• By Diana Tavares

Customer Journey Map: Why It's Important and How to Build One



Are you looking for different ways to heighten the connection your prospects have with your brand?


Do you wonder if there are ways to improve what you're currently doing? If so, then you need to take a hard look at your customer journey map.


A customer journey is about the entire experience that a client will go through whenever they engage with your brand. The more effort you put into perfecting it, the more customer loyalty people will build with your company.


See below for an in-depth guide on what a customer journey is and why it's so important for your company to focus on.


What Is a Customer Journey Map and Why Is It Important?


A customer journey is a methodology used to map and understand all the steps a customer takes in their relationship with brands.


Put yourself in your customer's shoes for a moment. You've come across a new company via Instagram. You enjoy the posts that they have, so you decide to click on the link to their website. 


While you might not purchase at first, you continue to build brand recall with their products/services. In time, with the right amount of positive experiences, you'll purchase a product from them.


If the product and service live up to (or exceed) your expectations, then you'll continue to do business with them and become a loyal customer for them. 


Congratulations! You've just gone through every step of the customer journey. Those five steps include awareness, consideration, acquisition, service, and loyalty. They used a customer journey map to win you over with every step and, in time, gained your loyalty.


Using a customer journey map, your business can analyse the experience that a customer has with your brand from start to finish. By doing this, you can make tweaks at every phase to see higher sales conversions, more lead generation, and so on.


How to Create a Customer Journey Map


As previously mentioned, there are five essential stages to a successful customer journey map: awareness, consideration, acquisition, service, and loyalty.


You can't hope to get a client to "loyalty" without successfully pushing them through all the other steps first.


An effective customer journey map takes brainstorming, analysis, and action. See below for an explanation of each.


1. Brainstorm the Customer Journey Map's Direction


Now that you understand what a customer journey is as well as the key components of a successful map for it, it's time to start making one of your own.


First things first, you need to begin by listing out as many goals for the customer journey map as possible, both short-term and long-term. What is the "why" behind your map? Who are you trying to attract?


The goals that you choose can be focused on reaching a certain amount of revenue, more lead generation, and so on.


2. Construct Buyer Personas 


If your company has never used the buyer personas exercise, then you're missing out! It is a great exercise for understanding who your brand is targeted at and what attracts them to companies such as yourself.


Buyer personas are imaginary customers that you make up based on real data. Take a look into your web and social media analytics tools (for example Google Analytics or Facebook Audience Insights), check forums where people discuss products or services similar to yours. Speak to your customer service team to understand what are the most frequent asked questions and frustrations of your clients, what channels they use the most to communicate with your brand, etc.


Give your buyer personas a name and define their personality, age, occupation, aspirations, describe them as if they were real people. For example, if you're a marketing agency, then you might build a buyer persona named "Joe".


Joe is anywhere between the age of 30 and 50 years old. He just started a new company and is looking to make a splash in his industry. His biggest pain point is not knowing where to advertise his agency in the wide world of digital marketing. 


While Joe would love to receive help from an experienced marketing professional, he doesn't like dealing with big companies. He's afraid his company won't be enough of a priority to them. 


Your marketing agency could build a customer journey map to the "Joes" of the world by expressing a brand of a friendly neighbourhood marketing agency. One that aims to help businesses grow. 


Tip: use a buyer persona template like the one below from Xtensio:

Xtensio Buyer Persona Template

3. Focus on Touchpoints


Touchpoints are everything to a successful customer journey map. Some are interactive, while others are passive.


This includes things such as apps, landing pages, website blogs, the packaging of your products, Facebook ads, emails, product pages, e-shops, videos, and so on. Basically, any way that your customer would come across your brand is considered a touchpoint.


Touchpoints occur in every stage of the customer journey map. By strategising which one's you'll emphasise in each stage, you'll be able to hold your customer's hand as you walk them down the path towards "customer loyalty".


Customer Journey Map Examples


Customer Journey Map by Bright Vessel


Customer Journey Map by Iris Tong Wu



Conclusion


Remember, the key to a successful customer journey map is understanding your customers and how you can connect them with your company. If you can do that, you'll experience higher sales conversions and quickly build your book of business.


Just to reiterate, here are the main points to focus on with your customer journey map:

  • Focus on each stage individually: Awareness, Consideration, Acquisition, Service, and Loyalty

  • Build buyer personas in order to better understand your target customer and their biggest pain points. Don't try to "exploit" their pain points, try to solve them. 

  • Focus on touchpoints at each stage to assist your customer on their journey. For example, social media for the "awareness" stage or a live chat feature on your site for the "consideration" stage.

If you need more direction for building your customer journey map, please be sure to reach out via our contact us page and we will be happy to assist you further.


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