Your customers’ pre-purchase journey starts before they have even heard about you. In fact, every customer goes through a decision-making process before purchasing any kind of product or service. If you want to win more customers over, you need to be able to enhance their experience from the early stages of their decision-making process. To better understand your customers’ journey, marketers often use a customer journey map.
What is a customer journey map?
Before we get to the definition of the customer journey map, let’s take a look at the component concepts: a customer journey and a map.
The Customer journey is your customer’s experience before, during, and after the process of discovering and adopting your products, services, or business in general.
A map is simply an informative visual guide that can be used as a reference for a specific purpose. Traditionally, we use maps to navigate locations and distances and to get from point A to point B. In business, we use various types of maps such as Wardley Maps, Business Process Maps, etc. to navigate the strategic landscape.
A customer journey map is a visual representation of your customer’s complete interaction with your company starting from coming across your product or service, and continuing through every interaction with your business during and after the purchase process.
How To Complete A Customer Journey Map Quicksheet?
To make this process more intuitive, we have also created a Purchase Decision Process Model Quicksheet that you could complete before starting your customer journey map. We strongly recommend using it as a starting point, especially if this your first time drafting a customer journey map.
To better understand each stage of the customer journey, we recommend that you think of yourself as one of your customers and think about how you would approach the decision-making process. This also helps you to identify what your business can do better to stand out from the competition and make the decision-making process easier for customers.
Your customer journey map consists of five different stages. Each stage represents a step that a customer takes during the decision-making process.1. Awareness
The very first stage of every customer’s journey is awareness. This is when they come across a certain problem or discover a need.2. Consideration
After need recognition, customers often move on to the consideration stage, start their research, and look at all of their options.
They will use search engines, blog posts, videos, recommendations from friends and family, etc. This is a critical stage of their journey. Your online platforms need to be easy to find and do an effective job showcasing your value. This is why you want your marketing efforts to be targeted towards the right people.
Most people have a list of criteria that helps them with alternative evaluation and ranking and ultimately eliminating options that don’t fit their requirements. It is important that you, as a business, identify these criteria and adjust your business and marketing efforts to meet your customers’ needs.
Tip: Make sure you have included your contact information so people can contact you easily if they have any questions.3. Intent
This is the decision-making stage of the customer journey. All the research done in the previous stage helps the customer narrow down their options and choose the one that stands out to them the most and which of their alternatives meets their criteria best. This is where you convert leads into sales.4. Service Delivery
This is where customer service and user experience are key. Once the customer has committed to working with your business (purchasing a product or service), it's up to you to deliver that product or service in a way that is convenient, reassuring, and reliable for your end user.5. Advocacy
After your service or product has been purchased and used by a customer, at this stage, they now have an idea of how they feel about their experience. If they are satisfied, they are likely to become loyal customers, write a positive review, or refer your business to their friends, family, and colleagues. On the other hand, if they are unsatisfied, they are likely to contact customer service or share their experience on social media or other online platforms. This is yet another chance for you to get in touch with unsatisfied customers in order to resolve their problem or improve their experience as best as you can. Keep in mind that the customer journey does not end after the service delivery stage, and your interactions still leave a significant impact even after a purchase has been completed.
Now that we have gone through each stage of the customer journey, we are going to investigate each step in the six following categories:Activities
What does your customer do in each stage of their journey?Customer Goals
What are your customer’s goals?Touchpoints
What specific distinct interactions do you have between your customer and your company?Experience
Graph your customer’s emotional outlook through each stage of their journey.KPIs
What Key Performance Indicators can you measure to ensure you’re on the right track?Action Plan
What opportunities do you see to improve your customer’s experience?
With an understanding of each component of the customer journey map, now you can start developing your own map. As your business evolves, there might be changes that you can add to your customer journey map.
You can always refer to this map to identify and discover areas of improvement and enhance the overall customer experience.