Creating Customer Journey Maps

Marketers often speak of the “customer journey.” It’s a concept that describes the various decisions customer make and the interactions they have with a company from the point where they’ve identified a need until the point when they make a purchase—and beyond. A customer journey map is important because it helps marketers visually depict the customer journey and identify areas that may represent barriers or risks of loss. It provides a documented, explicit vision of how customers will interact with your company and is a good tool for sharing with employees to help them understand the journey and the role that they play in engaging and retaining customers.

Mapping the Customer Journey

Mapping the customer journey allows marketers to think strategically about how they can best interact with consumers to convince them that their product or service is the right, and best, choice for them. To be most effective at doing this, marketers must:

1. Identify target audience segments. It’s important to be as specific as possible here so you can effectively engage with and influence consumers to choose you.
2. Gain a clear understanding of customers’ goals—what are they looking for when seeking the type of products/services you provide? What’s important to them? What do they value?
3. Gain a clear understanding of your competitors. Customers don’t make choices in a vacuum and you will never be the “only” choice. It’s important to know how you are positioned—or how you will choose to position—what you have to offer relative to competitors.
4. Create buyer personae—these are, literally, descriptions of each of your target segments. You need to put a face/name/image to these segments. This often sounds a bit wacky to those not in the marketing field, but savvy marketers recognize the value of very specific buyer personae to help them understand their target audience so they’re in a better position to identify potential communication channels and create targeted messaging to encourage action.
5. Map out the various touchpoints that customers may have with you. Do this by actually creating a chart, or map, that shows the opportunities customers have to engage with you/your business. These may be either physical or virtual touchpoints—or both.
6. Along this customer journey, or map, identify potential barriers or “pain points” that customers may encounter—then work with the appropriate people/departments within your organization to remove/minimize these barriers or pain points.
7. Identify points along the journey where customers may be most at risk of “leaving.” This might be at the point of first purchase, for instance, if they are not happy with the product/service. Or it might be after seeking assistance from support staff or a call center. Each of these potential points of departure could indicate the need for some type of communication or contact with the customer.
Finally, spend some time thinking about and selecting metrics that you will use to help you determine the success of your efforts. Review the metrics regularly and make adjustments to your map with an eye toward continuous improvement. The customer journey isn’t stagnant and is continually impacted by a wide range of events—from new competitors entering the market to pandemics!

About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We work with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content. Whether on- or offline, or both, we’ll help you achieve desired results.

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

Recommended Reading

21st Century Secrets to Effective PR: Tips and Best Practices for Gaining Media Exposure

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Complete the math problem before submitting a comment. * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.