Customer Journey Mapping and it’s importance

customer journey mapping

When it comes to businesses, one of the most important factors that influence the growth of the business is the kind of conversions that one is getting. If you have generated a lead and the same doesn’t convert to a successful customer, there is no point to it at all.

The main reason why it is important that one keeps a close eye on the same is all because of the fact that it is what helps find loopholes through the process of branding and come up with better way to promote better lead conversions.

To help you understand things better, we have explained everything there is to know about customer journey mapping and the advantages behind it.

What is Customer Journey Mapping?

A customer journey mapping is an overall diagrammatic and visual representation of a customer’s journey and interaction with a brand, via different channels and how they respond till the final stage of the conversion.

The process is a very crucial part of a company’s branding because it gives away a picture of the way a customer is interaction with a brand or their products and the kind of engagement they are indulging in and whether the same is expected to run on a long term basis.

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When you don’t have an in-depth understanding through with the customer journey, there are chances that you might think that the process is just as easy as it looks. One offers a potential customer to buy something and they simply buy it.

What many brands aren’t aware of is the fact that the process from the generation of the lead to the final closing of a successful sale isn’t as simple as it looks like. It is actually quite the opposite. There are several elements involved and requires a lot of in-depth understanding.

Understanding where your customers are coming from and then following them through the entire journey from the start till the end to see what kind of process they are following through is quite important.

Why is Customer Journey Mapping important?

As we did mention, you never know where your potential customers are flooding in unless you have a complete map of it. A customer journey map helps you get a clear picture of the sources of traffic, the kind of potential that your website has in terms of user experience and whether or not the products that you are selling online are actually something worth it for the customer.

customer journey map example
Source: Lucidchart

These are some of the primary reasons why the customer journey mapping has gained such a lot of popularity over time. Given that it provides with a complete breakdown of everything that there is to know about the overall customer’s habits through the website, it helps you find what is it that you are doing right or the opposite too.

It helps the marketing team involved to find better answers to their questions and even help in tracking the quantitative KPIs that many tend to not know much of.

What are the types of Customer Journey Mapping?

In terms of business terms, it is said that the customer journey mapping does come in a number of different types, well, three to be precise.

They include:

  • Current state mapping
  • Future state mapping
  • Day in the life mapping

The current state mapping, as the name suggests, helps in understanding the kind of interactions that the customers are indulging in right at that moment. These maps are predominantly used to highlight the overall business experience process for the better.

The future state mapping is taking an inventory of things that one needs to do in the future to enhance the overall customer journey. This includes the list of all the things that you will need for your audience to have an ideal journey while navigating through your website.

The day in the life mapping is often integrated with the sales process to further help understand the buyer persona better. It helps in understanding the demographics, the target audience, as so on and so forth. It could include the goal, the pain points and even the timing indicators involved in the process.

What are the stages involved in a Customer Journey?

Before we talk about how you can create a customer journey successfully, it is important that you are aware of the different elements that are involved in the overall customer journey. The process isn’t as easy as it might sound like but knowing these stages can help make the process of mapping everything a lot easier.

components of customer journey map
Source: Visme

To break it down, the customer journey is divided into five different elements, all of which play a very crucial role in deducing a successful conversion.

Let us take a look at each of them, shall we?

Starting off with the awareness

The very first stage of the customer journey is when they are aware of the fact that they have some queries and issues that they need answers to. This is the stage when they take it to internet to find the direct solutions if they don’t get it manually. This is where you need to make an entrance.

Majority of the experts involved in the field of marketing tend to suggest saying that the overall awareness phase in the process is what you can define as the first impression that you have on the customer.

The main thing that you, as a brand, want to do is to provide value to the customer’s thoughts and needs. You need to convince the potentially wandering customer that the answer to their query lies with you. It is important that you do help them navigate better through the process.

Follow it up with consideration

Once the customer is convinced that you could be a good fit for the things that they had a query about or the issues surrounding it, you want them to consider or evaluate the services you are offering.

At this stage, the prospect has already done their initial research and is done with the basic understanding of everything that your brand represents. This is the phase where you know that the customer has most definitely narrowed down the options but they are still looking around.

This is the stage where the customer is potentially evaluating your product and comparing the prices with the other brands along with the user reviews that you have up on your website.

