First and foremost, the customer journey map will help you empathize with your customer and improve your understanding of personas. As someone who spends all day working on/with/for your product or service, you spend a lot of time on one side of the table, while your customer is on the other. It will help you make product roadmap decisions that will increase customer satisfaction. Keep in mind that customer journey mapping is not only useful for senior leadership or user researchers but also for designers. Customer journey maps provide an excellent visualization of the larger picture of the user experience, as opposed to just focusing on one screen or webpage. This can be exceedingly difficult to detect without a cohesive look at the overall customer journey.
Functionally, customer journey mapping also helps you to determine what touchpoints are enormously important. We call these top-priority touchpoints moments of truth. As a business, there is never enough time or money to improve every single aspect of your user experience, so you must prioritize. Customer journey mapping forces you to segment the user experience, therefore providing a framework for identifying those key moments of truth. In this case, your problem may not be your product but your lead generation efforts. Customer journey mapping can help you understand where to focus your time and attention. Customer journey maps should be exploratory, or discovery based. Customer journey mapping is as much about discovering unknown issues as it is about solving known issues. In general, you want to know what is happening and which of the existing issues has the biggest impact on your customer’s experience.
One of the greatest benefits of customer journey mapping is that it can help breakdown communication barriers between departments that can be detrimental to the business and the user experience. The process of creating a customer journey map must be cross-disciplinary.” Creating a customer journey map with a cross-functional team can help alleviate some of these pressures. Moreover, once a customer journey map has been created, we recommend sharing it with the entire company, and both referencing and updating it regularly. So, when you do reveal new problems to solve based on your customer journey map, be sure to assign follow up tasks to appropriate owners.
If used strategically, customer journey mapping can have a clear return on investment. As the cost of acquiring new customers continues to rise, maintaining your customers is well worth the investment in user experience. shows that companies who act on issues identified in customer-journey mapping can “lower the cost to serve by as much as 20%.
Bringing together a group to talk through what the customer journey experience is like and how customers feel at various touch points or moments throughout that journey crafts a narrative. Current state mapping paints a picture of how customers are interacting with your product or service right now. It is based largely off of customer data and observational research. This type of customer journey map is well-suited to helping you better empathize with your customer and diagnose areas where you can improve the user experience.
Future state mapping, on the other hand, is a representation of the ideal journey you would like customers to have as they experience your product or service. This type of mapping is all about conceptualizing and visualizing new experiences for your customer. It can help be something of a north star for teams as they go about their day to day, and work to close the gap between where the user experience is and where it should be. Day in the life mapping is a representation of all the day-to-day activities your ideal customer takes in their daily life, not just those where they use your product or service.
The best way to complete day in the life mapping is through a diary study, where you ask a user to record their thoughts and impressions during some activities or through their interactions with various touchpoints. For example, the journey of a user may have begun with them googling something related to your product or service but not necessarily directly googling the name of your business. All four of these types of customer journey maps can be extremely helpful depending on your business goals. For the purposes of this post, we are primarily focusing on current state journey mapping as we feel it is best suited for making an impact on the user experience.
Now that you know what a customer journey map contains, it’s time to start actually working on one. Once you’ve decided on your goals for creating a customer journey map, you can begin choosing the cross-functional team who will come together to create the map. Keep in mind that different departments all engage with customers differently and can provide unique pieces of the puzzle that you would likely not find without their presence. Observe your customers and compile your research.
Hopefully, you already have some customer monitoring tools in place that can aid in this stage of observational research. An invaluable source of feedback that is often overlooked in UX projects is your customer success or support department. Your CS department interfaces with your users daily and can deliver in-depth insights regarding what pain points they experience. These rich, in-house insights about your users are invaluable.
Another avenue for gathering user feedback is exploring reviews and feedback for your product or service. Google reviews, G2Crowd, and app store ratings are all great sources of user insights. It can be tempting to focus on positive feedback, but angry customers are a wealth of information and can teach us the most about where we need to improve. Begin filling out your customer journey map in a workshop style.
This is the part where your team can begin compiling everything that your research has found and start creating a visualization to represent it. Remember we are talking about the customer journey, not your business journey. Accordingly, the stages should make sense from the customer’s point of view, not so much the overall business point of view. While these stages may reflect a general flow for many businesses, you should absolutely personalize them to fit your customer journey.
Once you have the key stages you can begin listing the actions your customer will take during each step and the touchpoints related to those actions. This is useful as sometimes the step in the journey is not something the customer is actively pursuing. For example, waiting for a purchase confirmation is less an action taken by the customer as it is an event along the way. Touchpoints are important as they offer access to different actions.
However, with Facebook ads, interested people can click and be taken to a landing page with more information about the product. Sometimes a single action can have multiple touchpoints. For example, a customer may contact the support team via online chat, telephone, email or via a special feature in a dashboard. It’s worth separating these touchpoints as the primary reason behind building a customer journey map is to lay out the experience of people interacting with your product or service or your company in general.
For example, calling customer support may provide an excellent and positive experience when there is a competent and professional team. You may assign a goal to correspond to each user action. Try to define what the user is trying to achieve in every moment as this may help you assess different actions. This aspect of the customer journey map is really the crux of the entire exercise and getting it right is an important piece of a complete customer journey map.
This will allow you to quickly identify moments within their journey where your customers are struggling and moments where they are delighted. But you can always add an additional layer and try to determine what emotions exactly your customers are feeling. These are the aspects of your product or service that are the most important to your user. As UXPressia defines them, “MoTs represent the points in a customer journey when a key event occurs and an opinion about the brand is formed.
In simple words, these are the touchpoints when your customers either fall in love with your product or turn away and leave. MoTs define how the user will feel about their entire experience with your product or service. These moments will determine if they return to repurchase your product, if they recommend it to others, and in extreme situations whether they will take the time to publicly criticize your product or company online. If you have particularly complex customer journeys, 3 should be the maximum number of MoTs.
If the food was not tasty the customer will simply not come back to your restaurant. If the food was great and the service was friendly enough the customer is likely to come back. Once you’ve determined whether the experience in each event or touchpoint is positive or negative for your user, and you’ve identified MoTs, you will naturally be able to nail down the opportunities all this creates to improve your product and make it more consistent across touchpoints, easy to use and sticky. While this step is not always included in customer journey maps, we recommend including it if you can.
For example, measure the percentage of customers seeking help with your support team during the onboarding process. It is easy to say “design” or “marketing” but some of us work in companies with multiple departments that could easily take ownership like ecom, online marketing, customer management, product, and design. As a process, customer journey mapping is lean and can help you uncover what you know and what you do not know. With user research, you can validate your predictions then update your customer journey map accordingly.
Armed with this information, make appropriate changes, and see how they impact the journey of your users then once you have sufficient data on how the changes impact the user experience.