Did you ever wonder what product managers and marketers want? Digging into customers’ heads, for sure. What are they thinking? What makes them happy or sad? How do they decide to buy?
The Customer Journey Map is what can help you address these questions.
The Customer Journey Map (or CJM) describes the customer’s journey from where they don’t even know you to where they buy from you and beyond.
Note: CJM is all about the customer journey. A customer may buy your product for another person to use it. From this point onward, when we use the term “customer”, we imply a person looking for a product, choosing and buying it. The actual user may either be the same or another person.
The Сustomer Journey Map sheds light on your customer’s unmet needs and issues they may have when dealing with your company. You can improve the customer experience dramatically with this knowledge on your hands.
There are other maps besides the CJM: UJM, Customer experience map, canvas, Service Blueprint. The approach to map design is the same. We’ll elaborate on the differences in a mere moment.
Journey mapping demonstrates the user interaction with your product. The map highlights minor interactions, emotions, and all other factors affecting the purchase decision which you may not see in your funnel.
If a customer can quickly proceed from one stage to another and feel good, you’re doing great. Memorize these things and work on them. And remember this: all customer issues are yours — these are the things you should address first.
If you’re on the same page with your audience, you know what you can do to make them buy.
Enjoy every little detail about your customers with Dashly. Understand who you are talking to and what they need to offer the best solution. Track:
• Emails, phone numbers, and exit intents.
• Page visits, button clicks, and field-filling events.
Essentially, journey mapping implies a graph where you insert stages of user interaction, customer touchpoints, user actions, and their feelings.
Target audiences are what make all maps different. That explains why customer journey maps may have different names.
At different stages of user interaction with your product, you may have several UJMs within one CJM. That’s why these notions are often mutually replaced.
The digital travel agency’s customer journey map describes customer actions, expectations, and emotional reactions.
See the example of a complex customer journey map with the company’s business processes map below. Each dot shows what team is responsible for what. This handy map shows growth areas for user communication and their possible roots.
See the CJM example for b2b companies. If we remove the bright colors, we’ll see the stages and details at the core that influence purchasing decisions in b2b: several decision-makers, long deal cycles, etc.
We’re happy to share a detailed guideline with you. It’ll help you collect the data you need and structure it so that you can see how your customer proceeds along the funnel. You’ll see new opportunities to reduce churn and make your conversion rates skyrocket.
It’s highly likely that you already collected customer data. You can make good use of it, just don’t forget to ensure their usability with these questions:
Use these lists for reference to collect new customer data.
You can use Google Forms or Survey Monkey to run a survey and customer emails or social media to distribute your questionnaire. Remember that not all customers may find the time to complete it. The shorter your survey and questions, the higher the odds customers complete it.
The more you know, the better your customer journey map. Collect data from your website analytics and social media. You’ll see where users come from, how they interact with your website, and what issues they face.
Sales reps know all about barriers customers may have, and tech guys know issues that users encounter. You need this precious information to describe your users’ stories in the customer journey map.
Ask your teammates these questions:
Refer to your customers personally to hear what you need the most from them.
It’s highly likely that customers will share their pains during a personal conversation. This will greatly augment what you collect with a questionnaire.
Use this question list as a reference and begin with 5-10 customers:
The main characters of your customer journey map are the buyer personas of your customers.
A buyer persona is a generalized character of one of your customer segments. They have mutual behavioral patterns, ways of thinking, goals, values, etc.
You’ll need several personas for the customer journey map. All people approach their issues differently and may come to your product via different paths.
Stick to precise wording when describing personas. Use the collected data as a grounding for persona description.
You can describe a persona using these data:
This will help you see how customers proceed to buy from you, what they rely on, and what may push them away.
Rely on the real customer behaviors rather than your business processes, though they are often more chaotic and inconsistent.
Here’s how you may plan your questions to design each stage of your customer journey map:
Let’s consider a case. Suppose you’re an owner of an online clothing store called ESOS. One of your personas is Alice, 25, a marketer. She’s going to her sister’s wedding, where she’ll be a bridesmaid. Let’s see how we can plot Alice’s journey from the beginning of her search for a perfect outfit to placing an order in your online store.
Your persona may fall in love at the first sight, but that doesn’t happen often. Let’s see what’s going on with Alice during Stage 1:
Find a reason why your persona is looking for your product. This should be something they cannot do without you.
The reason in our case is an upcoming event for which Alice needs to find an outfit.
These are the things your persona is unlikely to articulate, but they will influence their buying decisions. You should also consider hidden motives in your customer journey map.
At the wedding, Alice will bump into her ex, so she needs to look fabulous.
Alice opens the Telegram channel of a famous stylist posting selections of nice outfits. She finds a dress from your website, follows the link, sees that her size is out of stock, and continues her search directly on the website.
Describe how a customer interacts with a company that will resolve their issues for the first time.
Alice’s starting touchpoints:
See which devices and channels your persona uses to get the information. Consider both online and offline sources: search engines, ads in social media or messengers, media, blogs, forums, word of mouth, etc.
Let’s get back to Alice. She has no time for offline malls; she prefers online shopping, follows some Telegram channels about fashion, and reads their updates on her phone, and googles online shops procrastinating at work.
The emotional side of your user’s story begins with appreciating an issue that needs to be solved.
Let’s continue with our example:
Let’s see which difficulties Alice might experience:
If you foresee the questions that can hold customers back, you’ll offer them timely help with a triggered message in live chat or useful content that will help them make a choice.
What questions Alice may ask:
Now the persona knows about your product and starts to think if they need it. Keep following the plan:
Alice knows she can find the solution in a particular online store. You need to push her to know more about it and buy.
Alice’s actions can be described like this:
This is not a complete list, of course. Describe the persona’s actions in full in your customer journey map.
It’s especially important at this stage to foresee customer questions and possible difficulties. You won’t feel good if your customer decides in favor of a competitor, do you agree?
Alice may feel confused about bad reviews on the fabric quality or long delivery. She may also experience difficulties looking for return policy details.
What might Alice wonder when making a purchase decision?
See what made your customer buy and what was the decisive factor.
Let’s say Alice already spent some time looking for dress options and she doesn’t want to do the same in another store. She found the size and delivery details sufficient to dispel her doubts. She likes the dresses she chose. Alice doesn’t want to spend more time on her issue and she’s ready to place an order.
It’s crucial at this stage to iron out the wrinkles because they may dramatically influence customer experience and repeat purchases.
Luckily, Alice made it through this stage smoothly.
But still, she might have these questions:
We already told you many times how important it is to work on customer retention. Loyal customers generate you most profits, that’s why you need to understand why customers make repeat transactions or not.
Put down everything that happens after a transaction.
Alice is happy with her wedding dress experience and returning the extra dress. When facing the same issue (vacation outfits in this case), she prefers a familiar online store to solve it.
Look at what you’ve put down in your customer journey map. At what stage do most customers churn? What do they find the most difficult? What brings negative emotions? What do they doubt about?
You probably already have it all on your map. Work on your growth areas, improve your product, customer care & support, and everything that matters to your customer.
Alice’s journey map highlighted several bottlenecks: an email that went to Spam, bad reviews online, and the return policy details that were difficult to find. If that’s your case, work on transaction emails, encourage loyal customers to post their good reviews and make the returns section more visible.
Designing the customer journey map means permanently reflecting on the customer experience. After you work on your growth areas, the customer’s journey changes, so go to stage one and begin all over again. Good luck!
For a wrap-up, we made a list of tools that you may find useful when designing maps: