Customer journey mapping is not just a technique for big-budget projects or companies, but a critical step in understanding your customers’ needs, desires and pain points. They allow you to stay focused on the consumer, and to identify the ways that you can better serve them.
So what are customer journey maps anyway?
A customer journey map is an illustration of a customer’s experience engaging with a company and its product or service. The map can tell the full story covering the entire customer lifecycle from initial contact to activation, engagement, and beyond or focus on only a part of the story that lays out interactions or touchpoints critical to part of the customer’s experience. What makes these maps unique to traditional funnels is that it focuses on the customer and the questions and motivations behind his/her behavior. This helps to humanize the problems and thus put the consumer at the forefront of a company’s mind and strategies.
These are fairly easy to construct (depending on the level of sophistication you use), and require you to do something you should be doing anyway: observing your customers and talking to them!
There are several forms of journey maps to be aware of, based on the scope of the visualization:
- User Experience Journey Maps: to chart the digital experience
- Sales Journey Maps: to chart the path through the sales funnel (awareness to purchase)
- Customer Journey Maps: to holistically examine the full experience
We will focus on the last of these as it is the most expansive, most used, and often the most impactful in identifying big impact areas, and understanding your consumer’s full experience (which is what they will remember).
Another set of customer journey maps depends on the stage of the product. They can be either:
- Retrospective Maps: in the case of existing products and with actual users where we map existing behavior OR
- Prospective Maps: in the case of new products where we map how expect a consumer will behave
Here we will be focusing on retrospective maps.Read More