How to Make a Useful Customer Journey Map – [FREE Customer Journey Map Template]

Think about the process that one of your customers might go through before buying a laptop:

  • They might start by asking friends, acquaintances, or Google about a product.
  • Later, they might decide to read some reviews or blog posts or watch a few YouTube videos to learn more about the product.
  • The next day, they could start seeing laptop ads on their social media after doing some research.
  • Then, they might go to Amazon to read more about the technical details, opinions, and other customers’ reviews.
  • Maybe they decide to go to a physical shop to check out the prices and warranties and speak with a salesperson. 
  • Then they might compare the offers from several online stores and even add the laptop to their shopping cart to “check back later”, but later don’t go through with the purchase.
  • And then, finally, they decide to buy the laptop from your online shop.

It’s been a long journey, but you got the sale in the end. But, not all customers end up buying, do they?

In this post, we’ll explain how you can use customer journeys and customer journey mapping to understand your customers’ buyer persona, or how your customers buy so that you can optimize your sales process.

To better analyze this information, it’s useful to make your own customer journey map.

If you aren’t sure where to start, download our FREE customer journey map template. It’ll make this process extremely easy!

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about customer journey mapping.

What is the Customer Journey?

The customer journey is the path followed by a person while they are in the process of buying a product.

Think about all the steps that we mentioned before about buying a laptop. That’s a customer journey.

Before making the decision, potential clients have to look for information, ask other people about it, and compare it to other options. All of that information will make them feel confident about having found the best option, which is the confidence they need to click the “buy” button.

In fact, there are actually four elements that every customer journey has in common. Let’s take a look.

What are the 4 Elements of the Customer Journey?

The following four components illustrate the four essential elements of the customer journey: 

  1. Consumer interaction
  2. Lead to sale conversion
  3. Developing customer loyalty
  4. Meeting customer needs

You may be thinking, “Great, this is nice, but how is this going to help me sell more?”

Believe it or not, understanding the customer journey is extremely important and helpful if you are looking to improve your customer experience and ultimately boost your sales. 

You can use your user journey to do some customer journey mapping, which will help you analyze the behavior of your clients even more.

By understanding what stages clients go through before they buy something, you can optimize your strategy to generate more sales.

If you are familiar with the sales funnel concept, you’ll see the similarities. In this case, we’re analyzing the process from the client’s perspective.

So, let’s dive into the five stages of the customer journey to better understand what compels your customers to buy your products and how exactly it happens.

What Are the 5 Stages of Customer Journey?

  1. Awareness: Customers learn about a brand through social media, friends, or advertisements.
  2. Consideration: Customers identify a need that needs to be met and consider buying a product, service, or offer.
  3. Purchase: Customers buy the product.
  4. Retention: Customers use the product and potentially get advice from the supplier, customer community, or provider in an effort to form brand loyalty.
  5. Advocacy: Customers spread positive or negative feedback about the product.

Don’t worry if you still don’t quite understand it – we’ll clear things up with some practical examples about what the customer or buyer journey is.

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Customer Journey Example

Awareness: The customer sees an ad for the coffee shop on social media or walks by the shop while running errands.

Consideration: The customer decides to visit the shop and enters the store, where they are greeted by a friendly barista who takes their order.

Purchase: The customer orders their favorite drink and pays for it.

Retention: The customer receives their drink and enjoys it while sitting at a cozy table. The barista checks in to make sure they are happy with their drink and offers a loyalty card for future visits.

Advocacy: The customer leaves the shop feeling satisfied and shares their positive experience on social media or tells their friends about the great coffee they had.

This journey map helps the coffee shop identify areas where they can improve the customer experience, such as by offering more personalized loyalty programs or improving their social media presence to attract more customers. 

By understanding their customer’s journey, the coffee shop can create a better experience for their customers and ultimately grow their business.

What is a customer journey map?

A customer journey map is a powerful visual tool that showcases every touchpoint a customer has with a brand, service, or product. Organizations can use a customer journey map to deeply understand their customers’ processes, needs, and perceptions. This can help businesses improve customer experience, identify opportunities for improvement, and increase satisfaction and long-term loyalty.

There’s no single model that can be applied to a specific product since each process is different. That means they aren’t static models, but rather models that need to be reviewed periodically to keep the information up to date and to help you avoid losing sales.

Let’s see how it’s done.

How to Create a Customer Journey Map

What are the 7 steps to map the customer journey?

  1. Define the map’s objective and align it with your business goals.
  2. Identify your target customers and buyer personas.
  3. Break the journey into stages and identify key goals.
  4. Make note of all touchpoints.
  5. Get data and feedback from customers.
  6. Address pain points and friction in the journey.
  7. Identify areas for improvement to enhance the customer experience.

The Seven Customer Journey Map Steps in Action

Your Business Goals

Defining a clear objective for your customer journey map and aligning it with your business goals is essential. 

It’s like knowing your destination before embarking on a journey. 

By doing so, you can focus on the areas that matter most and create a roadmap to a better customer experience. 

So, take the time to define your objective and align it with your business goals to improve your customer experience.

The Customer

Remember that this all starts with the customer.

