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Customer Journey Mapping: Why it is important and how to successfully do it?

When it comes to delivering a successful experience to your clients, having an in-depth understanding of your customer journey is simply crucial to achieve this goal. Customer journey mapping is the number one tool to use if you want to have a clear understanding of the various touchpoints a customer has with a brand. I like to describe customer journey mapping as a dynamic process that allows businesses to walk in their customers' shoes, experiencing their journey by seeing it from their perspective while identifying area of improvement. But the mapping of your customer journey starts first by understanding what it is about.

What is Customer Journey Mapping and what is the benefit?

Customer journey mapping is a strategic process of analysing chronologically the entire experience a customer has with a brand, from initial awareness to post-purchase support. It involves identifying and documenting each interaction point, whether it is through digital channels, customer-employees interactions or in-person experiences. In other words, the goal is to create a visual representation of the customer journey so you can better understand the customer's perspective and build a powerful strategy around your clients.

As I like to say, customer journey mapping serves as a bridge between customer expectations and business objectives. But also between each side of every of your touchpoints (the clients’ side and the business side). And if you want to make this journey successful, both sides definitely need to be spot on. As both impact one another. For instance, by improving your internal processes and the different methods you have to collect and share internally your customers’ information, you will naturally make the experience better and more personalised for them.

One of the key benefits of a successful mapping of your customer journey is the ability to uncover insights that may otherwise go unnoticed. At the end of the day, it is all about being proactive with the information you want to get. For instance, getting key insights on your opportunities of improvements before getting complaints on these same issues is a great benefit of CJM. But it is also about clearly understanding what strategies to implement or change in order to improve your retention, customer acquisitions, testimonials or upselling opportunities.

How to successfully map your own customer journey?

Creating a customer journey map involves a lot of different steps. So where does it start? First of all, you must gather accurate information about your target audience (such as demographics, preferences and behaviors) and more precisely, your customer personas (a personalized fictional character created to represent your ideal user type). Once the data is collected, you can then begin to outline the various stages of your customer journey and do so from the initial awareness stage up to the purchase stage and beyond.

Each stage should be mapped out in detail while including the customer's actions, emotions, perspective and issues for each of the touchpoints they have the brand. But it also starts by clearly identifying all these different touchpoints while understanding which ones will significantly impact the customer's perception of the brand. These touchpoints may occur across multiple channels such as websites, sales call, onboarding meeting, email, phone calls and in-person interactions. So to summarise, you need to:

  • Define clearly your target customers and the fictional customer persona who represent your ideal user type within this niche

  • Analyse the different stages of this journey – 8 main stages: Awareness / Consideration / Decision / Delivery / Use / Monitoring / Loyalty / Advocacy

  • Analyse the different touchpoints your customer persona has with your brand within each stage

  • Identify which of your touchpoints are considered being “pain points” as detailed below

Once you have built your customer journey chronologically, you will then be able to identify which of these touchpoints are considered being “pain points”. And the best way to do so is to relate each of these touchpoints to:

  • Your customer’s perspective to understand it better

  • Your client’s level of satisfaction related to those touchpoints

  • Your or your customers’ requirements related to this touchpoint

  • The inaccurate / missing information you or your client is receiving / not receiving

  • The issues you or your client may be facing

  • The processes around this touchpoint

  • Your opportunities of improvement

Putting your Mapping into Action

Once you are done building your customer journey chronologically and went through each of your touchpoints, you need to make sure that you are turning any opportunities of improvements into specific actions. For instance, updating your internal processes such as your booking, onboarding or decision processes based on what you discovered can definitely be something you want to do. But it can also be related to the different methods you have in place to check on your customers, get their feedback or manage their expectations. Associating your opportunities of improvements with your processes is definitely the best way to constantly be proactive around your customer journey.

Once a customer journey map is successfully created, it is also essential to implement specific actions into the different aspects of your business strategy. This can involve making changes to existing customer-oriented strategies focusing on retention, implementing new technologies or retraining staff to better meet customer needs. On top of that, it is also crucial to regularly revisit and update this mapping to ensure it always remain relevant and reflective of a constantly evolving customer experience.

At the end of the day, mapping your customer journey requires commitment and alignment within the different aspects of your business. It's essential to communicate your findings from the mapping process to all relevant people involved at some point in this journey. And if you run your business by yourself, it is about implementing these specific actions into any aspect of your business as mentioned above. Doing so is definitely the best way to ensure that customer journey mapping becomes a real part of your business DNA so you make a real long-term impact on your customer experience and business strategy.

In conclusion, I would simply say that CJM is a powerful tool for businesses looking to gain a deeper understanding of their customers and improve the overall customer experience. By mapping out the various touchpoints and interactions a customer has with your brand, you can make a real long-term impact on your customer satisfaction and loyalty. And ultimately, on what you get out of it as a business. Embracing customer journey mapping as a strategic process can really help you stay ahead and stand out from competitors through the heart of the business: your customers.

Need more support in order to successfully map your customer journey while implementing the correct methods and strategies around it? Feel free to reach out and book your free discovery call right below.

Feel free also to try your new online questionnaire right above and get a detailed report of how well your customer loyalty is working for you.

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