4 Key Phases of Creating a Customer Journey Map

The customer journey map represents all the interactions your customers have with your company, from the awareness stage to the moment they decide to make the purchase.

Having this map helps you understand your customers better by knowing all the touchpoints along the way and the channels of communication.

It also helps you anticipate your customers' needs and wants by knowing what you can offer to them and when depending on where they are in the journey.

But, how to create a customer journey map? Here are the five stages of creating one for your business.

1. Engage your customer personas

You cannot have a good customer journey map if you don't know who your customers are. This is why it's crucial to define your customer personas first and then move on.

So, start with going through each of your customer personas, improving and refining them. Once you are happy with them, start integrating them in the journey map. Point out your customers' motivation and challenges: what excites them, what makes them fearful, what their biggest problem is, etc.

Use this as the starting point of their journey. For example: [name] is a bit apprehensive because they don't understand [problem] well enough, and they want to have [desired outcome] as the solution.

2. Research your customer feedback

There is no way of understanding your customers well unless you listen to them attentively. Customer feedback can help you get a better picture of what they want, need and expect from your company.

Analyse your past surveys, comments of social media, online reviews, testimonials, etc. Also, you can conduct new research to gather fresh information and then compare it to what you already have.

Once you have gathered good feedback, analyse it all and think about what you can use in the customer journey. For example: a lot of our customers complain about our customer support not being responsive enough; let's improve upon that.

3. Start mapping out the journey

Once you have refined your customer personas and researched your customer feedback, it's time to sketch out the blueprint for the journey map. This is still far from the finished map, so consider it a working version of the end product.

Now it's time to set up the touchpoints and write out the expected level of understanding and emotional state of the customers for each of the touchpoints. This will give you a clearer picture of how the actual customer journey can look like.

Here is one example: a slightly frustrated customer because of [problem] interacts with our [type of content] on our [communication channel]; then, they go to our website, learn more about [product/service] and decide to [expected action] and are happy and satisfied for having solved [type of problem].*

*This is highly simplified to give you an idea as most customer journey maps are far more complex and intricate, with dozens of touchpoints and various channels of communication.

4. Find and eliminate all roadblocks

In order to be fully prepared, your map needs to be free from any potential roadblocks. Roadblocks are all those things that make the customer journey more difficult or things that complicate the interactions and confuse your customers.

Go through the entire journey map point by point, and analyse it in relation to your customer personas. Will they have a hard time understanding your message? How difficult is it to use the info you provided? Will they be able to get to the end of the purchase process by themselves quickly? Is there anything you forgot to add or include?

By removing all potential roadblocks, you will further improve your customer journey map, and it will be ready to help your customers facilitate interactions with your organisation.