People often get confused when defining the terms Buyer Persona and Customer Journey Map. While creating a buyer persona gives you a depiction of your average customer, creating a customer journey map visualizes the experience a customer has across various stages of the buying process. Not stating one is more important than the other, since customer journey map gives you the big picture while personas give you a snapshot. Both should be used by businesses to have a better understanding of their customers.

What is Customer Journey Mapping?

A well-made customer journey map should highlight customer needs, and the emotions they have at various stages of having to satisfy those needs. This involves various stakeholders both internal and external to a business process. Customer Journey Maps should always have the perspective of the customer so it is from outside to inside. With these journey maps, businesses can identify all touch points and pain points that customers are experiencing within their current business strategy.

Touch Points are the channels through which a customer interacts with a business.

Pain Points for a business are the moments' customers decide to choose them to meet his/her needs or to “cure the pain”.


Benefits of Customer Journey Mapping

  1. Clarify what business process the company currently entails to win a customer, it is the customer experience (CX) that is being scrutinized here.

  2. Once created, these maps can then be used to enhance the customer experience. This can be done by identifying gaps and pain points in the current strategy.

  3. Better targeting and the opportunity to create a personalized approach knowing that there is an increased understanding of the customer experience and touch points.

  4. By identifying the disjointed sections in the customer experience and filling those gaps, the whole process becomes efficient.

  5. The customer data is unified, it becomes easier to align the goals of the organization with those of the customer.


Customer Journey Stages

The following infographic shows the usual Customer Journey Stages in e-commerce:

journey


Creating a Customer Journey Map

  1. Creating a good customer journey map can be an extensive process, it should involve all stakeholders under the influence of the business (departments handling touch points).

  2. Segregate the customer journey in clear stages, remember it has to be looked at from the customer's point of view.

  3. Once you have the stages, list the touch and pain points that happen at each stage.

  4. Try to list the emotions the customers are feeling at various stages and points. This can be found out by interviewing customers and talking with the departments that are in contact with the customers such as customer support.

  5. Once you have gathered all the information, it's time to put it in a visual format that is compact and easy to understand for all employees. Typically, a customer journey map can end up as an infographic, but it could also be a storyboard or a video.


Conclusion

The significance of Customer Journey Maps in defining organization strategy will only increase in the future. It can end up altering a big part of the organization business processes. Seeing the journey through the eyes of the customer can clarify the goals of the organization itself, leading to a better ROI, increased efficiency, and an easier sales process.

Learn more about Customer Journey Mapping 5 ways customer journey mapping can transform your business.