Have you ever stopped to think about the steps your customers take before they make a purchase? However, understanding the customer journey is essential for creating a successful marketing strategy. That’s where customer journey mapping comes in.
Customer journey mapping outlines the steps your customers take, from initial awareness of your product or service to post-purchase follow-up. Creating a customer journey map can help you to identify potential pain points and optimize the customer experience. Not sure where to start? Follow these five steps.
1. Define Your Customer Journey Segments
The first step in creating an effective customer journey map is to define your customer segments using a lead management marketing tool that allows you to track and analyze customer behavior. This will help you understand each customer segment’s different needs and create targeted marketing campaigns. In other words, you need to decide who you’re marketing to.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to be as specific as possible. For example, if you sell women’s clothing, your customer segment could be “women aged 18-34 who are interested in fashion.” Once you’ve defined your customer segments, you can to the next step.
2. Identify Your Customers’ Goals
The second step is to identify your customers’ goals. What are they hoping to achieve by interacting with your brand? This will vary depending on your product or service, but some common examples include finding a solution to a problem, saving time, or making a purchase. Once you know what your customers are trying to achieve, you can begin mapping out their journey.
3. Plot the Customer Journey on a Timeline
The third step is to plot the journey on a timeline. Begin by identifying the different stages of the customer journey, then map out what happens at each stage. Here’s an example of what that might look like for an online retailer:
- Awareness: The customer becomes aware of the problem they need to solve
- Research/Consideration: The customer begins researching solutions
- Comparison/Evaluation: The customer compares different solutions and decides which one is right for them
- Purchase: The customer makes a purchase
- Retention/Loyalty: The customer continues using the product or service and may become a repeat customer or advocate
- Advocacy/Referral: The customer recommends the product or service to others
Once you’ve mapped out the stages of the journey, you can begin filling in more details.
4. Add Details at Each Stage
Now that you have a basic outline of the customer journey, it’s time to add some details. For each stage of the journey, answer the following questions: What does the customer see/hear? What does the customer feel? What does the customer do? Using our online retailer example from above, here’s what that might look like for the purchase stage:
- What does the customer see/hear? The website’s checkout page pops up with fields for shipping information and payment method
- What does the customer feel? Anxiety about entering personal information online and whether or not they’ll receive their purchase as expected
- What does the customer do? Enter their shipping information and choose a payment method; click “submit”
5. Test and Optimize
After you’ve created your initial customer journey map, it’s time test it out and see if any areas need improvement. One way to do this is by surveying frequent customers who have recently made a purchase from your business and asking them about their experience. Based on their feedback, you may need to make some tweaks to your map.
For example, if customers report difficulty finding items on your website, that would indicate that there needs to be more clarity at the research/consideration stage of the journey. Once you’ve made changes based on feedback, continue testing and optimizing until you’ve created an effective map that accurately reflects reality.
Customer journey maps provide valuable insight into how prospective customers interact with your business before making a purchase. Taking the time to create one can help you identify pain points and improve the customer experience. Use these five steps as a guide to creating your own effective customer journey map.