The Key Requirements of Customer Journey Mapping

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Stephen Schneekloth 2

Customer Journey Mapping helps you to understand where your customers are, the potential for an area and your penetration into that market, as well as how best to reach your prospects by marketing communications and sales/field teams.

A customer journey map is an incredibly useful tool to understand and improve your customer experience.  A great customer journey map documents your customer experience from your customer’s eyes, helping you to understand not only how customers interact with you today, but also identifies improvement opportunities.

Unfortunately, there is no standard for a customer journey map.  You can build it following high-quality design principles, or use smiley faces.  You can make it a work of art, or something that looks like it belongs on a napkin.

Also, the customer journey map may go by a different name, such as customer experience map, journey map, touch point map, etc.  The map provides a visual representation of how your customer uses your product or services, or how potential customers go through the shopping process.

In this article, I will detail the criteria I use to design and build a customer journey map.

The Critical Components of a Great Customer Journey Mapping

Represent your Customer’s perspective

The customer journey map needs to represent the interactions as your customer experiences it.  It often includes interactions that happen outside of your control, such as a social media interaction or a web search.  When developing educational content with a large retailer, it has been discovered that most of the shopper education was complete before they ever visited that retailer’s website.

Use research

Depending on the scope, the customer journey map process can involve interviews possibly combined with surveys.  Some companies bring in customers and build them interactively with internal staff.  This research can create a very powerful experience, although the small sample size can create bias.

Represent Customer segments

Your different segments typically have very different customer experiences.  In a pre-sales project for a service company we found that one segment typically spent two hours researching the category, while another consistently spent more than six weeks doing the same, using very different tools.  Imagine trying to represent these very different experiences as one.

Persona

We need a rich customer profile or persona. Describe his/her personal and business situation now (present situation) and in the future (ambitions).

Include Customer goals

A great customer journey map shows your customer’s goals at each stage of the process.  Goals can change as the process unfolds.

Focus on emotions

Emotions are critical to any experience, whether B2B or B2C, and a great customer journey map communicates these emotions.

Represent touch points

The customer journey map is often built to communicate the order and type of touch points – including those not in your control. Underneath every action we list all channels and touchpoints services the customer encounter. Not just yours! This way you will discover the landscape you are in form the customer’s perception.

Highlight moments of truth

Some interactions have more impact than others. Great journey maps separate those critical moments of truth from the rest. For example, when visiting a hospital, a bad check-in taints the rest of the patient experience.

Measure your brand promise

A critical outcome of a great customer journey map is measuring how your experience supports your brand promise.  If your brand promise is to be either effortless, highly customised, or unique, then your journey map is an excellent way to document whether your customer feels you are meeting that goal.

Include time

Experience length provides important context.  Does the typical call last 30 seconds or 10 minutes? Did shoppers spend 20 minutes or 40 hours deciding on a product?

Break the experience into phases

In a longer experience, customers are accomplishing different things at different times. For example, early shopping phases typically involve trying to figure out what questions to ask, whereas later phases are more transactional.  By understanding the customer’s mindset at each phase, you can customise the experience around relevant needs.

Include Customers and Non-Customers

A pre-sales customer journey map should always include non-customers, as they may follow a different path to make a decision.

This criteria will ensure you have a rich document that can serve as the foundation for your customer experience efforts.

Where your customers are and how many there are within your business territory is key to delivering success.

Blueberry Wave’s mapping insights answer key geographic questions that make an impact on your profitability.

Contact us to find out more.

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