In 6 easy steps to the customer journey map

customer journey map is a valuable tool for identifying pitfalls along the customer journey. You can find out how to put it on using the following steps.

The checkout process offers only a few payment options, information about the desired product can hardly be found online, the shop design is confusing or the delivery of the package leaves a lot to be desired. On the customer journey – from the moment a customer becomes aware of a product or service through to the actual purchase – there are countless pitfalls that can cause them to jump out prematurely. The tougher the competition in the respective segment and the more sophisticated the competition’s customer journey, the more relentless consumers are when it comes to a bad customer experience (CX) – after all, the next offer is just a click away. A tried and tested tool for identifying potholes and growth opportunities along the customer journey is the customer journey map. On it, the customer journey is analyzed step by step and graphically displayed so that you can put yourself in the customer’s shoes as precisely as possible. The following points are intended to provide guidance on which aspects should be considered when setting up a customer journey map. On it, the customer journey is analyzed step by step and graphically displayed so that you can put yourself in the customer’s shoes as precisely as possible. The following points are intended to provide guidance on which aspects should be considered when setting up a customer journey map. On it, the customer journey is analyzed step by step and graphically displayed so that you can put yourself in the customer’s shoes as precisely as possible. The following points are intended to provide guidance on which aspects should be considered when setting up a customer journey map.

This is how you set up a customer journey map

Step 1: Data analysis
At the beginning of every customer journey mapping, marketers should view and analyze their data balance. The more detailed the data basis and analysis, the more meaningful the customer journey map is. Data sources that can be particularly informative here are Google Analytics, for example to measure length of stay, bounce or conversion rate, collected customer feedback and reports from customer service.

Step 2: Define buyer personas
Based on the data collected and analyzed in the previous step, it is now necessary to develop one or more buyer personas for the customer journey map (s). Ideally, a separate customer journey map should be set up for each buyer persona, as the individual needs sometimes differ significantly. If there is no time or resources for this, you can start with just one buyer persona. Relevant dimensions that should be reflected in the buyer persona are, for example, demographic characteristics (age, gender, marital status), socio-economic criteria (occupation, education), but also psychographic aspects (lifestyle, set of values, possibly political attitudes, …) .

Step 3: Define customer steps
This step is about defining the individual stages that a customer goes through on their journey. Customer journey maps can take different forms; In our example it should be a linear map, so the individual steps are noted on a timeline. Important: “Step” here is not the same as “Touchpoint”, since there are also steps on the customer journey that do not involve contact with your own company. This is the case, for example, in the early phase of the customer journey, when the desire to buy a specific product or service is only just being awakened. When we speak of “touchpoint”, we mean the explicit contact between customer and company.

Step 4: Identify relevant channels
In order to identify potential for improvement in the marketing mix, it is important to question at every step of the customer which relevant channels are already being served or not yet being served. The crucial question here is: Do I cover all the necessary channels? In the buyer persona, media consumption was ideally taken into account – so I have a standardized picture of which channels my customers reach. Comparing different channels with one another can provide interesting insights. For example, if a channel has a significantly lower conversion rate than others, this can be a sign that the CX needs to be improved.

Step 5: Evaluate the customer’s emotional world
Since every step on the customer journey causes a different kind of emotional impulse in customers, it is also advisable to take into account the emotionality in customer journey mapping. In order to distinguish and visualize negative and positive feelings as well as their intensity, it is advisable to work with a plus-minus scale, emoticons or the like. Steps that are perceived as negative should ideally be completely removed or adjusted so that they no longer trigger negative sensations. In particular, the end of the customer journey, i.e. the purchase or repurchase of a product or service, should always be positively charged. This step is crucial, as regular customers become repeat buyers and ideally brand advocates.

Step 6: Prioritize customer steps
Finally, it is important to prioritize the previously defined customer steps according to relevance. Depending on the buyer persona, there can be strong deviations in terms of which steps are perceived as particularly important. The aim here should also be to compare the steps with the emotional involvement of the customer at the respective point. Particularly relevant steps on the customer journey should by no means trigger a negative connotation in the buyer persona. If so, companies should consider how they can manage to redirect the focus to positive emotions.

Once these steps have been taken, the first version of the customer journey map is available. Before it is rolled out, it should be put through its paces within the organization to test whether it can withstand reality. It is important to never consider the customer journey mapping as complete. It is an ongoing process that should be iterated regularly in order to depict the most realistic picture of the customer journey.

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