The customer journey map is one map that marketers, male and female alike, are both willing to consult for direction. Illustrating points at which the customer engages with the company, these maps provide an overview of the many possible points at which marketers can connect with and add value to potential customers.
The customer journey map can trace the customer’s experience from first engagement (via web search, social media mention or influencer post), through buying the product or service, using it, offering feedback and possibly upgrading or adding on to the purchase. The map can also look more specifically at the touchpoints within a particular stage. A marketer might specifically outline the paths a potential customer takes traveling from awareness of their need and consideration of product or service offerings before making a decision.
Elements of a Customer Journey Map
The best customer journey map will be as detailed as you can make it, regardless of whether it is a deep dive into a particular stage or an all-encompassing view of process. The following elements can help marketers make better decisions based on customer journey maps.
Actions. Know what activities the customer will take at each stage on the journey map. You should be able to differentiate, for instance, what someone will do on your site, or in your store, or on social media when they are weighing options versus when they are ready to pull the trigger on a purchase.
Motivations. What is driving the customer’s awareness, research, consideration, purchase, feedback or continued loyalty? A good way to better understand what motivates your prospects and customers is to ask them. I know, crazy idea. Use feedback tools to solicit information from people engaging with your business at all points on the map.
Questions. Customers today avoid interaction with sales teams for the majority of their trip. The truth is they can gather all the information they need without speaking to someone in your organization. Paying attention to keyword searches, asking the sales team for their perspective, and perusing social media, can help you identify typical questions asked at each stage of the journey. Making the process easier for them makes a difference.
Barriers. What stands in the way of the customer making a purchase? There may be cost, process, or friction in the buying process you may have to address. If marketing identifies these in advance, then the team can better provide content marketing that helps address these barriers.
Muse. We already know how to find our brand muse. And we all wish the customer journey map was a linear tool that applies to every customer and potential customer, but it just doesn’t work that way. A journey map can’t show only the route you want someone to follow. They’ll add U-turns or long and unexpected detours. You need to truly leverage insight from your brand muse.
One last tip: don’t hog the customer journey map. Other departments — sales, product development, and legal for example — can offer fresh insights too. They can benefit too from the trailblazing marketing does to map out this navigational tool in the first place.