Customer Journey Map: what it is, how to create it and examples
A customer journey map is a visual representation of the interactions and experiences a customer has with a brand, product, or service throughout its lifecycle.
It helps you understand the customer's needs, expectations, emotions and pain points at each stage of their journey, and identify opportunities and gaps to improve their satisfaction and loyalty.
What does the customer journey map mean?
The customer journey map is a tool that allows you to visualize and analyze the relationship between the customer and the brand, product or service from the customer's perspective.
It shows the touchpoints that the customer has with the brand, product or service, as well as the actions, thoughts, feelings and challenges they experience at each touchpoint.
The customer journey map helps you empathize with the customer and understand their motivations, objectives and pain points. It also helps you align business objectives with customer needs and expectations, and design strategies and actions that improve the customer experience and value proposition.
The customer journey map is not a static or generic document, but rather a dynamic and specific one. It can vary depending on the type of customer, the type of product or service, the type of industry, the type of channel or the type of objective.
It is important to clearly define the scope and purpose of the customer journey map before creating it.
Benefits of mapping the customer journey
Mapping the customer journey has multiple benefits for both the business and the customer. Among them, we can highlight the following:
- Improve customer satisfaction and loyalty . By mapping the customer journey, you can identify and eliminate points of friction or obstacles that prevent the customer from achieving their desired outcome. You can also create positive moments or wow factors that surprise and delight the customer. In this way, you can increase their satisfaction and loyalty, and reduce their churn rate.
- Increase sales and profits . By mapping the customer journey, you can identify and take advantage of cross-selling or up-selling opportunities that arise along the way. You can also increase your customers' retention and referral rates by offering them personalized and relevant offers that meet their needs and expectations. This way, you can increase your sales and profits, and reduce your acquisition costs.
- Differentiate your brand from the competition . By mapping the customer journey, you can create a unique and unforgettable customer experience that differentiates you from your competitors. You can also communicate your brand values and personality more effectively, and build a stronger emotional connection with your customers. In this way, you can position your brand as a leader in your market, and increase your notoriety and reputation.
What are the stages of the customer journey?
The customer journey can be divided into several stages that reflect the key moments that the customer experiences from discovering the brand, product or service until becoming an ambassador or promoter of it.
These stages may vary depending on the type of business, but generally the following are considered:
- Discovery : it is the stage in which the client becomes aware of their problem or need, and looks for possible solutions. At this stage, the customer may encounter the brand, product or service for the first time, either through own means (online search, social networks, etc.), through paid means (advertising, sponsorships, etc.) or through earned media. (recommendations, reviews, etc.).
- Consideration : it is the stage in which the client evaluates the different options they have found, and compares their characteristics, benefits and prices. At this stage, the client looks for more information about the brand, product or service, whether on its website, on its blog, on its social networks, in its videos, in its catalogues, etc.
- Decision : it is the stage in which the client decides on one of the options they have considered, and makes the purchase or contract. At this stage, the customer looks for facilities and guarantees to complete the purchasing or contracting process, whether in your online store, in your physical store, on your phone, in your chat, etc.
- Use : it is the stage in which the customer uses the product or service they have purchased, and checks if it meets their expectations and needs. At this stage, the customer seeks assistance and support to resolve their doubts or problems, whether in your customer service, technical service, manuals, tutorials, etc.
- Loyalty : it is the stage in which the customer becomes a loyal and recurring customer of the brand, product or service, and repeats the purchase or contract. At this stage, the customer looks for incentives and rewards to maintain their relationship with the brand, product or service, whether in their loyalty program, special offers, discounts, etc.
- Recommendation : it is the stage in which the customer becomes an ambassador or promoter of the brand, product or service, and recommends it to other people. At this stage, the client seeks recognition and gratitude for their outreach work, whether in their referral program, in their testimonials, in their reviews, whether in their referral program, in their testimonials, in their reviews or in their opinions.
These stages are not linear or fixed, but can vary depending on the type of customer, the type of product or service, the type of industry, the type of channel or the type of objective.
How to make the customer journey of a business step by step?
To make the customer journey of a business step by step, you can follow the following steps:
Define the objective and scope of the customer journey map
Before starting to create the customer journey map, you must be clear about what you want to achieve with it and what aspects you want to analyze.
For example, you may want to improve conversion, retention, or referral of your customers. You must also define the type of client, the type of product or service, the type of industry, the type of channel or the type of objective you want to study.
Create an ideal customer persona or profile
A persona is a fictional but realistic representation of your ideal customer, based on demographic, psychographic and behavioral data. It helps you better understand your target audience and empathize with them.
To create a persona, you can use tools such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, or web analysis.
Identify the stages of the customer journey
Depending on the objective and scope that you have defined, you must identify the stages that your client goes through from discovering your brand, product or service until they become an ambassador or promoter of it.
You can use the generic stages we mentioned above (discovery, consideration, decision, use, loyalty and recommendation), or create your own stages tailored to your business.
Identify contact points or touchpoints
At each stage of the customer journey, you must identify the contact points or touchpoints that your customer has with your brand, product or service. Contact points can be online (website, blog, social networks, email, etc.) or offline (physical store, telephone, outdoor advertising, etc.).
You should consider both the touchpoints you control and those you don't control (for example, other customers' opinions).
