Guide to design a Customer Journey Map

December 20, 2018
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Guide to design a Customer Journey Map

The Customer Journey Map, or Customer Experience Map, is one of the most interesting Design Thinking tools that help a company showing every stage that a client will need to contract a service or buy a product.

For every company, the client is the core of their activity, resources, and expectations. A company exists by and for its clients. The products and services that the brands offer will be successful or not depending on the reception they have on the part of the clients since they will be the ones who buy or use them.

That is why it´s crucial the Customer Journey Map on your brand. So you can take care of your customers, knowing at all times their interests, what excites them and what they need from your company.

However, many companies take lightly the importance of knowing what has been the customers` experience to try to improve it, which is a big mistake. In fact, all the statistics about the user experience show that a good experience is very important for the customers since otherwise, they will abandon you. For a sample, the following data:

  • 66% of users who´ve changed brands have done because of the poor service.
  • 91% of unsatisfied users who don´t complain they just abandon the website.
  • 67% of users find in a bad experience the reason to abandon.

What is the Customer Journey Map?

The Customer Journey Map is a tool that will allow you to know and develop a user’s experience about to a new product or service.

When a customer buys something he doesn’t´ pay for the product itself but for the problem that solves them or for the satisfaction that it produces. For this motive, it´s essential to guide the company´s market considering the expectations, needs, and demands of your clients.

The Customer Journey Map is like the life cycle of the customer concerning a specific product. However, what makes this type of analysis special is that it’s based on more experimental knowledge, based on how the customer relates to your brand, how it feels to use it, what it thinks about each of the points of contact it has with the company.

The Customer Journey Map is, therefore, a map that identifies each stage and interaction through which the client passes, regardless of the way that he acquiring a product.

So a first point of the map should always be the first contact of the client with your brand and the final point on the map will be when the client fulfills the objective that the company had set, which may be that the client registers in your page or make a purchase.

How to design a Customer Journey Map?

There is no specific way to develop a Customer Journey Map. Depending on the goals you are looking for or the problems you want to solve, you can use any way of doing it. But, any Customer Experience Map must have the following basic elements:

  • People: The clients.
  • Timeline: Where the interactions are shown along a given time space.
  • User experiences: The type of emotions your customers feel when interacting with your brand.
  • Contact points.

In addition, the following phases can be defined in a Customer Journey Map:

  1. Objectives: the objectives to be achieved must always be clear. However, the objective of a Customer Journey Map is not so much a sale as the development or the customer trajectory with your brand.
  2. Identify the customer: A crucial step to design a good Customer Journey Map. You must specify in which client the map will be focus since according to the user, the path will change completely. Therefore, create a specific user profile. For this, tools such as the Buyer Persona or the Empathy Map of the client will be especially useful.
  3. Stages of the journey: You must specify which stages related to the product or service you´re going to analyze. Some of the phases that you must take into account are:
    1. First contact: How did you find it?
    2. Guidance: How can you evaluate your product or service?
    3. Interaction: What is your objective? What does he want?
    4. Retain: What can you do to make the client stay?
    5. Expansion: What do you do so that the client speaks to other users of your brand?
  4. Needs and activities: It enumerates the activities that the customer carries out in each stage of your map and thus you will also find out what are the needs and motivations in each one of them. This is essential because it will help your company to interpret and understand your clients better, and thus know what movements you should do or what options to take to improve your experience.
  5. Contact points: Once all the stages of the map have been defined, it is also important to specify which are the points where interaction will take place, that is, the “touchpoints” where the user get in contact with your business. Each journey will be different. That is why you should think openly to have a global vision. The way to contact the company can vary, since it can be in a personal, physical way, by email, through a mobile app, etc. In each of the points of contact the customer’s feelings can be:
    • Positive.
    • Neutral.
    • Negative.
  6. Key moments: In some contact points, the client will have moments in which he feels lost, happy or angry, for example. That is why it’s vital to pay special attention to these moments to be at the user’s disposal so that we can help them. To identify the key moments, it’s important to create metrics that allow you to know and quantify these moments.
  7. Sensations: you must identify the feelings and sensations that customers have had during all stages. Control, measure and evaluate every experience that the user has had in the various contacts with your brand, product or service since every detail matters. These sensations can also vary, from a feeling of frustration (“I cannot find what I’m looking for”), impatience (“I want you to answer me now!”) Or happiness (“how good everything has turned out”).

To get the information that will help you design an effective Customer Journey Map you can use many different sources:

  • CRM Reports.
  • Qualitative analysis of the browsing process for your web page.
  • Call records made by clients.
  • Interviews with real clients both before interactions and post interaction.
  • Sector opinion barometers.
  • User panels.
  • Concept tests.
  • Surveys with type users.

3 reasons to use a Customer Journey Map

This tool serves to know everything about the customer´s experience with your brand, but it’s also important to specify the different uses that Customer Journey Map can offer you:

  1. Understanding your clients better: Knowing your customers’ experience will help you to understand them better, to know when they feel frustrated, satisfied or bored and, what you are failing and what you are doing well. In the case that you´re failing in something, this tool will bring you the possibility to redesign the customer’s experience by identifying the weak points you have. In the case that you´re doing it well, it´ll help you grow and discover new options to innovate and improve even more.
  2. The way of the product or service: The Customer Journey Map will be handy to know the products and services route. As you see the journey of your customers, you can know the best stages of your new products and services. The map lets you know what are the most attractive and interesting features of your new products and services, to get the best out of them and improve their weaknesses.
  3. Improve the relationship with your customers: The relationships that you´ll be able to establish between your company and your customers will be much closer, since you´ll know better, thus achieving to adapt to their expectations and offer them the best product or service.

Therefore, if you want to get closer to your customers and understand them better, the Customer Journey Map is an ideal tool. It´ll help you improve your business and, enforce your customers´ relationships.

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