Not sure how to create a customer journey map for your business? Follow these five steps to do digital customer journey mapping for your unique situation.
1. Have a goal
Why do you need digital customer journey mapping? What’s the point? Don’t ask your team to dedicate hours of time to a customer journey map without understanding your motivation.
Maybe you need to sell more of your high-margin products. Or maybe you want to use the map for a new product launch. A goal will help you create a customer journey map that actually serves your business needs, which translates into higher ROI. Always start the customer journey mapping process by understanding your ultimate “why”.
2. Create buyer personas
You can’t create a customer journey map without a thorough understanding of your customer. If you haven’t already, create buyer personas for your business. But don’t guess what your customers need: Let real-world data inform your personas for more accurate journey mapping.
This means sourcing customer information from:
You can also connect with your sales or customer service team to understand your customers. Since these employees interact with customers the most, they have a better idea of what it takes to satisfy your audience.
Most businesses have 3–5 buyer personas. Instead of creating one generalized customer journey map for all of your personas, create one map per persona. If your team is facing a time crunch, choose your most important or profitable persona first.
3. Define the buying process
What does your buying process look like? How do people go from hearing about you to ordering your products? You need to define how every customer touch point ultimately leads to brand advocacy. To do that, you have to list all potential customer touch points and the customer actions that accompany them.
List all customer touch points
Regardless of where they find you, all customers touch on several major milestones in their relationship with you. To define your buying process, you should list every point where you have direct contact with a lead. This can be as big as filling out a contact form or as small as scrolling past your posts on Instagram.
Here are some customer touch point examples:
A physical store
Search engine results
Word of mouth
If you aren’t sure where to start, use your website analytics tool to see where most of your leads come from. This will help you see which touch points lead to the most customer interactions.
Look at customer actions
Now that you’ve identified all of your potential touch points, list the actions that customers take at each of these touch points. This will give you a high-level idea of how customers ultimately move from the awareness stage to advocacy.
Every business is different, but here’s how this might look:
Your website: Customers can subscribe to your email list, read your blogs, or request a demo.
Social media: Customers can interact with your content, follow you, DM you, or share your content with their friends.
Advertising: Customers can view your ads passively or click on them to learn more.
This can take some time, but try to list all of the potential ways people could interact with you at every touchpoint.
At this point, you’ll need to fit each potential customer action into the five stages of the customer journey. For example:
Awareness: Customers visit your website, read a blog, or see your ads.
Consideration: Customers request a demo, subscribe to your email list, or DM you on social media.
Decision: Customers set up a call with your sales team or make a purchase online.
Loyalty: Customers join your VIP rewards program to earn points on every product they purchase.
Advocacy: Customers share your content with their friends or join your referral program.
This will create a framework for your buying process, which is the major structure for your customer journey map.
4. Find the buyer’s pain points
Once you define the buying process and create a framework for your customer journey map, you need to add the buyer’s pain points at every stage.
Pain points are a customer’s burning, immediate problems that they need to solve. When you know a customer’s pain point, you have a direct window into their emotional needs, which can help you create just-in-time content to assuage their needs.
Pain points will change according to the customer’s touch point and stage of the buying process. For example, Awareness-stage consumers might feel pain points like a lack of knowledge or time. Look over your touch points and specify your customers’ pain points at every stage to understand their immediate needs.
5. Map the customer’s pain with your solution
The final step of digital customer journey mapping is to match a customer’s pain point with your solution. For example, if their pain point is that they can’t find high-quality accounting services within their budget, you can match that customer with a lower-cost service. You’ll need to offer a different solution for each pain point, but this will help you connect with more customers when they need you the most.
However, keep in mind that customer journey mapping isn’t just a marketing tool. You should use it to improve every aspect of your business, including customer service, sales, product design, billing, and more. Rely on your customer journey analytics to see where buyers fall out of the buying process to figure out what solutions would help them the most.