Customer Journey Mapping 101: How to Create an Effective User Journey Map

Customer Journey Mapping 101: How to Create an Effective User Journey Map | Product Design & Innovation | Emeritus

Impeccable customer experiences are what differentiate great companies from good ones. But they can be quite challenging to decode. A visual representation of the customer’s journey, also known as the customer journey map, is a valuable tool that helps organizations learn more about their users. It tracks start-to-finish user interaction with the brand by gaining real-time insights into user behavior. Let’s understand how to create a customer journey map and its role in achieving business goals. 

How to Create a Customer Journey Map

How to Create a Customer Journey Map

A good customer journey map is rooted in data-driven market research. It should deliver a visual story about the customer journey by considering every touchpoint. While there are no guidelines for designing a customer journey map, it should be visually appealing and comprehensive. Here’s a brief on how to create a customer journey map:

Step 1: Define

Identify the stages of the customer journey, which are generally divided into four phases: inquiry, comparison, installation, and purchase. Then establish clear objectives that align with the company’s business goals.  

Step 2: Describe

Share accurate details about customer behavior to help slot them into the right market segments.  

Step 3: Determine

Understand start-to-finish user interaction with the brand and determine accurate touchpoints. 

Step 4: Designate

Highlight customer milestones, motivations, and pain points throughout the journey and gear up to fix errors.

Step 5: Deploy

Optimize and refine processes to ensure a smooth customer experience. 

Let us understand customer journey mapping with the help of examples before we get into how to create a customer journey map in further detail. 

ALSO READ: Why B2B Marketing Needs to Put Customers Front and Center

Now, let’s take an in-depth look at the process of how to create a customer journey map using a step-by-step guide. 

Steps to Create a Customer Journey Map How to Create a Customer Journey Map

When it comes to customer journey mapping, the idea is to keep it simple but cover key statistical and anecdotal insights for an accurate overview of the end-to-end experience. We have compiled five essential steps on how to create a customer journey map efficiently. 

Step 1: Establish the Scope of the Journey Map

The first step is to set definitive goals based on the scale and scope of the customer journey map. For instance, a high-level journey map will have information on the entire customer journey from start to finish. A detailed user journey map, on the other hand, may focus on just one or a few elements from the high-level journey that are conducive to the targeted goal. It is important to decide how far to zoom in or out on the customer’s experience. 

Step 2: Identify the Customer Persona

Persona refers to a semi-fictional representation of a set of customers based on demographics and psychographic information. Grouping existing customers into their respective personas will help build a realistic journey map. 

Step 3: Define Customer Touchpoints

A touchpoint is when a customer comes in contact with the brand. This can be through a website, store, advertisement, etc. Analyzing these touchpoints gives information about how the customer interacts with the brand and what improvements can be made. 

Step 4: Analyze the Customer Journey

Create an empathy map that highlights customers’ purchase patterns and reflects their experience. Compile all the qualitative and quantitative data available, sketch the customer journey’s peaks and valleys, and identify improvement opportunities.  

Step 5: Take Business Action

Once the customer journey map is put together, it needs to be made accessible to cross-functional teams for feedback. It can also be shared with stakeholders to expand customer-centric benefits further. 

How to Create a Customer Journey MapWhen You Should Create a Customer Journey Map

A customer journey map should only be created to support an established business goal. If required, these goals should be refined and improved before the mapping process begins, which ideally starts early in the research phase. A map that does not align with business goals will not deliver applicable insights. 

For example, journey mapping can be applied to the given business goals: 

  • Transform an organization’s perspective from inside-out to outside-in
  • Leverage ownership of critical touchpoints to internal departments 
  • Targeting new/specific customers

ALSO READ: How to Use Consumer Insights to Get a Competitive Edge 

Customer Journey Mapping Tools

Creating a customer journey map is a collaborative effort and is generally designed using mapping software and graphic designing tools. Good software helps compile all the different customer touchpoints. This is shared with the design department, after which the graphics team takes over and makes this information look visually appealing. 

The key criteria for choosing a good mapping tool are User Interface (UI), usability, integrations, and pricing. Some of the best tools to consider are:

  • Lucidchart
  • InDesign CC
  • TouchPoint
  • Gliffy
  • Smaply
  • Canvanizer

A compelling journey map may need more than just the ‘right’ elements to bring about change. It is, after all, a collaborative process that requires well-established goals and thorough market research. Now that you have all the pieces to create a successful customer journey map, are you ready to make yours? The online sales and marketing courses with Emeritus can help you develop your skills and build a successful career. 

By Neha Menon

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How to Create a Customer Journey Map

About the Author

Senior Content Writer, Emeritus Blog
Gauri has found that the upside of being a writer and a scissor-happy copy editor is a rather constant, even paranoid, eye on her own work—and a healthy aversion to complacency. As a professional content creator for over a decade, she has spent time writing (and editing) design, architecture, and lifestyle stories, as well as corporate content, brochures, ads, and websites, among other genres. Her stint with Emeritus has opened an exciting and challenging avenue of education to explore and proves what she already knows—you’re really never done learning.
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