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This is why you need to evaluate yourself as a brand and have an online reputation and credibility that doesn’t make the customer retract but move forward with the journey.

The stage of decision

One the customer has tested out all the waters and compared and evaluated everything, the next stage is the decision.

This is the stage where the customer is finally ready to pick one option from their multiple options to make the final purchase. By this phase, they have done all the research there is needed and is ready to make the final purchase.

One of the most important factors that influence whether or not your brand is the one the customer relies on is to ensure that you have good online reviews.

You just can’t do without it. Even just one bad review could have a bad lasting impression on their minds which is why it is important that you work on better online reputation.

Retain them all

If you want your brand to grow and flourish, it is important that you retain your customers. It is easier to retain a customer than work on getting new ones. But, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to work on getting new customers, you just need to ensure that the ones you already have, stay.

If you have a customer who has reached till this stage, chances are that your brand is doing things the right way. Building better trust and appreciating a customer’s loyalty to the brand are some of the best ways in which you can retain an already existing customer. It actually isn’t that hard as it seems.

Let them take the legacy on

The last stage of the customer journey is also the hardest to acquire. If you have a customer that’s advocating for your brand and passively promoting it, chances are that you must have done a number of things the right way.

For the best results through with this, it is important that you reward the customers who are taking their time out to share your brand with their friends and family.

It could be in the form of a personalize discount or even some other form of appreciation that you know will make them feel special and trust your brand even more.

Things to follow while creating a Customer Journey Map

When you are sitting down to create a customer journey mapping, there are a number of factors that one does need to keep in mind. This is exactly where the things start getting a little tricky.

To help you understand things better, we are going to share some of the important elements to keep in mind before drawing out a customer journey map.

Deduce the scope

The very first in the process is to chalk out the scope behind the map. You want to ask yourself what kind of level of mapping you are thinking about. It could be something as simple as the flowchart level or even something complex than that.

Focus on the user persona

The next thing to focus on for the customer journey map is to focus on establishing an user persona. Nobody will know the target audience better than you do. The user persona is often created based on the kind of information that you have gathered about your target audience.

This is why research is a very important part of the customer journey mapping. Having better gathered information helps prevent you from making false assumptions about the audience and prospects.

Create a scenario

You can’t necessarily make a good branding until and unless you know about the kind of expectations that the users have from you. This is a very important phase that one does need to pay close attention to. Defining the user expectation helps in drawing better impacts in changing things through the customer journey that finally clicks.

Have some listed touch-points

The touch-points are defined as the “user actions and interactions” with the brand or even the products that you have around. It is very crucial that one identifies all the main touch-points before finalizing things around the same.

Understand user intention

So, you have an user clicking on your product page and scrolling through it. But, the one factor that you need to focus on while mapping things out is to understand the kind of intention the user has.

Different target audience and different prospects will have different user intention. This is one of the reasons why it is quite important that you do focus on understanding through each one of them for better results.

Put everything together

Once you have everything put together, the next stage is where you plan a rough draft around it. Sketching everything out can actually help you have a concrete plan of what to do and what to avoid round with this.

It is best to opt for step by step interaction because that further helps demonstrate the experiences around it a lot better. There are several tools available online that can help with the same as well.

Consider the emotions

If you don’t put yourself in your customer’s shoes, chances are you wouldn’t know what they are exactly looking for. When it comes to a customer journey, you want something that’s actually smooth and doesn’t hinder along with the user interface and experience.

Consider things on a human level rather than that of the robotics and the machinery. Making an empathy map often does help in such situations as well.

Refine it all

Lastly, before everything is put into the final customer journey map, you want to validate each of the points and refine them to ensure that the same doesn’t end up causing an issue for you. Just make sure to follow through the steps and make changes along the way, if necessary.

How can one improve the Customer Journey?

In order to enhance your customer journey, you need to focus on some of the key highlights involved in the process. Some of them include the following:

  • Identify the loopholes and get rid of them for good
  • Raise the bar of satisfaction for the customers and treat them like royalty for their loyalty to the brand
  • Work on retention and offer sweet deals that help in enhancing the customer journey
  • Remove the unnecessary call to actions and just give the target audience what they want. Remove the distractions

The End Note

Customer Journey Mapping is a necessity above anything else. It is quite an important part of the process of branding because it helps a brand understand where they stand in the market in terms of making the prospects satisfied with the process.

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