With customer journey maps, you can create a visual representation of the way that customers experience your brand through all phases of the experience. This is the perfect way to understand what emotions your customers experience as they interact with your company – and it’s a great way to uncover touch points and areas of frustration.

Many companies begin building their customer journey maps in a timeline fashion. Think of the very first time a customer interacts with your brand – from the first time they come to your website or the first time they see one of your ads. The progression that your customer makes, deeper into your brand or sales process, is what will form the journey.

The secret to creating effective customer journey maps is to truly understand your customer. Start by talking to current customers. Perform research on your target audiences to understand how they make decisions, decide to purchase, etc. By customizing your journey maps to your business and your specific customers, you’ll be able to learn a great deal. But without performing the proper research, your customer journey maps will not be effective.

Why Customer Journey Mapping?

The benefits of customer journey mapping are impressive. Research has shown that two-thirds of companies compete based on customer experience and that 73% of customers agree that customer experience helps to drive their buying decision. Effective customer journey mapping will help you with:

  • Finding and keeping customers. Customer mapping will help you understand at which part of your process your customers or prospects are dropping off. By alleviating those points, you can form deeper and more successful relationships with customers – and it helps you gather research on what will work better in the future.
  • Perfecting the customer experience. Because mapping builds on your customers’ feelings during the different phases of a buying process, your business can use that knowledge to understand how users navigate your website – and correct any issues that might be preventing them from becoming fully engaged.
  • Improving internal communications and operational efficiencies. A customer journey map can serve as a single source of truth that you can use to help break down silos and close gaps within your organization.
  • Making better predictions of ROI. A validated customer journey map provides data that you can use to make future predictions on strategies and programs based on past results. Because your map gives your greater insight into what exactly works and doesn’t work, you can use it to radically improve your business.

How To Create Customer Journey Maps

Ready to create your very own journey maps? Consider the steps below as a quick-start guide that can help you get going:

  • Define your goals: Think about how the process will create an impact for your organization. What are you hoping to achieve. Properly defining your goals is essential to properly aligning your efforts as you get started.
  • Create personas: Develop profiles of your current customers, preferably based on the interviews you have conducted. Consider using email surveys or 1-to-1 conversations to deepen your understanding of the journey that led your customers to become engaged with your business.
  • Build your touch points. The most critical aspect of figuring out your customer journey is accurately capturing all the disparate touch points that they experience. Try to focus on aligning your touch points to include actions, emotions and whatever challenges they might face.
  • Distinguish between future and present states. Start by basing your journey map in what you think is your present state – then try to extend it out to what you want your future state to be. The exercise will help you uncover insights on how to improve multiple aspects of your process and organization.

With effective customer journey mapping, your organization can be better positioned for lasting success. Want to learn more about how CDS Visual can help you improve your sales – while lowering costs? Request a free demo today!

Please see below for an example of a journey mapping template.

Journey map example

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