Have we heard of this phrase “Put yourself in customer’s shoes!”
Yes! Quite often. Well, that’s the first step a service/product manager or marketer considers when creating an effective customer journey map.
Generally, this is how a customer shops!
It all starts with a need – a customer’s need. This need leaves the customer in a search, mostly on the web, where the results are a long list of options. Then, they narrow down the options to those that best satisfy their needs. Finally, they evaluate each option and choose the vendor that they feel will ultimately satiate their requirements.
In simple terms, this is a customer or user journey.
Alright, so what’s a customer journey map?
The interesting fact about a customer journey is that customers don’t always choose the same route to communicate or engage with a service, product, brand or organization. There are multiple channels through which customers engage in online and offline mediums.
A user might come across a google ad during an online search for a product while another might come across an interesting visual of a product or service they’re looking for on social media. On the contrary, a friend of a customer might refer him/her to a certain brand or they might just see a huge banner ad while driving on the way to the office.
Essentially, there are many ways and it can get quite confusing. It’s because of these reasons that organizations choose to have a well-designed user journey map based on multiple factors & touchpoints to understand their customer’s interaction with their product.
To define it in simple terms, a user journey map is a pictorial or diagrammatic representation of how, when, where and what the customer has done to interact with your product.
Well, what does it solve?
Specifically, design problems of a product or service. It could also help your marketing strategy. The sole purpose is to understand how users get to a product and what needs to be done to keep them there.
Finally, how do you create a customer journey map?
As mentioned earlier, there are quite a few factors and there is a process associated with it. Let’s look at it.
Step 1: Create User Stories
When user stories or epics are created, one will understand the different ways that a user uses a product or service. Also during the creation, a product manager can reflect on the number of positive reviews and complaints customers have registered against the product. A part of step 1 involves defining user personas as well if they’re already not in place.
Step 2: Conduct Research & Analysis
It comes across as obvious to perform customer interviews, check reviews and logs, analyze the traffic to social media channels & websites, and also competitive information as an essential step to creating an insightful customer journey map.
Step 3: Recognize and Define Touch Points
We just spoke about the various ways a customer or user can interact with a service or product. Are they comfortable using a PWA or a mobile app? Did they get to know the product through social media campaigns or adwords campaigns? Understanding this information is vital.
Step 4: Generate an Empathy Map
An empathy map explains what users think, say, do, and feel about a product. This map helps in figuring out the experiences of your customers.
Step 5: Sketch the Journey
After the product management team has gathered all the above information, it’s time to piece them together to showcase the entire customer journey. From the initial awareness of the product to becoming a client, put them all together to create a customer journey map. This map will not help in fixing all the glitches in a product. But there’s one more thing left. The ultimate aim of a product manager is to find loyal fans who will stick with them no matter what. That’s step 6.
Step 6: Constantly improve your customer journey map
To turn a client into a hardcore fan requires constant revisits to the user journey and find out what can be done, from a product standpoint, to permanently retain a client. This is the ultimate motive of a user journey map.
Do you have a user journey map?
If not, think about really understanding how your user flows through your digital assets. Understanding their needs and behaviour is essential towards your digital success and growth. The wealth of information which your users tell you and remains undiscovered, is the difference between key competitive advantage versus being a laggard.