Oct 26, 2022

What are customer journey maps and why are they important?

Our ultimate guide on how to use a customer journey map to improve conversion and retenion.

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Today’s customers are a different breed. They use multiple digital and offline touch points and expect seamless and personalized experiences. Surveys show that over 70% of consumers interact across various channels before completing a transaction.

A customer journey map is a visual guide to the customer's experiences as they interact with the company. It depicts the buyer’s journey from product awareness to purchase. A customer journey map is essential for today’s marketing managers and a business's growth.

The importance of a customer journey map

A customer journey map allows a business to understand and manage customer expectations. It is a crucial step in implementing an omnichannel approach. Understanding how consumers use touchpoints enables marketers to develop personalized experiences across channels. This approach helps in:

  • Enhancing the customer onboarding process
  • Finding out the experiences consumers expect versus the experiences they receive
  • Spotting types of consumers and their behavior as they move up the sales funnel
  • Identifying gaps in current marketing efforts and finding ways to plug them
  • Creating a compelling buyer’s journey with action points and corrective mechanisms

A customer journey map provides a holistic picture. It allows a business to create engaging experiences to convert prospects.

How to create a customer journey maps

To create a customer journey map, we need information about users, such as their demographics and all interactions they've had with your company before sign up or purchase. These could be digital, such as joining a Discord community, or offline, such as an attending an in person event. We need to aggregate all such data into a system, establish the identity of a user across all these datapoints, and sequentially map out all interactions for each user. Then, all user journey can be combined to show aggregate statistics.

The consumer journey map can reflect different journeys based on audience segment. For example, an older user may be more likely to first hear about a clothing brand through an offline experience whereas a younger person may be more likely to first hear about it through Instagram ads.

How to boost marketing efforts with customer journey maps

For marketing managers, such information leads to a better understanding of the target audience. User personas can be created and marketing efforts fine-tuned to address their issues.

With an accurate customer journey map, marketers get insights into which online channels consumers use at which stage. This information helps fine-tune actions, such as where to put marketing dollars in paid campaigns. For example, a consumer could start the journey by using a search engine for information about a product. At this stage, the brand can use SEO-optimized content, which directs the consumer to the company website. The website can have a chatbot that addresses common concerns.

How to improve customer service with customer journey maps

A customer journey map can show what a customer needs at every stage, leading to customer service optimization. Sales teams can identify service improvement opportunities through visually identifying drop offs in conversion.

Some examples of where you might improve customer support based on drop off points include:

  • Websites can incorporate chatbots
  • Community channels can automate messages to re-engage users
  • Mobile apps can prompt users for feedback

Effective customer service boosts the conversion rate and creates loyal customers, and so is an important effort for all companies.

At Blaze, we help community-oriented companies create customer journey maps, which includes touch points across social media, community, product and transaction. With our experience and expertise, we often help start ups set up their very first customer journey map and can also advise on what engagement strategies work best. To find out more, do schedule a demo with us today.