The customer journey represents the sum total of experiences that customers have throughout their interaction at all touchpoints with the brand. The customer journey map has thus become a great tool to fully visualize the customer experience through one or more diagrams that detail each stage of the customer-brand interaction, based on a variety of dimensions that are established according to the objectives pursued.

Creating a customer journey map provides very relevant information for different levels within the Company, from the commercial area that seeks to improve interaction with potential customers, to managers who seek how to optimize the performance of their brands.

What should a customer journey map look like?

We should think of it as a detailed roadmap that shows how the customer comes into contact with the brand and how they interact with it throughout a process that goes beyond the simple purchase.

To be relevant, it is necessary to put yourself in the shoes of the customers, think as they would, that is, put the customer at the center of the brand strategy. Often, when customers buy a product or service, there is a previous feeling of interest that then transforms into satisfaction in finding what they were looking for, taking it home and finally enjoying the purchase. But this would become a linear process if it weren’t the case that customers generally want more interaction with the brand that goes beyond the simple transaction.

Why a customer journey map?

Before starting to draw a map, there is an essential requirement that consists of clarifying the business objective that is pursued with this initiative. The customer journey map can facilitate understanding from different perspectives, for example:

  • Establish an overarching framework that can be used throughout the Company to better understand each stage, each touchpoint, etc.
  • Support a more collaborative system within the Organization to improve the customer experience.
  • Understand how the customer experience of one target differs from that of another.
  • Strengthen the growth of the business by targeting new targets.
  • Improve customer response systems, optimize personalized attention.
  • Etc

The 5 most relevant components in building a customer journey map

1. Identify the information

The first step is to know what information is available and how relevant it is in the process. Complementary research, both qualitative and quantitative, may sometimes be necessary. Next, you will need to identify the information you want to diagram on the map: Actions, touchpoints, motivations, responses, obstacles… As well as each of the phases of the interaction process: Discovery, analysis, purchase, delivery, after-sales…

2. Identify the customer

It will be necessary to identify the customer based on a specific typology (buyer persona – complete fictitious representation of the customer’s traits and personality), a potential target or a customer segment; always in accordance with the objectives pursued.

3. Identify each phase

Customer journey maps are organized around phases of interaction. Each of them represents an intermediate milestone along the process and should be mapped out from the customer’s perspective, not from the Company’s internal processes. Each customer can interact with the brand according to their own objectives that obey wishes, needs or expectations: to be taken into account, to pay the best price, to know the possible alternatives available to them… Capturing those goals at each stage will allow you to evaluate how the experience is being delivered.

4. Identify touchpoints

Touchpoints are reached through multiple channels that need to be observed. These are all the points of intersection between the client’s actions and each of the resources we make available to them. Touchpoints themselves do not represent a specific experience, but it is the result of interaction with them that is interesting.

5. Identify the customer’s assessment

It’s a good idea to include customer experience assessment to identify those touchpoints that are performing best or worst and where investment should be focused. The so-called “moments of truth” should be especially attended to and are those where the whole process should facilitate customer engagement and final decision-making.

 

Perhaps a sixth rule should be included, which is to keep it simple. One of the strengths of the customer journey map is that it must be an easily understandable tool for all those who have access to it within the Organization. The team should quickly see the pain points and remind them that customer needs and expectations come first. Undoubtedly, graphics will play a fundamental role in the process, having to contribute to telling a simple story from the consumer’s perspective and throughout a whole cycle of interactions with the brand.

 

Carlos Puig Falcó

President of Branward®

Photos: Shutterstock


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