Briefly explained – Customer Journey Mapping

What do I need a Customer Journey Map for?

A Customer Journey Map is the perfect tool to get into your customers and look into their heads. The creation process gives you many new insights and insights to develop your business from a customer perspective. A Customer Journey Map allows you to find out whether, at a specific point in contact with your company, the customer’s expectations are being disappointed or even exceeded. It is a tool to build empathy for your customers and inspire them to tie them to themselves and your brand in the long term. Learn how to create a Customer Journey Map and what to consider.

Why should companies be developed from a customer’s point of view?

Customer-centric development is a key success factor for companies. Consistently integrating the customer’s view into business processes drives innovation, creates an advantage in the competition and helps you to inspire your customers and to repeatedly encourage them to buy or recommend you. It saves you the expensive development of products that do not convince on the market later, as you put your customers at the center right from the start and align themselves with their wishes and needs. There are various strategies and tools for the development of companies from a customer point of view, one of which is customer journey mapping.

What is Customer Journey Mapping?

Customer Journey Mapping, also known as an illustration of a customer experience, is a tool from Customer Experience Management. It helps you understand your customers. The customer’s path from the time prior to the initial contact with your company to the time after the purchase is fully visually reflected with the Customer Journey Map. The customer trip is usually presented as a linear history and each step on the trip is analyzed according to certain criteria:

– The phases of the process your customer is going through.
– The specific steps your customer must take at each stage or the touchpoints with your company.
– The channels that the customer goes through or the exact movement of the customer through the process
The triggered emotions in each step (positive, neutral, negative).
– The voltage arc or how important your customer classifies the respective step

Key factors that lead to customer satisfaction or disappointment are identified. Relationships between the different points of contact, channels and emotions are made visible. The steps or touch points on the Customer Journey Map can be directly and indirectly related to your business. Direct contact is, for example, a conversation with one of your representatives; indirect contact can be the experience at the post office, when picking up your parcel.

With the Customer Journey Map, you can also uncover vulnerabilities and pain points on the customer trip, which lead to the cancellation of the purchase. At the same time, purchasing accelerators, i.e. extremely positive emotions in connection with your company, can also be identified. With these new insights, you can specifically decide where to start first and where a change brings the best effect and immediate improvement. Investments can also be analyzed from the customer’s point of view to see if they lead to the desired results and actually to a better customer experience.

How can Customer Journey Mapping be implemented and applied?

There are no standard standards for creating a Customer Journey Map, so you should first consider what type of presentation best suits you and your business. You can do the description of the customer trip on your own, but better in a small team to exchange ideas and incorporate different perspectives.

The Customer Journey Map is based on a Buyer Persona, which means you should first be aware of which persona you want to create the map for. This allows you to respond and focus perfectly on your customer segment. Because there is no offer that appeals to everyone and marketing strategies etc. can be better built on a specific target group.
If you have defined your Buyer Persona, start brainstorming the various steps (i.e. touch points) related to your offer first. Note that the first point of contact may be before the first contact with your company. For example, your Buyer Persona has a specific problem and wonders how to solve it.

The steps are then supplemented by a storyboard. This is a small sketch that you add to each step to visualize the steps and uncover any ambiguities or illogical sequences. No artistic talent is necessary here, the sketch can be kept quite simple.

Once you have done this, you should include the various channels (online and offline!) in the Customer Journey Map. You should add to each step where it takes place, whether in the online shop, when calling customer service or by post when picking up your parcel.

Then you define the emotion for each step. At each step, it should be noted whether a positive, neutral or negative emotion is triggered. The goal is to first remove any negative emotions from the Customer Journey Map by optimizing your processes and services. After that, you can start turning neutral experiences into positive or even enthusiasm. You can add the emotional perception to the steps as a numerical value, or better still transfer it to a simple line chart that graphically reflects the emotional progression over the course of the customer journey.
You should always remember that experiences have different meanings for everyone. If a step is of great importance to your buyer persona, it should also have the appropriate significance for your company, even if you may not find it personally so important. You can represent this meaning with a voltage arc. Each touch point is assigned a meaning on a numeric scale. How much excitement, excitement or drama does your Buyer Persona feel at this moment?

You should compare this arc of tension with the emotional course. If the tension is high and the emotion negative, you urgently need to start here. However, a high tension and a very positive experience is good and the Buyer Persona will gladly remember you.

Your customer journey doesn’t have to be perfect, even trying to put you on paper can bring many new insights. For the Customer Journey Map, there are many pre-built templates that you can download and print, or you can create them yourself according to your own ideas. There are also various tools and programs for creation. Depending on your preference, the Customer Journey Map can be created as a table, matrix, or detailed graphic. In the end, each Customer Journey Map is unique and customized to your business. For other services, objectives or buyer personas, you should create your own Customer Journey Map in order to keep track and better identify the different customer journeys.

Ideally, you can also ask your customers about your experiences and points of contact with your company and exchange ideas with you.

Conclusion on Customer Journey Mapping

You have already come to know many possible applications, but there are no limits to your creativity, as there are no fixed specifications or a fixed model for mapping the customer journey. The Customer Journey Map can not only be used to map the current customer path, it can also serve as a vision of a future customer path. You can use it to develop and optimize products, plan and review marketing activities, target your customers across departments, or identify tracking opportunities and UX issues. This makes the Customer Journey Map an indispensable tool for customer-centric development and for achieving your long-term success!

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