Technology September 20, 2016 Last updated September 19th, 2016 200 Reads share

Creating a Journey Map for the Customer Path to Purchase

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In business, there are several measures that you should be looking at with regards to your customer base and how they interact with your business. This can help you ensure that they are satisfied not only by the goods and services that are offered but also by the means in which they are procured. This will help you improve the flow of customers and hence create more stability for your business. You can get to know the experience your customers have if you do a follow up with them to know how they feel about your products and service and you can create a journey map illustrating those experiences.

If a journey map is done right, it:

  • • Should help you to understand the needs and the wants of the customer
  • • Should help you to understand your shortfalls and make the necessary adjustments for the better
  • • Should enlighten you on new unexploited avenues that you can use for growth

Basically, a journey map capitalizes on the life-cycle of the purchase to tell the experience of a customer with a certain product. This can help you to know whether you have more opportunities to explore and you will be able to identify your weak spots as well. That will also help you to know the necessary measures that you have to take so that you can maximize your efforts.

How to Understand Journey Maps

A journey map is useful to every enterprise because it helps to analyze the interactions that a company has with its customers at every stage. The map incorporates both the negative and the positive experiences that were faced at each juncture. With a journey map, it becomes very easy to analyze and do follow up where strengths and weaknesses were encountered. This also helps you to know the necessary measures that should be taken to alleviate the encountered shortfalls at each stage so that the customer relationship with the company can be maintained.

A journey map is a record that can be used to show how the company has been relating with the customers in the past, and at present and therefore, you will be able to foretell what they will need in the future. Therefore, as a company you can be able to set up plans that will be for the welfare of both the company and the customers. The journey map will be able to show their feelings, recommendations and their reactions after their experience. You will be able to know what the customer is craving and their expectations from the company.

There is a wide range of methods that can be used to present a journey map. Usually, they take the form of an infographic and they should point out where the customer is not being satisfied and hence help you to know the necessary measures and action that should be taken. A journey map can help you to position yourself depending on your plan for your business. The choices, plans and decisions that you make in your business can be taken account of in your journey map.

Creating a Journey Map

A journey map is a visual interpretation of the overall interaction from an individual customer’s perspective of their interaction with your business over time and across channels. Driven by user research, no two journey maps are alike; they allow your business to consider the interaction from the customers’ points of view. You will want to generate a list of touchpoints and the channels where those touch points occur.

You should understand the nature of your customers and to do this you will need to interview the customers’ to understand their experiences and their journey. It helps if you can develop personas of buyers and understand the journey for each.

There are three stages that you will go through when making a journey map.

  1. Awareness Stage
  2. Consideration Stage
  3. Decision Stage

With the above, you can analyze the experiences of customers. After identifying where problems came in and the types of problems, that then becomes part of your journey map. Learn the problems customers have through interviewing them, which is when you can start looking for more information.

Most buyers usually do research on the internet to get adequately informed about brands and products. It is good for you to follow up on your customers to know how they do their research on the internet. Your follow-up includes digging deeper by asking the customer which search engine they use, the keywords that they entered on the search tab and the results that they got. After the buyers eliminate some of the search results and they remain with the ones that please them, they may go deeper by reaching out one on one to sales representatives and they ask them questions, or ask for their recommendations and even for demonstrations. At this point, they will make a decision to buy the product or not and they check for warranties and costs, among others.

After getting all the necessary information, then you need to extrapolate it so that you can create a great journey map. This is where you can get creative with your layout, there is no set design you need to stick too and it doesn’t have to follow standard left to right timeline. The process of creating journey maps is what is most important, it puts us in a position to think about how we can use experience design to create a positive process for our customers.

You will also want to create journey maps at different points over time. You can create a set once a year to evaluate if your current customer experience matches your documented goals. Your journey map can serve as a tool for strategic recommendations and even introducing tactical initiatives.It is a good idea to include a good mix of people in the process of journey map creation. Having stakeholder participants from different parts of the organization can help provide a fuller view of the journey and different perspectives.

Image: Businessman pressing button on touch screen interface and select “customer journey”. Business concept. Internet concept.

Kimber Johnson

Kimber Johnson

Kimber Johnson is the co-founder of Pacific App Design, which is a sister company of Vanity Mobile Apps and ASPEN App Design. He has worked within the web development, graphics design, mobile application development, marketing and advertising fields for over 17 years.

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