What is a Customer Journey Map? Why is it Important for a Brand?

What is a Customer Journey Map? Why is it Important for a Brand? | Product Design & Innovation | Emeritus

“69% of consumers stop engaging with a business after one poor experience”, highlights The 2023 State of Digital Customer Experience Report. This study shows how essential it is for brands to ensure a quality consumer experience to retain customers. However, the brand customer experience is just one facet of a comprehensive framework. Businesses need to focus on the complete customer journey. It is an end-to-end process that involves making your target audience aware of your brand, standing out from the competition, ensuring smooth onboarding and retaining customers, and gaining their loyalty. The best way to build an actionable user or consumer journey is to create a customer journey map.

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What is a Customer Journey Map and How Does it Work?

A customer journey is a series of customer experiences or how customers engage with a brand before and after purchasing. A customer journey map is a visual representation of the customer journey. It explains all the stages, starting from customers discovering the brand (awareness) to brand pitching or persuading customers to purchase (appeal) and customers moving on to the purchasing state (act). Moreover, it also includes the post-purchase interaction, where customers give feedback and refer the product to others.

The importance of a customer journey map is that it identifies all the customer touchpoints or the stages where a customer interacts with the brand. For example, they may interact through the website, social media page, a review on a third-party website, or a comparison on a competitor’s website. Therefore, the customer journey map helps identify the bottlenecks that impact a smooth brand customer experience

ALSO READ: Top Ways to Represent Customer Journey

How Can a Customer Journey Map Help Improve a Brand’s Customer Experience?

A customer journey map is the most important element of any brand strategy. It enables businesses to adopt a customer-first approach by allowing them to step into the customers’ shoes and understand their struggles, demands, and patterns. Let’s look at why and how a customer journey map is important.

1. Identify Gaps in Customer Journey 

A customer journey map helps analyze customer touchpoints. Therefore, it identifies events where the users are facing challenges and the reasons behind them. Moreover, one of the benefits of customer journey maps is they also help analyze and predict customer behavior. Thus, customer journey maps help businesses resolve issues and improve customer experience.

2. Personalize Experiences

Customer journey maps also help gather insights into customer behavior and purchasing patterns. Moreover, it reveals how customers interact with a feature, an ad, or a campaign. Therefore, mapping allows businesses to offer personalized customer experiences.

3. Find Potential Opportunities

Another of the amazing benefits of customer journey maps is that they help identify hidden opportunities for customer touchpoints. Therefore, businesses identify and improve ways to enhance interaction with customers.

ALSO READ: What is Customer Centricity? How Can it Benefit Your Business?

What are the Key Components of a Customer Journey Map?

Here are some of the key elements to add to a customer journey map:

1. Customer Persona

The first step to creating a customer journey map is to define the target audience and understand who an ideal customer would be.

2. Customer Touchpoint

Touchpoints refer to all interactions between the customer and the brand throughout their journey. This includes social media ads, websites, customer calls for support, and feedback.

3. Phases of the Customer Journey 

A customer journey map should consider touchpoints across all the phases of the customer journey. These include:

  • Awareness: Customers become aware of their problems
  • Research: They look for possible solutions
  • Consideration: They consider buying a solution and check for options
  • Purchase: The customer buys the product
  • Support: They engage with the product and provide feedback

4. Action

Brands analyze how customers interact with the product or website, what pages they check, and what links they click.

5. Thoughts and Emotions

Customer experience is not just about action. It also includes how customers feel when they interact with a product.

Are There Any Common Challenges in Creating and Implementing a Customer Journey Map?

According to Khoros, a customer engagement platform, 77% of brands struggle to create an effective customer journey. Some common challenges in enhancing user journey are: 

  • The lack of relevant data to understand customers’ patterns and identify gaps
  • The multiplicity of channels makes it difficult to create different customer journey maps
  • Monitoring customer behavior and patterns across different channels
  • Creating a customer journey map for different customer personas
  • Ensuring that all stakeholders follow a customer-centric approach

ALSO READ: What is Customer Relationship Management and What are its Benefits?

How Can Brands Gather the Necessary Data to Create an Effective Customer Journey Map?

Preparing a customer journey map requires actual insights from customers. Here are some ways to collect valuable data from customers:

1. Talk to the Customers

This is one of the best strategies to understand customers’ needs and preferences and get their feedback about the product. Therefore, senior marketing leaders can get on sales calls, feedback calls, or query sessions to understand customers’ pain points.

2. Check Reviews on Online Platforms and Social Media

Marketing professionals can also check online platforms and social media to collect feedback and overall customer sentiment for efficiently enhancing customer journey.

3. Website Surveys

Adding short survey forms and pop-ups on the websites also helps get quick customer feedback.

4. Website Analytics

Using website tracking tools such as Google Analytics enables businesses to understand how much time a customer is spending on which page, the number of clicks on the Call-to-Action (CTA) button, at which point the users are dropping off, and other relevant information.

ALSO READ: How Brands Can Provide the Best Customer Experiences in the Phygital World

Customer expectations are constantly changing. They seek more value and personalized service from businesses. Moreover, companies are also facing difficulties in acquiring and retaining customers due to high market competition. Therefore, branding and marketing professionals who understand brand strategy, the importance of customer journey maps, and techniques for enhancing customer journey are in high demand. However, you need to constantly upskill to learn the latest customer experience trends and practices. Explore Emeritus’ online product management courses to learn all about brand strategy and improving customer experience through the importance of customer journey maps.

Write to us at content@emeritus.org

About the Author

Content Writer, Emeritus Blog
Sneha is a content marketing professional with over four years of experience in helping brands achieve their marketing goals. She crafts research-based, engaging content, making sure to showcase a bit of her creative side in every piece she writes. Sneha spends most of her time writing, reading, or drinking coffee. You will often find her practicing headstands or inversions to clear her mind.
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