Identify the client's actions, thoughts, feelings and challenges
At each touchpoint, you must identify the actions your customer takes (for example, searching for information, comparing options, purchasing a product), the thoughts they have (for example, what they need, what they expect, what they are worried about), the feelings that you experience (for example, the feelings you experience (for example, curiosity, confidence, frustration, joy, etc.) and the challenges you face (for example, lack of information, doubts, objections, technical problems, etc.).
To identify these aspects, you can use tools such as web analysis, customer feedback, the empathy map or the experience map.
Evaluate customer satisfaction at each touch point
At each touchpoint, you must evaluate the customer's level of satisfaction with your brand, product or service. You can use a numerical scale (for example, 1 to 5) or an emotional scale (for example, with emojis) to measure customer satisfaction.
You can also use indicators such as NPS (Net Promoter Score), CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score) or CES (Customer Effort Score) to measure customer loyalty, satisfaction or effort.
Identify opportunities and gaps to improve the customer experience
Based on the evaluation of customer satisfaction, you must identify the opportunities and gaps that exist to improve the customer experience at each touch point.
Opportunities are the positive aspects that you can enhance or replicate to increase customer satisfaction. Gaps are negative aspects that you can correct or eliminate to reduce customer dissatisfaction.
Design and implement actions to improve the customer experience
Based on the opportunities and gaps you have identified, you must design and implement actions that improve the customer experience at each touch point.
These actions can be of different types, such as improving the design or usability of your website, creating valuable or educational content for your blog, personalizing your offers or messages for your email, offering faster customer service or efficient for your phone etc.
Visualize and communicate the customer journey map
Once you have completed all the previous steps, you must visualize and communicate the customer journey map in a clear and attractive way. You can use tools such as diagrams, tables, graphs or infographics to represent the customer journey map.
You can also use tools such as PowerPoint, Word or Excel to create the final document. The customer journey map should be easy to understand and share with the people involved in the project, such as your team, your partners or your clients.
How to make the customer journey of a restaurant?
To carry out the customer journey of a restaurant, you can follow the same steps that we have explained before, but adapting them to the type of business and the type of customer you want to study. For example, you may want to analyze the journey of the customer who reserves a table online at your restaurant. In that case, you could define the following stages:
- Discovery : the client is looking for a restaurant where they can eat or dine with their partner or friends. Find your restaurant on Google Maps, on TripAdvisor or in a gastronomic guide.
- Consideration : the customer enters your website and sees the photos, the menu and the opinions of other customers. He likes what he sees and decides to reserve a table online.
- Decision : the client fills out a form with their personal data and chooses the date, time and number of diners. You receive an email confirmation with the details of your reservation.
- Use : the customer arrives at the restaurant and is greeted by a waiter who accompanies him to his table. Enjoy the food, service and atmosphere. Ask for the bill and pay with your card.
- Loyalty : The customer receives an email thanking them for their visit and asking them to rate their experience in a survey or on an online platform. The customer is satisfied and decides to return to your restaurant.
- Recommendation : the customer recommends your restaurant to their family and friends. Also leave a positive comment on Google Maps, TripAdvisor or another online platform.
How to gather information to map the customer journey
To gather the information necessary to map the customer journey, you can use different sources and methods, both quantitative and qualitative. Among them, we can highlight the following:
- Web analysis : allows you to obtain data on user behavior on your website, such as the number of visits, length of stay, bounce rate, traffic origin, most visited pages, conversions, etc. You can use tools like Google Analytics, Hotjar or Crazy Egg to perform this analysis.
- Customer feedback : allows you to obtain information about customer opinion and satisfaction with your brand, product or service, as well as their suggestions and complaints. You can use tools such as surveys, interviews, focus groups or questionnaires to collect this feedback.
- Empathy map : allows you to put yourself in the customer's shoes and understand their needs, expectations, emotions and pain points. You can use tools such as the empathy map canvas to carry out this exercise.
- Experience Map – Allows you to visualize the customer experience at each touchpoint, identifying the actions, thoughts, feelings and challenges they experience. You can use tools such as the experience map canvas to perform this exercise.
2 examples of customer journey
To illustrate how the customer journey map can be applied in different sectors, we show you two examples of customer journey maps for a travel agency and for an online clothing store.
Example of a customer journey for a travel agency
In this example, we are going to see the customer journey map of a client who wants to organize a trip to Paris with his partner. The goal of the map is to improve conversion and customer satisfaction.
The type of client is a young person, with higher education, who likes to travel and who is looking for a personalized and quality offer.
The type of product or service is a tourist package that includes flight, hotel and activities. The type of industry is tourism. The channel type is online.
The objective type is informational.
Example of a customer journey for an online clothing store
In this example, we are going to see the customer journey map of a customer who wants to buy a t-shirt online. The goal of the map is to improve customer retention and referral.
The type of customer is a young person, with average education, who likes fashion and is looking for an original and cheap t-shirt. The type of product or service is a t-shirt with a custom design.
The type of industry is e-commerce. The channel type is online. The type of goal is transactional.
Written by Moises Hamui Abadi : I am an entrepreneur, founding partner of Viceversa and SoyMacho. After leading several digital businesses and advising several other businesses; I decided to form MHA Consulting, a digital marketing consultancy dedicated to growing and enhancing digital businesses in more than 7 countries and generating more than 1,500 million pesos.