What is Customer Journey Mapping?
Customer journey mapping, or CJM, is described as data that visually illustrates the customer’s experience through their perspective. CJM acts as a visual storytelling of how your customers experience your product or service from their initial contact all the way through their development of a long-term relationship with your company.
It helps to determine the processes, needs, and perceptions of your customers through their relationships with your company and can help you identify problem areas where you can improve the overall customer experience.
Why You Should Create a Customer Journey Map
A CJM is a useful tool because it helps managers identify weak spots within the customer experience. If you can identify where your customers feel frustration, confusion, or discomfort then you can improve their experiences and retain more loyal customers over the long term.
Some of the most common problem areas identified through CJM are:
- Complications between devices: when customers switch from one device to another;
- Complications between departments: when customers have difficulty interacting with different representatives to solve issues or answer questions; and
- Complications between marketing channels: when customers have difficulty navigating between your website, blog and social media accounts.
Using a CJM enables you to better understand the needs of your customers and the barriers that they face so that you can work to resolve them.
How to Create a Customer Journey Map
The best way to gather data to create a CJM is to sift through analytics from your website, social media accounts, and any other channel your customer’s use to reach your business. Look at the metrics of how your customers are navigating through your channels and what they are saying about your brand on social media. Check your ratings and reviews and create surveys to send out in email blasts. Surveys, and interviews even more so, provide a personalized and detailed experience from the customer perspective. In developing CJMs, some companies like to invite customers into their offices or conduct interviews using online teleconferencing technology to be able to discuss the exact process that they have gone through and what they may have experienced at each step of the way. This one-on-one contact can provide insights and details that analytics may not be able to capture, and this additional information can be incredibly valuable for companies looking to excel at customer service.
Typically, CJMs can be created in the form of an infographic or chart. Remember, you are trying to form a visual map that shows step-by-step what your customer experiences when they do business with you. For example, a CJM of an online retailer might show a customer going from clicking on a Facebook ad, viewing the company’s homepage for the first time, searching for a product, purchasing a product, checking out and paying and then receiving a confirmation email. Upon gathering customer data they may find out a high percentage of users leave after viewing the homepage and thus, they may need to redesign their site layout in order to keep potential customers on their site for longer time.
A CJM visually guides a company through the customer experience – from initial contact to exit – in order to help improve the overall customer experience. Where there are no barriers or hesitancies to engaging with your company, or making purchases, you will have better success at reaching your company targets and goals.