How to Create an Effective Customer Journey Map

By Jared Atchison, writer
May 24, 2019
Image Credit: George Rudy/Shutterstock

Make sure your consumers know what steps to take to engage with your company.

Do you know your customer journeys as they travel around your website? When you have a business, you need to know your audience like the back of your hand and, more specifically, how they navigate your site and why they take the actions they do.

According to Harvard Business Review, a customer journey map illustrates the steps your visitors take when they engage with your company, which could be products, services, online experiences and so forth. The map allows you to gain a clearer insight into your audience's motivations, needs and pain points as they move through the conversion funnel.

If you have yet to create a customer journey map for your audience, now is the perfect time to start. There are endless benefits that come with it that can help you understand your target market so you can serve them better.

Why you need a customer journey map

You might be wondering why your business needs a customer journey map in the first place. For one, it helps you find out more about your visitors so you can provide them with a seamless user experience. A journey map also helps you refine your target market so that you aren’t trying to target too broad or general an audience. The more you can narrow down your target, the better off you'll be.

According to the Huffington Post, only 34% of businesses have implemented a customer journey map into their marketing strategy, meaning that too few marketers understand its importance in business growth and success. You can stay one step ahead of your competitors by creating a CJM that's effective and brings about results.

1. Create customer personas.

You should already have customer personas, or buyer personas, for your ideal customers so you have details on how to cater to their needs. If not, now is the perfect time to flesh them out. Include as much information as you can, including their demographics, buying behaviors, income, education level and issues they need resolved. Monitor your analytics to get this information or send out a customer survey to your existing customers.

Good questions to ask are ...

  • How much time do you spend on our website?

  • Have you made a purchase with us before? If so, what made you do so?

  • How easy or difficult is it to navigate?

  • Was customer service helpful?

  • Have you ever intended to make a purchase but backed out? Why?

2. Determine touchpoints.

Touchpoints are essential in creating your CJM. They're all the places on your site where your visitors can engage with you. List out these points to figure out where there could be a smoother transition or simply see what's working well. Pay attention to how many touchpoints users encounter before they're able to take the action they want. Is there a way you can cut back on the navigation so it takes fewer steps for them to get where they want to go?

Pay attention to the Behavior Flow report and Goal Flow report in Google Analytics. Behavior flow shows you the path your website visitors took while they were on your site. This can tell you what content keeps them engaged and what content adds to your bounce rate. Goal flow shows the path visitors traveled through a funnel while trying to achieve a goal.

These two reports will show you which touchpoints are most popular with your audience and which ones only present obstacles during their journey. As you look at your list of touchpoints, pay attention to the actions your visitors perform, what motivates them to do so, and which obstacles they face.

3. Draw your map.

There are a few different ways you can document your map:

  • Day in the life: This kind of map lays out a typical day in the life of your customers so you can better understand how your site fulfills their needs.

  • Future state: This lays out the ideal journey you want your visitors to take as they browse your site.

  • Current state: These maps show you how your audience is interacting with your brand right now.

You need to think about which map best suits your business needs in the present, although you could create more than one type. Go back to your goals to determine which map will give you the most refined strategy to work with so you can improve your lead generation, capture emails and increase your ROI.

Wrapping up

If you haven't yet created a customer journey map to boost your business success, now is a good time to start. They can help you understand your audience clearly, solve their pain points and keep them engaged. It's important for any business to map out how users spend time on their website engaging with their brand so they can cater to their needs and give them what they want.

Co-Founder of WPForms, one of the largest WordPress contact form plugins in the market. I have been programming for over a decade and enjoy creating plugins that help people create powerful web designs without touching code.
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