What is a Customer Journey Map?

Customer journey map

WHAT IS A CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAP?

A  customer journey map is a tool used to visualize the customer’s experience while interacting with your brand. The map outlines everything from when a customer hears about your brand, to their purchase experience, and post-purchase activities. Creating a customer journey map will help you reverse-engineer positive experiences to keep customers happy and coming back simply by understanding your customer’s motivations, needs, and pain points. To make the most of this exercise, we’ll also talk about buyer stages and where they come in. To create your own customer journey map, use our free downloadable template! Customer journey mapping is just one of the activities we do when developing a strategy, and it’s something we do for our clients as part of our Essentials Package.

Free Downloadable Customer Journey Map Template

DOWNLOAD FREE CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAP TEMPLATE

WHAT ARE BUYER STAGES?

Buyer stages are the stages customers go through from awareness of your brand to consideration, conversion, loyalty, and advocacy. The top of the funnel is wide because many people may become aware of your product but not all will consider purchasing. The funnel narrows because only a small percentage of people who become aware will complete the desired action, which is usually a purchase.

Marketing buyer funnel in the typical customer journey

WHY BUILD A CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAP?

  • Synergize sales, marketing, and customer service. A customer journey map will reveal opportunities to increase synergy between departments. For example, if there’s confusion on return policies, the marketing team can gain insight from customer service teams to clarify product language, which can lead to better-targeted content, driving more leads to the sales team.
  • Identify gaps and pain points. Moving from one touchpoint to another, you’ll be able to expose communication and service gaps between your brand and the customer. You may also reveal gaps in communication among your team members that are affecting the customer experience.
  • Increase customer satisfaction and engagement. Having a better understanding of the potential scenarios customers might have with your brand will inform you of their feelings and help prevent negative experiences. Happy customers will improve your reviews and increase the chances of customers recommending your brand.

CHECKLIST FOR CREATING YOUR OWN MAP

  • Define KPIs for each buyer stage. Key performance indicators are the metrics that matter most to you, and they should be specific to each buyer stage.
    • Awareness – reach, impressions, traffic sources
    • Consideration – website traffic, call-to-action clicks, leads
    • Conversion – conversions, purchases, ROAS, cost of customer acquisition
    • Loyalty – customer lifetime value (CLV), repeat purchase rate, ROI
    • Advocacy – shares, post engagement
  • Identify customer activities. Which actions do your customers take during each buyer stage? For example, maybe during the awareness stage someone was browsing social media and found your ad.
  • Identify touchpoints. How do prospective customers interact with your brand as they move through the buyer stages? Download the template to see a list of common touchpoints. Consider whether each touchpoint offers a pleasant experience.
  • Determine which departments are involved. Let’s say this exercise reveals that you need to improve your website’s check-out experience; which departments are involved? This will help you get a list together so you can take action and resolve any pain points during the customer journey!