Doctor Digital, what's a customer journey map, and how do I use it?
Doctor Digital Says
A customer journey map is a visual document that helps you understand the motivation, touchpoints and pathway a customer has on the road from identifying they have a consumer problem that needs solving, researching how to solve it, finding the solution, purchasing it and their actions after purchase. While many businesses operate on instinct about their products and services or from the producer perspective, the customer journey map looks at the whole transaction from the need of the customer, and in doing so will tailor a personalised solution that meets the needs of the customer, rather than what you think they want.
Customer journey mapping relies generally on having created a persona that details the demographics, motivations and emotions of the customer and how those elements drive customer behavior. Once the persona is done, and best created using some known knowns about your actual customers for accuracy and personalisation, you can start mapping their journey out. Customer touchpoints make up the majority of your customer journey map. They are how and where customers interact with and experience your brand.
As you conduct research and plot your touchpoints, be sure to include information that addresses elements of action, emotion, and potential challenges across the four phases of awareness, search, purchase/consume and post-purchase. Using real customers to gather information is the most direct way to gather accurate data, and there are a number of ways you can get intel on your market. These include:
- Conduct interviews
- Talk to employees who regularly interact with customers
- Email a survey to existing users
- Monitor discussions about your company that occur on social media
- Leverage web analytics
- Gather Net Promoter Score (NPS) data
Look for information that references:
- How customers initially found your brand
- When/if customers purchase or cancel
- How easy or difficult they found your website to use
- What problems your brand did or didn’t solve
Once you know the moves of your customer, now you can start aligning their journey with your marketing strategy. Personalisation is a key part of marketing, communicating and connecting with your potential and current customers, and acknowledging the elements of the customer journey powerfully builds that relationship.
Don't dismiss the end part of the cycle where the customer is post-purchase. This is especially important to capture their experiences, reviews and endorsements to share with others to support their choices along the customer journey.