Step-by-Step Guide on Real-time Customer Journey Mapping

  • UPDATED: 02 September 2022
  • 7 min read
Reading Time: 7 minutes

How do digital marketers get customers to do what they want them to do? Many marketing techies are facing the same question which is absolutely wrong. Rather the businesses should focus on how they can help their customers achieve goals through their website. An immense focus should be laid on that starting journey where the building of a customer mapping begins.

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What is a Customer Journey Map and Why do you need it?

A diagram/flowchart or an illustration of all the touchpoints associated with your customers with your company be it online or offline is defined as a customer journey map. It helps to reveal where exactly your website is helping the customers or refraining them.

You may wonder what is the special need to have a customer journey map? Well, the end goal is to get a clear view of what the client is going through from their views and what it seems to appear from the customer side or personal level. It is crucial to know the answers to these questions – What motivates your customers and what are their needs and concerns? Knowing answers to this question is the starting point where guesses are not enough. You require data in order to build great personas. In present times, the big brands dig deep into their data in order to build personas.

Over the past years, the companies had little to no knowledge regarding the customer demographic, behavioral, psychographic and transactional data. But now, the trends and patterns are changing as organizations are making a shift towards these data-driven decision-making trends.

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How to Develop and Create a Customer Journey Map

  • Understanding the Mapping Objectives

A customer journey map is a single entity that defines a fair and comprehensive story within the given period of time. It helps you to learn a lot from a well-made journey map regarding how it’s working, and what should be taken into consideration while being a customer. An effective initiative for the journey mapping begins with a clear goal statement. Here the ultimate purpose is to figure out if your existing customer experience is falling short and getting towards negative impressions.

First of all, to determine the goal of your customer mapping process, you need to conduct a meeting with business owners or project stakeholders in order to identify and agree upon all the objectives of the process. You need to figure out what kind of things can be learning during the mapping process which can drive business success. This indicates the initial effort level for identifying the vital parts of the customer journey which are likely going to have a potential impact on different businesses. For ensuring if your efforts got aligned with the business or corporate-level strategies, you can even cut off the strategy document that provides a clear vision regarding your business objectives.

  • Define your Business Scope

After you convince all on your set of goals, its time to jump on to the next step which is to identify the scope of the journey for the mapping process. The scope definition of the mapping process is critical which helps to determine what kind of research is needed further and also lets you know what level of storytelling is provided in the map.

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In this step, your project team or business owners need to define an ideal scope of meeting the goals that are agreed upon previously. For this, does your map need to focus on the customer onboarding process while nurturing an anonymous web user to become a customer or will the map target an ongoing customer experience post-acquisition? The map can become difficult to read at a glance if you aim for too high or broad journey scope. The web visitors can gloss over crucial details of the experience which has more meaning in a rigid frame of reference.

  • Collect, Evaluate and Research your Data

A plenty of organizations are building a treasure chest of pre-existing customer research as it is crucial to harvest as many insights as you can from all the past research which you must have planned for your first journey mapping workshop. By doing so, it helps your team understand your potential customers by providing them a deep insight into the state of the current customer experience.

At first, you need to decide which factor you are going to consider for mapping your journey be it a specific customer type or potential user depending on the journey purpose. These factors can be decided upon the personas as it is a kind of archetypes of your customers and helps your organization to understand the customer’s behavior and needs in an effective way. If no such personas exist then you can create a baseline personas by bringing these into your journey mapping workshop to enhance the user experience on the customer journey map. Later in this process, you can validate and enhance these initial baseline personas with the new customer interviews and reviews.

  • Create a Hypothetical Map 

You need to start a workshop for journey mapping if you wish to create a hypothetical map where you work and organize the content to build your first map. For initiating the customer journey process, you are required to create a shared environment by inviting Business, Design and Development teams to better understand through customer perspectives. You want to bring in business process owners and people who understand the target customers.

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Overall, the customer journey mapping content divides into two categories. One is customer-oriented elements which are meant to capture some crucial aspects of the journey that is experienced by the customers directly. Whereas another element is Front or back support elements which refer to the systems, people, and processes of the customers for reaching their goals. Some of these elements directly touch the customer whereas the other ensures a smooth customer experience.

  • Test and Update your Hypothesis

If you possess a good understanding of how the customer is experiencing and also have a knowledge of hypothetical maps, then it is the right time for making assumptions with the help of your basic research on your customers. You can also make use of an interview process called contextual inquiry which lays more emphasis on customer observation when they use the product or service in their day-to-day environment. Instead of asking your customers a list of long questions, the use of contextual inquiry can encourage customers to use the product or service normally as they do.

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Moreover, there arise situations where you cannot carry out direct customer observation or have a contextual inquiry to get factual data. In a few cases where you cannot observe the customer behavior, you need to conduct new surveys that are designed to gather the input for validating the assumptions in your hypothetical customer journey maps. In the wake of making sense of the essential research, you are required to conduct a unique workshop for surveying what you have realized in the exploration by refreshing the theoretical maps.

  • Create a Visually Compelling Journey Map

After getting all the important data for your map, its time to create the best story which has to be in a compelling format. For this, you need to figure out a way to publish this map in the same context as per the targeted customer personas, observations, and research data. The process mapping expects the team members to disperse the vital data for their story as it should get jumped off the page and deliver a clear message.

  • Activate and Socialize

It is time to present your customer journey map to a huge audience. On the off chance that you utilize any client experience, at that point, you can send welcomes to others to audit your cloud-facilitated map guide and research is completed for delivering the guide.

All the identified activities and pain points can be incorporated directly into application development environments such as Rally, Atlassian Jira and Version One. Besides this, you can likewise speak about your hypothetical journey process maps at the group gatherings to help in organizing the discourse by improving the pieces of the experience which is valued by the vast majority of your clients.

The Road Ahead

A customer journey map is a powerful tool that positively influences customer experience if used properly and in return improves retention and revenue metrics. Though it is not a magical solution that solves all your experience problems at once it also helps to add value for your customers. The tool itself is more complicated as it deals with behavioral patterns of various audiences which requires discipline.

The way your web visitors interact with your website may not be a linear process as you wish. No matter how much you want it to be, it is not easy to make people move from Point A to Point B without missing a step. Therefore, you need to take some time in order to understand more about the goals of your customers and how they move through your website which can go a long way to keep them happy. This will also grow your business. Till then – keep learning!

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