery, there are several essential elements that should be represented in any customer journey map:
Often, marketers will gather this information in a spreadsheet (such as this template from the Content Marketing Institute) or worksheet, then identify the best way to visualize the journey after having a comprehensive view of the information that should be presented.
Customer journey mapping is a valuable process, but it’s not exactly a simple one. The data-gathering process can be complex, and aggregating data from a variety of sources (particularly when you’re combining anecdotal and quantitative data) can be challenging. That’s why technology such as sentiment analysis can be so helpful in the journey mapping process – it can turn otherwise siloed and even subjective data into quantitative, usable metrics that are easy to visualize, measure, and act on.
Some marketers end up complicating the process by attempting to map the journey of every buyer persona in a single map. Doing so makes it difficult to leverage the map for its true purpose: experiencing the journey through the buyer’s eyes. Because your company likely has at least a few different buyer personas that make up your target audience, and those personas have different pain points, different needs, and may take a different path to purchase, trying to visualize the journey for every buyer in a single map can lead to a cluttered and confusing result.
Instead, develop a map for each of your target buyer personas. You’re likely creating different content and leveraging different mediums to reach those customers, so it makes sense to create a stand-alone visualization focusing on a single buyer’s experience. If you need to visualize multiple buyer personas in a single map to gain a bird’s-eye view, consider a customer experience map. While some people confuse the terms, a customer experience map aims to include every possible touchpoint through which a buyer – any buyer persona – may interact with your brand. A customer journey map, on the other hand, focuses on the journey of a single customer and the specific path they take to purchase.
Tableau is the industry’s leading journey mapping providers. See how they Eureka Visualize powered by Tableau® brings your speech analytics data story to life.
Customer journey mapping helps marketers gain a better understanding of the buying experience from the customer’s perspective by tying a buyer’s pain points and actions to specific needs. Doing so has a multitude of benefits such as:
In other words, a customer journey map empowers businesses to better meet the needs of their prospects and customers, gain a competitive advantage, and reach key prospects with more relevant messaging that addresses the pain points they experience at specific stages in the buying process.
Have you tried your hand at customer journey mapping? What are your top tips for success?