How to create your customer journey map in 5 steps

Today’s customers go through complex decision-making processes before deciding to buy certain products or services. To better understand this process of (potential) customers, the customer journey map helps companies.

You can find out what this looks like and which 5 steps are important in creating it in this blog article.

The Customer Journey Map: Visualize customer* journeys along the sales funnel

A customer journey map visualizes the path of potential customers along the sales funnel. It shows you in the individual steps Phases of the purchase decision Relevant touchpoints where your company should interact with potential customers.

In addition, it sheds light on Emotional level and intensity of your customers in each phase of the decision-making process. How to find out, which info, them when, on which channel and in which format you need it.

Based on this, you can align the marketing measures to their needs in the best possible way – and thus influence the decision-making process in favor of your company.

Go through the customer journey through the eyes of your customers and find out how they feel.

The customer journey map focuses on the customer and his or her user experience.

By showing the feelings and expectations at all touchpoints, you can more easily identify pain points in the decision-making process and address them with the right content.

5 steps to create your customer journey map

This 5 steps is something you should keep in mind when creating your customer journey map:

1. Collect data and create buyer personas

The better you understand the behavior and needs of your potential customers, the better you can target your marketing efforts to them.

For a detailed picture, in the first step you should consult all sources that give you information about (potential) customers.

Marketing, Sales and Customer service are important contacts here, in order to obtain a comprehensive database of your customers.

You are missing information? Customer surveys help you to complete your data puzzle and, in addition to information on individual steps, also provide important insights into the emotional world of customers during the customer journey.

After you’ve analyzed your data, it’s time to create buyer personas, fictional people who represent an entire target audience.

Besides sociodemographic properties (age, gender, marital status, etc.), the emotional motives, i.e. goals, needs and problems regarding your product world, should also be worked out.

Buyer-Persona-Customer-Journey-Content-Marketing

Capture as many relevant data points as possible to support assumptions about your personas.

If you target the wrong personas, it can have long-term effects on your success, as your marketing activities are thus directed at a (wrong) target group that plays only a minor role or no role at all in your buying decision process.

2. Define steps and touchpoints in the customer journey map

The next step is to take a closer look at the buying process. Divide this into individual steps:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Consideration
  • Intent
  • Decision
  • Loyalty
  • Advocacy

Start here at the very beginning with the perception of a need and go through each step of the buying process in your customers’ shoes.

Along this process, from the company’s point of view, there are numerous opportunities to interact with them.

These so-called Touchpoints are your chance to influence the buying decision in your favor.

These can be direct (personal sales, email traffic, packaging, etc.) or indirectly (recommendations, social media, PR, etc.).) its.

Direct touchpoints can be managed efficiently by companies, indirect ones only with difficulty. Social media, customer reviews and the like are all important here. Monitor and react to any negatives.

Here’s what Steps with Touchpoints might look like from the perspective of an online computer hardware retailer:

Steps-Touchpoints-Customer-Journey-Content-Marketing

3. Identify important channels along the touchpoints

In the digital age, customers* can choose from a variety of communication channels during their customer journey, switching between the online and offline realms multiple times. Make sure you consider all relevant channels of your buyer persona.

In Bernhard’s example SEO and Google Ads during the online search, Recommendations and your website in the collection of information and the seller in the PC store as well as your online Check out process.

You can now implement and improve processes at the highlighted tochpoints. Create your content according to SEO criteria, simplify your check-out process or rely on Google Ads.

Don’t forget to prioritize your channels and optimize them step by step so you don’t lose track of what you’re doing.

4. Determine the emotional world of your buyer personas

Now is Empathy asked! The feelings and emotional motives of your buyer personas have a significant influence on decision-making behavior.

The success of your marketing measures is therefore largely determined by the extent to which you take into account and address the emotions of your potential customers.

The needs, goals and challenges can vary greatly depending on the phase and touchpoint. What do your customers want at a particular touchpoint and where do they face challenges and problems??

For Bernhard (IT professional and tech-savvy) and his mother (digital immigrant and tech-averse), these can be quite different:

  • Buy Bernhard in the online store a laptop, he searches by means of filter function all models which correspond to his individual needs (processor, main memory, HDMI- output).
  • His mother Would rather have an affordable device with all the basic features in a bundle, without having to invest a lot of time and effort in the search. Helpful for them in this case could be a selection of the most popular laptops by customer reviews on the store page.

Emotions-Customer Journey-Content Marketing

Find out what your persona needs at which point through which channel to feel good about herself.

You should not only ask yourself what emotions your personas are going through, but also the Intensity of feelings Pay attention to the different steps and touchpoints.

  • Bernhard Is used to buying online. He has a positive feeling and looks forward to the buying process.
  • His mother is also looking forward to a new device, but is overwhelmed at the thought of finding his way online.

Their positive feeling must therefore be reinforced with more intensive customer service, assistance during the purchase process and a simple website structure.

5. Analyze, optimize and start from scratch

You have now gathered the relevant information about your personas, identified important channels, and taken into account specifics in the communication for each touchpoint. This sets the course for successful marketing!

However, the customer journey map is only a model that approximates the actual decision-making process as closely as possible. Whether and to what extent your assumptions are correct and your measures actually work must be shown in practice.

To further optimize the customer journey map, you should therefore continuously analyze and adapt your measures.

Depending on Industry and company the focus can be vary. If you aim for a strong brand awareness, you have to "screw" on SEO and the ads in the awareness stage.

If customers are suddenly dissatisfied with the check-out process, it may need to be tested in terms of technical and functional criteria.

Attention! Danger of stumbling – tips for your customer journey map

Often you don’t just have one target group, but several. Each persona should get an individual customer journey map.

Depending on the target audience, factors such as preferred channels, digital know-how, online/offline preference or general decision-making behavior may vary.

At B2B sector For example, there are often buying centers with several decision-makers. Find out who makes which decisions and create a customer journey map for them.

Tools

There are a number of tools that can help your company create a customer journey map. To give you an overview, we’ve picked out three for you below:

With Milkymap, you can create an infinite number of customer journey maps after a two-week trial period for 99€ per month. In addition to the maps themselves, you have many other functions here that help you to track the customer journey, such as action boards or life cycle models.

Screenshot-customer-journey-map-tool-Milkymap

For 50€ a month, Smaply lets you create infinite customer journey maps in a team of three people. Also included: the ability to create buyer personas and stakeholder maps to get to know your target audience better.

Screenshot-customer-journey-map-tool-Smaply

An infinite number of projects are available at UXPressia for 24€ per user per month. In addition to graphically appealing customer journey maps, you can also create personas and impact maps.

Conclusion

You have managed to fight your way into the field of vision of a potential customer? The path to the purchase decision can be long and complex.

That’s why it’s so important to pick up your potential customers along the entire sales funnel and turn their customer journey into a customer journey map coherent, seamless and above all positive experience make.

The buying process is accompanied by customer emotions throughout and is ultimately decided by them. In addition to the right channels and appropriate phases, a perfect customer journey map also reflects the needs and emotions of customers at every touchpoint.

If you manage to offer content based on needs, you will succeed in responding to individual emotions in the best possible way, making the purchase of your product or service not only a pleasant process, but rather a breathtaking experience.

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