All you need to know about customer journey mapping
Customer journey maps will help you identify gaps in your customer’s experience that cause them frustration.
Customer journey maps are a common technique used in User Experience (UX) design and Customer Experience (CX). They are typically a visual representation of a customer’s journey from their own perspective and the emotional relationship they have with a brand, service, product or channel. They give you clarity on how to put your user front and centre ensuring they have an optimal experience with your brand. They are a very powerful tool.
Customer journey maps are used to describe a user’s journey as they try to achieve a goal. This goal might be to get to the check-out on your website and make a purchase. Effective customer journey mapping will highlight the gap between the users’ expectation of the experience and the reality of the actual experience. Often the gap is huge resulting in a negative experience and a lost customer.
In parallel to plotting gaps in expectations, the customer’s emotional state is also plotted at each step. This can uncover opportunities to design a solution that will fulfil someone’s need, optimise a process or solve a frustration.
There is plenty of evidence out there to support the need for customer journey optimisation:
- In Gartner’s 2015 CEO survey, 37% of CEO’s rated customer experience management as their biggest priority over the next 5 years..
- Forrester data found that 72% of businesses have improving customer experiences as their number one priority.
- McKinsey & Company stated that optimising customer journeys has the potential to increase customer satisfaction by 20%, increase revenue by 15% and lower costs by as much as 20%.
- Salesforce reported that 86% of senior marketers believed it critical to have a cohesive customer journey.
Combine data and personas to create your customer journey map
Customer journey maps should use a combination of qualitative data (e.g. interview responses) and quantitative data (e.g. survey and/or web analytics data). This ensures the optimised journey is evidence based and validates some of the recommendations provided in customer journeys. Data in itself does not tell a story, but when overlaid onto a Customer Journey Map it becomes contextual to a user’s journey and visually points out what is and isn’t working.
Customer journey maps should also be based on defined personas and how they wish to achieve their goals. Each of the personas used in a Customer Journey Map should be based on the behaviour of the user as they interact with a solution. The individual persona that the journey relates to should be displayed on the journey map so that the persona can be cross referenced. Actual quotes from people within the audience segment that were used in the persona should be used to highlight the customer’s emotional state at each step of the journey. Design opportunities should be presented for pain points within the journey.
What are the benefits of customer journey maps?
Customer Journey Maps are incredibly useful for a range of things:
- They allow a design team to visualise a customer’s activities as they strive to complete a goal. This shows designers where sub-optimal experiences are occurring for a user and their emotional state in that scenario. Design opportunities can then be identified.
- They help stakeholders to identify and discuss the requirements of a project in context to the needs and behaviours of a user at various stages of a journey.
- They demonstrate how a user moves through the sales funnel, and assist in uncovering existing pain points. Conversion paths can then be optimised.
- They illustrate the number of steps it takes to achieve a goal. Are there too many steps involved in the process?
- They can aid in the process of uncovering what your competition is doing well and highlight opportunities for you to implement.
- They can help identify issues with Omni-channel experiences across various channels (social media, paid ads, website, in-store etc.) and using a wide range of devices.
As you can see, there are a lot of benefits that will positively affect the bottom line, increase customer satisfaction and greatly assist in the delivery of a great user experience. With a customer journey map in hand designers, marketers and sales executives can be armed with information that will help optimise experience of existing and potential customers. In a world that is increasingly expecting high standards in customer experience, customer journey maps are becoming a necessary tool for businesses.
For more information on how to undertake customer journey maps, contact us to arrange a 1 hour UX discovery meeting.