A Complete Guide to Creating A Customer Journey Map

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Switchers are customers who jump ship when they’re unsatisfied with their experience. Thankfully, companies who understand their customers can transform switchers into loyal stayers.

Aldis, a supermarket chain, is a great example of a company that understands what its customers want and need. Their focus on customer satisfaction has helped the global giant reach annual revenue of $80 billion!

Are you ready to stop losing business because of unsatisfied customer experiences? Then you need to learn how to create a customer journey map.

Read on to learn the ins and outs of creating an effective journey map.

What a Customer Journey Map Looks Like

First, you’ll want to acquaint yourself with the different styles you can use to create a customer journey map. Each mapping style will help you address different problems and goals. For instance, if you want to learn how your customers are experiencing your brand at this exact moment, you should explore using a current state map.

Current State Journey Map

For a current state map to be effective, it’ll need to address several key points. Here are the things a current journey map should help identify

  • Where customers come from
  • What points customers interact
  • How customers purchase
  • How customers use products or services

One of the biggest advantages of a current state map is that you’ll be able to quickly identify pain points in the customer’s experience. For instance, let’s say your customers are reaching out via social media to get help with your products or services.

If you’re not up to date or active on your social media accounts, you’re letting down countless clients. A current customer map will help you identify these pain points so you can create an effective resolution.

Future State Journey Maps

Moving on, let’s look at the advantages of using a future state journey map. Here are 3 things your future map needs to address:

  1. The starting point of the customer’s journey
  2. The endpoint of the customer’s journey
  3. Messaging plans

Future state mapping is all about determining what you need to do now, to keep your customers happy later on. You can start by determining what your company needs to do to work towards being a leader in your industry. If something’s holding you back from rising to the top, a future map can help decide the best route for overcoming those hurdles.

Focusing on reinventing the customer experience, future state maps can help you unlock new value areas. We suggest using a future map when you addressing both sales and customer onboarding processes.

Day in the Life Maps

Moving on, let’s look at the advantages of creating a day in the life map to help you learn buyer personas. Here are the key things a day in the life map needs to address:

  • Goals
  • Painpoints
  • Timing indicators

A day in the life map focuses on figuring out how your target audience operates. Instead of simply learning who’s buying your product, day in the life maps help you explore how customers buy your products. For starters, you’ll need to determine any pain points potential new customers are experiencing.

For instance, if your customers enjoy shopping online, you’d need to thoroughly evaluate your company's retail website. The next step is to determine what you can do post-sale to keep customers happy. For example, perhaps your company needs to create product tutorials to help integrate your products into their daily lives.

Start at the Beginning

No matter which type of customer map you plan on using, you should always start at the beginning. For instance, if you’re mapping out the entire sales process, begin by exploring how customers learn about your company.

To address onboarding, find out what trial signups or purchases are bringing your company new business. By creating clear starting points you’ll be able to improve both your segmentation and content development processes.

Have a Clear End

Once you know the beginning of your customer journey map, the next step is to understand the end. Depending on the type of map you’re creating, the end will vary.

If you’re exploring the buyer’s journey for sales processes, determine what key performance indicators you can use to measure results. If you’re focusing on customer retention, you may need to find ways to improve your customer service efforts.

Make a Rough Draft

Now that you know the beginning and end, you can start filling in the middle of the purchase journey. We suggest creating several rough drafts as you figure out exactly what information, and visuals, you want your map to display. Your rough draft should include buyer personas, emotions, and touchpoints.

While some companies use complex maps, others choose to take a more simplistic approach. Complex maps are great for conveying a large amount of information. However, we find simple formats work best when it comes time to execute your strategies across the board.

Finally, remember why you’re creating a journey map for your customer’s experiences. Your main objective should be to put your map to use as a communication tool.

Whether you communicating with stakeholders, customer service agents, or sales teams, reference your map often. As you start maximizing your desired results, you may find certain areas of the map that have to be updated to reflect current trends.

Help Your Business Thrive

Congratulations! Now you know the best steps to take when creating a customer journey map. Which type of map do you think will help your company the most?

Are you interested in creating a day in the life map to get a snapshot of what your current customers are dealing with? Or are you looking for ways to grow your company with a future mapping style?

By keeping your customers at the heart of everything you do, your company will have a very bright future! For more ways to find success, check out the rest of this site.

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