This is why you need to know your buyer persona (an idea frequently highlighted given the key role it plays in any sales strategy). 

Identifying your target customers and creating buyer personas helps you better understand your ideal customers’ needs and behaviors. 

This understanding allows you to tailor your marketing for eCommerce and sales strategies to better appeal to them, make informed decisions about product offerings, and create effective marketing campaigns. 

In short, it’s a key part of building a successful business that attracts and retains loyal customers.

Timeline

This is about detailing the buying process and all of its phases over time and analyzing how the client feels during each of those phases. (Remember the phases of the customer journey that we explained earlier?)

Besides the product itself, it’s very important to be mindful of the first and last impressions that you make to guarantee an optimal user experience.

Feelings or User Experience

By representing feelings for each phase of the customer journey, we can visualize whether your customers’ experience is more negative or positive and spot what had the greatest impact on them.

For example, a positive feeling may be entering the shop and finding what they are looking for immediately (and there’s nothing better than Doofinder for that). 😉

However, if a customer is looking for your return policy and can’t find it, it may be a negative aspect – or if they don’t like your payment methods.

While they are going through the buying process, clients may experience both positive and negative feelings.

Obviously, it’s essential to “fix” the negative experiences and maximize the positive ones.

Touchpoints

A touchpoint is each time your brand or eCommerce is in touch with the client throughout their customer journey.

Here you have some examples of touchpoints:

  • When a customer looks for information about a product and finds a blog post explaining it.
  • When a customer goes to your online shop and looks at a product card.
  • When a customer sees one of your ads on their social networks.

If you recreate the sequence of touchpoints on your user journey map, you’ll be able to measure the influence that each of your marketing actions has on the buying process.

A very powerful and free tool to analyze these points of contact is Google Analytics. You can use the data to dissect all the contact you have with your customers in order to optimize your eCommerce with Google Analytics.

Pain Points

Identifying pain points helps you understand what issues or frustrations your customers have with your product or service. 

By knowing what’s not working, you can make improvements to your business to better meet their needs, which can lead to happier customers, increased sales, and a more successful business overall.

Interactions

At this point, you need to measure the existing interactions between your eCommerce and your customers. Here you have some simple examples:

  • Do you respond to your customers’ comments on social media?
  • Do you offer customer service via email?

It’s about measuring what types of interactions you carry out directly with your customers to keep them satisfied so that they feel their overall experience with your brand is positive.

Customer Journey Map Example

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Awareness: 

  • Customer Action: The customer sees an ad for the online clothing store on social media or receives an email newsletter.
  • Touchpoints: online ads, social media posts, word-of-mouth
  • Emotion: Curiosity or interest
  • Pain points: The customer doesn’t fully understand what the online clothing store offers or how it’s different from competitors.
  • Solutions: The online store could create a brief and engaging explainer video on their website or social media platforms like Instagram to help customers understand their unique selling points and product offerings.

Consideration: 

  • Customer Action: The customer clicks on the ad or newsletter and is directed to the store’s website. They browse the selection of clothing and add items to their cart.
  • Touchpoints: website, reviews, product demos
  • Emotion: Excitement or anticipation
  • Pain points: The customer has trouble finding the right size or color for the items they want to purchase.
  • Solutions: The online store could implement a filtering system that allows customers to easily search for items by size, color, or other preferences.

Purchase: 

  • Customer Action: The customer proceeds to the checkout and completes the purchase, receiving an email confirmation.
  • Touchpoints: checkout process, payment options, confirmation email
  • Emotion: Satisfaction or relief
  • Pain points: The customer experiences technical difficulties during the checkout process or is surprised by unexpected fees.
  • Solutions: The online store could offer a seamless checkout process and clearly display all fees upfront to avoid surprises.

Retention: 

  • Customer Action: The customer receives their clothing and is happy with the quality and fit. They receive a follow-up email asking for feedback and offering a discount for their next purchase.
  • Touchpoints: user community, customer support, loyalty program
  • Emotion: Gratitude or loyalty
  • Pain points: The customer does not receive adequate customer support when they encounter issues with their order.
  • Solutions: The online store could offer responsive customer service through various channels such as chat support, email, or phone to address customers’ concerns.

Advocacy: 

  • Customer Action: The customer shares their positive experience on social media or with friends, and receives targeted ads and email newsletters featuring similar clothing items.
  • Touchpoints: social media, referrals, reviews
  • Emotion: Excitement, happiness, disappointment 
  • Pain points: The customer receives too many irrelevant ads or emails.
  • Solutions: The online store could use data analysis to target customers with personalized ads and emails based on their previous purchases or browsing history.

By addressing pain points and solutions at every stage of the journey, the online clothing store can improve the customer experience and build stronger relationships with their customers.

Are You Ready to Create Your Customer Journey Map?

You’re all set to recreate your customers’ journey so that you can optimize your online business’s buying process. Remember to do it with more than one customer so you can determine different patterns and understand what triggers purchases for your eCommerce customers.

Resources

To ensure the success of your user journey map, be sure to download our FREE customer journey map template. We’ve created a few different templates that you can use when getting started on creating your user journey map. 

Now, it’s time to get to work!

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