What is a Customer Journey Map?
A customer journey map is a visual way of representing all the steps a customer or prospect takes when interacting with your company for a specific goal. For example, this could include the path a visitor to your website takes to reach your trial-signup page. You might also develop a customer journey map to document the entire process a customer goes through to buy your product – from their first visit to your website,toh signing an agreement with a sales rep.
Why are customer journey maps important?
Customer journey mapping can help various teams across a company understand the experience that prospective and existing customers have when dealing with the organization. This process can help sales teams, for example, get a holistic, objective view of every step a prospect must take as they move through the sales funnel. By stepping back and viewing the entire process, the team might discover there are too many steps involved.
Creating a customer journey map is essential for any team or company that wants to improve its sales funnel. By mapping out the customer’s journey, they can see where there are any missing steps or areas that need improvement. This allows them to make the necessary changes to streamline the process and make it more efficient.
What Can Product Managers Learn from a Customer Journey Map?
Customer journey maps can be extremely beneficial for product managers in a variety of ways. For example, by mapping out the entire journey for a first-time user – from landing on your product website to making a purchase – you and your team can gain a more objective perspective of the process from the user’s point of view. This can help you identify any potential pain points or areas for improvement in the customer experience.
By sharing your journey map with other members of your company, you enable everyone to work together to improve the customer experience. This will come in handy for departments like marketing, sales, and design so no one is left in the dark about the customer’s needs. As an example, here is a journey map that our very own Jeremy Rawson created to depict his experience with ProductPlan.com. As you can see, he goes through everything from his first website visit to creating his company’s first product roadmap.
In addition to gaining a greater understanding of your customers’ thought processes, needs, and wants, here are a few other things that product managers can learn from customer journey roadmaps:
-The step-by-step process a prospect takes when viewing your product demo and whether any areas need to be cut out, expanded upon, or generally made more compelling.
-Whether your marketing or sales teams have created too many obstacles for interested prospects in terms of trying or buying your product.
-Whether some area of your product itself does not allow users to complete the desired action in a logical or streamlined way.
By gaining insights into these key areas, product managers can make more informed decisions about their product strategy and development.
How Can I Create a Customer Journey Map?
The following six steps can be used as a template by marketing expert Aaron Agius to create a customer journey map:
Step 1: Determine Your Objective
Creating a journey map starts with knowing what you want to achieve from it. Do you want to track how customers move through your sales funnel? How do they interact with your support team? Or how they use a specific feature of your product to reach a goal?
You can make several journey maps, each addressing different interactions your customers have when interacting with your company. But it’s helpful to keep each map focused on a single aspect of the customer’s journey. That way, you can more easily see the steps they take and identify areas for improvement.
Step 2: Figure out your personas’ goals.
This step will help you better understand your prospects and customers, what they need and value, and how they view themselves. When you have all of this persona data to check against your journey map, you’ll have a clearer picture of where your current customer journey conflicts with the process you’re asking them to go through.
For example, let’s assume your primary personas are executives who describe themselves as “extremely busy” in your surveys or the market research you’ve reviewed. Knowing this, when you view your journey, consider if any steps would be especially difficult for someone with limited time. Is there anything you can do to streamline the process for them?
By taking the time to figure out your personas’ goals, you can ensure that your customer journey is as smooth as possible – and that your prospects and customers are getting the most value out of it.
Step 3: Identify all touchpoints
In order to move onto the next step, you’ll need to identify all of the channels a prospect could take as their first step with your company. You should include all possible options, such as online ads, social media posts, organic search results leading to various pages on your website, or your company’s outbound marketing emails.
After you’ve listed out all of the potential touchpoints, you’ll then want to assign the likely emotional triggers to each one that would compel users to take action and seek to engage more deeply with your company or product.
Step 4. There are four types of customer journey maps you can use, according to Agius:
1. Current state: A detailed walkthrough of how customers currently engage with your business.
2. Day in the life: Also a detailed walkthrough of your customer’s journey with your company today, but put into the broader context of everything else your customer does in the day.
3. Future state: Your vision of how you’d like customers to interact with your product, company, etc. in the future.
4. As-is state: A look at how customers actually interact with your business, as opposed to how you want them to.
Step 5: Take the customer journey yourself.
Now that you understand your customer’s motivations, challenges, and fears, it’s time to take the path your company has put in place to achieve whatever objective you’re trying to measure.
If you want to learn exactly what steps your prospects must go through to download your free trial, or speak with a sales rep, or complete an action using your mobile app, take that journey now.
Important: You will also want to document every step of your journey, and make notes at each stage about insights you’ve had, pain points you’ve identified, and any gaps or unnecessary steps in the process. Doing this will help you improve your customer’s experience by making it more streamlined and efficient.
Step 6: Adjust your journey map as needed.
After you’ve completed the journey and reviewed your notes, you will want to make all necessary changes to the map. This might include adding, deleting, or rearranging steps in the customer’s journey. You can also use this opportunity to add more detail to each step if needed.
Then you can begin translating those changes into action across your company — which could mean updating your sales process, streamlining your free trial funnel, etc.
Here are a couple of other examples, taken from Agius’s Hubspot post on customer journey maps. You can use these as templates to start your own journey map.
A sample customer journey map showing how a hypothetical customer might interact with a restaurant