Creating a customer journey map

Read on how to build a strategy for driving maximum value from your data by building your customer journey

Customer Journey Mapping

Creating a customer journey map

In all sectors, from retail and telecoms to healthcare, data has the power to be a competitive edge in multiple areas of business – none more so than customer experience (CX). After all, it’s not the data itself, but the outcomes of the insights that matter; generating benefits and value to people every day.

With customer touchpoints proliferating, CX is becoming a crucial competitive differentiator. In 2013, CX consulting firm Walker declared that customer experience will overtake price and product quality as the key brand differentiator by 2020. And that prediction has come to pass, perhaps even earlier than Walker thought it might.

But, while many companies grasp the strategic importance of CX, they struggle with how to effectively deliver an indispensable one. Enter the customer journey map, a core tool in your overall CX strategy.

What is a customer journey map?

A customer journey map is a visual representation of every experience your customers have with you. It brings into stark reality how your customers actually experience your brand, compared to how you think they do.

In creating a customer journey map, it helps to bring the focus back to the most important stakeholders in your business: your customers.

A customer-focused mindset is necessary for communications to be successful. It helps campaigns resonate with prospects and customers, leading to more sales and enhanced client satisfaction and engagement. Those results benefit everyone, and taken together they can offer a powerful differentiator from your competition.

Buyer personas must come first

Before you create your customer journey map, you have to get to know your customers. Specifically, you have to create buyer personas that will help you understand who your customers are and what they want.

Data points like average age and income will be instrumental when it’s time to flesh out your buyer persona. Grab as much data and get as detailed as you can, blending demographic data with psychographic information to help your produce a full impression of your typical customer.

Creating your map

Then you can start to sketch out your customer journey map, defining the different stages that customers go through from their first landing to an eventual purchase and subsequent interactions.

For each stage, you need to get to the bottom of what customers are trying to achieve while they’re there; mining data sources such as survey answers and user testing to reveal the answers.

Then it’s a case of plotting the touchpoints – the places where customers engage with your site and where you support the completion of their goals – which will show up any roadblocks and failings in your CX. 

By figuring out the moments that lead to your customers walking away and the ones that persuade them to stay the course, you can begin to influence the customer journey accordingly.

Final word

Get CX right and your customers will spread the word. According to Esteban Kolsky, 72% of customers will share a positive experience with six or more people. On the other hand, if a customer is not happy, 13% of them will share their experience with fifteen (or even more) people, becoming a detractor.

That’s why CX is the new battlefield for businesses. And data is your best weapon in the fight for supremacy.

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