What is a customer journey, and why is it so important?

Creating the right experience for your customers is more important than ever. So how do you know what kind of experience you’re creating for them? It starts by mapping out your customer journey.

What is a customer journey, and how does it impact the overall customer experience?

Being able to connect with your customers beyond just the product or service you’re offering goes a long way when it comes to customer satisfaction. Understanding how your customer interacts with your brand and what motivates them to buy can help your business connect with them, even on an emotional level.

These deeper, more meaningful attachments are even more valuable to a business. In fact, 86% of buyers surveyed will pay more for a better customer experience.

A customer journey map is a great way to break down each interaction a customer may have with your business--from awareness to the aftersale. It gives you a holistic view of their process and helps see the customer on a personal level.

How can your business benefit from a customer journey map?

Having this in place allows for better aligned customer communication across all channels, creating a more cohesive brand experience.

Beyond that, it can help with other business objectives, such as:

  • Increase customer engagement through channel optimization.
  • Eliminate ineffective touchpoints.
  • Shift from a company-focused to a customer-focused perspective.
  • Break down silos between departments and close interdepartmental gaps.
  • Target specific customer personas with marketing campaigns relevant to their identity.
  • Understand the circumstances that may have produced irregularities in existing quantitative data.
  • Assign ownership of various customer touch points to increase employee accountability.
  • Make it possible to assess the ROI of future UX/CX investments.

How to Create a Customer Journey

Here are a few helpful steps to get started.

  1. Define your goals. What do you want to achieve with this practice? Set a goal so you’re clear on what you want to accomplish and how you’ll need to proceed.
  2. Conduct persona research. This can include interviews with customers or employees who work with customers, reviewing customer service calls or chats, monitoring discussions on social media, and leveraging your web analytics.  
  3. Define customer touch points. This is how and where your customer may interact with your brand. Be sure to include information that sparks action, which may include an emotion or challenge the customer is trying to solve.
  4. Map a current state. With the help of multiple stakeholders, build your customer journey map by organizing your data and touch points. For each phase, include the touchpoint, action, channels, and assigned ownership of each touchpoint. This will help identify gaps in your experience
  5. Map the future state. Once you’ve identified gaps, potential pain points, or obstacles create new potential solutions to add to your customer journey.

A few of our favorite resources.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to mapping out your customer journey. From whiteboards to power points and everything in between. The key is to find a template that works for you and your team and get started.

Here are a few helpful resources that may help.

  1. Helpful questions to build buyer personas from Bright Vessel
  2. Current and Future State templates from Hubspot
  3. Editable templates from Creately
  4. Create your own with Lucidchart, or use one of theirs

Need help getting started?

Creating a customer journey can be a lot of work, especially if your business has multiple customer types. Our experienced crew can help make the process easier. Reach out and let us know how we can help.