Understand The Big Picture With Customer Journey Mapping

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A potential customer sees an ad for your product on Instagram. They click the ad and go to your website to see the product’s specifications. Then, they go to your Facebook account to check product reviews or see what people are saying in the comment section. Good news! They like the product and order it from your website. 

This process is called a customer journey. Businesses must map their customers’ journeys and align their marketing and advertising campaigns accordingly. In this article, we discuss customer journey mapping along with its benefits.

What Is Customer Journey Mapping?

Customer journey mapping is the process of creating customer profiles or tracking digital footprints. It helps you understand how your users are interacting with your brand.

A business must create a buyer persona, list touchpoints in the purchasing journey, identify customer actions, and use available resources to take appropriate business action. By mapping customer journey, companies can answer questions like:

  • How do customers find out about their product?
  • What path does a customer take before making a purchase?
  • What is the role of marketing and advertising in reaching out to potential customers?
  • How does a customer form an opinion about their products and services?

What Do Customer Journey Maps Typically Include?

A customer journey map typically includes the following:

The Buyer Journey

The buyer journey is the path your customers take before making a purchase. It follows them through different stages before they make a purchase. These stages include:

  • Awareness: Customers first come to know about your brand and offerings.
  • Interest: The customers become interested in purchasing your product and compare you with other brands.
  • Decision: The customers decide whether they want to buy your products or not by weighing their pros and cons. They compare prices, features, and policies before making the final call.
  • Purchase: Finally, the customers pay for your product to complete their purchase journey.

In addition to these stages, a customer’s decision-making process could be influenced by other factors such as social media reviews from friends and family or from influencers they trust.

Customer Behavior

Customer behavior is the study of how your target audience makes purchase decisions. It dives into the emotional, behavioral, and emotional responses influencing a customer’s buying decision.

For instance, are customers looking for third-party reviews about your brand? How many channels are they passing through before making a purchase?

Emotions of the Customer

The customers’ emotions at different stages of their buying journey can help you understand how they feel about your brand. Are they still interested in what you have to offer? Do they feel a sense of familiarity, relief, or gratitude?

A study showed that emotionally engaged customers spend more on brands. They also have a higher chance of brand recall and tend to advocate for the business they feel loyal to.

Pain Points

What are your customers’ pain points? How are they currently solving them? By understanding their pain points, you can provide solutions to their problems. For instance, if customers complain about how hard it is to buy products online because of long checkout forms, you could improve the user experience.

Solution: How Your Product Solves Customer Problems

The most important component of customer journey mapping is how your product solves the customer’s pain points. Suppose the customer’s pain point is that they can’t find their size in apparel. But your store offers plus sizes, solving the customers’ problem.

What You Need to Create an Effective Customer Journey Map

Here are some important prerequisites for mapping the customer journey effectively.

Customer Personas

The customer persona is a customer avatar representing your ideal buyer. It includes demographic and psychographic details about your target group and relevant data points such as age, gender, income level, occupation, current marital status, etc.

Key Touchpoints

The key touchpoints in a customer journey are the most critical contact with your target audience. They could be physical or digital touchpoints that influence a customer’s buying decision, such as talking to a salesperson, looking at the product on social media, following a brand on Facebook, adding a product to the cart, etc.

Customer Motivations

Customer motivations influence a customer to buy or check out your product. They could be word-of-mouth recommendations, social media posts, press releases, or third-party reviews.

Actions Taken By the Customer

Your customer’s actions in the buying journey are the milestones they pass through before purchasing. These actions could be signing up for your email list, following you on social media, or reading your blog.

The Benefits of Customer Journey Mapping

Businesses can leverage customer journey mapping benefits to effectively accommodate their consumers. It can help you:

  • Understand your target consumers’ pain points
  • Get a uniform view of how they decide to purchase
  • Understand what your customers are looking for in terms of value and emotional connection
  • Identify potential patterns in buying behavior

Examples of Customer Journey Mapping

Let’s take the example of Spotify’s customer journey map, with Alex as the customer. The customer journey map includes the following:

  • Visit: Alex opens the Spotify app on his phone.
  • Listen: Alex checks the ”Discover Weekly” playlist and browses suggestions. Alex then chooses a playlist.
  • Discover: Alex listens to a playlist or discovers a familiar song.
  • Share: Alex shares the song link on Instagram or sends it to a friend on WhatsApp.
  • Discuss: Alex talks to his friend about the song.
  • Receive: Alex gets a message from the same friend with a song link. He opens the link with the Shopify app.
  • Respond: He opens WhatsApp and responds to the message with approval or disapproval.

Notice how the customer journey map takes Alex through different channels, including word-of-mouth discussion and WhatsApp. Here are some other customer journey mapping examples.

Why Customer Journey Mapping is Important

Customer journey mapping is extremely important as it shows a company how the customer moves through the sales funnel. It helps brands understand their customers’ pain points and the stages they go through to finally purchase a product.

GrowthHit can help you analyze your customers, understand your strategic goals, and perform growth assessments to understand what’s effective in making the customers’ journey easier.

Have thoughts or questions?  Then please hit us up on twitter at @jimwhuffman or @growthhit.

Jim Huffman

Founder & CEO GrowthHit. Startup mentor at Techstars, General Assembly, and Sephora Accelerator. Author of The Growth Marketer’s Playbook #1
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