Understanding the experiences and needs of your customers is instrumental in developing strategies that drive business growth. By mapping out the different stages of the customer journey, from initial awareness to post-purchase evaluation, you can gain insight into where customers may be experiencing pain points and where opportunities for improvement lie.
This guide will walk you through creating a customer journey map, including gathering data, identifying key touchpoints, and using the map to inform strategy and decision-making. Whether you're a business owner, marketer, or customer service professional, understanding the customer journey is essential to delivering a great customer experience.
- The Customer Journey
- Creating a Customer Journey Map
- Case Study: Using Analytics to Outline a Customer Journey Map
The Customer Journey
A customer journey is the series of experiences and interactions that a customer has with a business, starting from the moment they first become aware of the company and continuing through their decision-making process, purchase, and post-purchase experience. It involves all the touchpoints a customer has with a business, including marketing efforts, sales interactions, customer service interactions, and more.
By understanding the customer journey, businesses can gain valuable insights into their customers' needs and pain points and identify opportunities for improvement. A customer journey can be broken down into several stages:
- Awareness: The first stage of the customer journey is when a customer becomes aware of a business or product. This could happen through advertising, word of mouth, or other marketing efforts.
- Interest: When customers are interested in learning more about a company and what it has to offer, they may research the company and its products or services online or reach out for more information. This stage is a crossroads, and a company’s digital presence is crucial in determining whether or not a prospect becomes a customer.
- Evaluation: During this stage, the customer evaluates whether the business or product fits their needs. This is often followed by comparing different options to decide whether or not to move forward with a purchase.
- Purchase: Once a customer decides to make a purchase, they’ll go through the process of actually buying the product or service. This may include filling out an online form, visiting a store, or speaking with a sales representative. This is another key step in the customer's journey, and businesses need to pay attention here, as it tends to have high bounce rates.
- Post-Purchase: A customer journey doesn’t end once a purchase has been made. A user-friendly post-purchase experience is just as important as the rest of the journey, and it can include things like customer service interactions and follow-up communications.
By understanding the customer journey, businesses can optimize their marketing, sales, and customer service to better meet their customers’ needs, leading to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and, ultimately, sales.
Creating a Customer Journey Map
Understanding the customer journey is more important than ever in today's highly competitive business environment. Businesses can gain a valuable edge over their competition by taking the time to map out the customer journey and identify opportunities for improvement.
A customer journey map is a visual representation of the steps a customer takes when interacting with a business; it can help companies identify key touchpoints, gather customer feedback, and make data-driven decisions about improving their operations. These are some of the steps to create a customer journey map:
- Identify key touchpoints: The first step in creating a customer journey map is identifying the customer's key touchpoints with a business. These touchpoints can include visiting a website, speaking with a sales representative, and interacting with customer service. It's important to consider all the ways a customer may interact with a business and any pain points or challenges they may encounter.
- Gather customer feedback: Customer feedback is essential for providing first-hand info about their experiences. Surveys, interviews, or focus groups are helpful ways to gather feedback from a diverse group of customers, since each customer may have a different experience and perspective.
- Create the map: Creating the customer journey map is the next step after evaluating customer feedback. Through a variety of tools, like a whiteboard or a spreadsheet, or by utilizing specialized software like Google Analytics and Mixpanel, you can identify critical touchpoints and any pain points or challenges that customers have encountered.
- Analyze the map: Data analysis will allow you to identify opportunities for improvement. This can include things like streamlining processes, improving communication, or providing additional resources for customers.
- Implement changes: After identifying improvement opportunities, it's time to implement changes to the business operations. This could include training employees on new processes, creating new marketing campaigns, or even revamping your website.
- Monitor and adapt: The final step in creating a customer journey map is to monitor the effectiveness of the changes that have been made and make further adjustments as needed. To do this, update the map with new data, modify processes, or make necessary changes.
Case Study: Using Analytics to Outline a Customer Journey Map
At Outliant, we know that understanding the customer journey is crucial for success in today's business landscape. In the following project, we implemented a solution to help Public Goods, an e-commerce platform that offers sustainable and non-toxic products, use analytics to create a customer journey map and improve their overall customer experience.
Here's an in-depth look at the process and real results of implementing a customer journey map using analytics:
- Website Audit: We began by identifying critical touchpoints in the customer journey, including visiting the website, browsing products, and making a purchase. Customers' expectations increase when they hear positive feedback about a product, especially on ads or social platforms. Since this is typically the first step in the customer's journey, we ran an audit to find pain points there that needed improvement.
- Creating a Plan: To gain more profound insights into customer behavior and identify areas for improvement, we implemented analytical solutions and analyzed data from all marketing and sales activities. While adding tracking analytics to the Shopify checkout process was challenging, our technical experts created a solution for single-user experience tracking from start to finish. This allowed Public Goods to visualize the entire customer journey.
- Implementing the Solution: To make the most of the analytics data, we carefully planned out the key performance indicators (KPIs) that Public Goods wanted to measure. We then assigned events to the KPIs and identified triggers that would fire the events. Our team meticulously analyzed user behavior, segmenting it in various ways, which gave us a granular understanding of how users interact with the products and why they take specific actions. To process the in-product data, we used Mixpanel, which enabled Public Goods to measure conversion rates, identify top-selling products, and review customer journeys.
- Improved Customer Experience: With this data, Public Goods was able to make informed decisions, resulting in increased customer satisfaction and revenue.
- Monitoring Progress: Additionally, Public Goods continued to monitor and adapt their customer journey map using analytical tools, such as Google Analytics, to track customer behavior and measure the effectiveness of the changes that had been implemented.
Overall, Public Goods’ integration of a customer journey map and analytical tools has allowed them to gain a deeper understanding of their customers and improve their experience, resulting in customer satisfaction and loyalty, which has in turn led to increased sales and revenue for the company.
Our objective at Outliant is to help companies reach their business goals by improving customer experience and driving revenue for your business. With our skills and expertise to create a customer journey map and implement marketing solutions, we're focused on giving you a clear understanding of your customers and helping you make data-driven decisions. To learn more about how we can help transform your business, send us a chat.