Customer Journey Maps

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Overview of Customer Journey Maps

According to marketing research done by the Aberdeen Group, organizations that make use of a customer journey map average a 79% increase in cross-sell and up-sell revenue. Understanding what customers experience during their journey is useful and a customer journey map can be a great tool. While there is no set way to create a customer journey map, and they can range from very simple to highly comprehensive, there are several basic principles to consider when starting B2B customer journey mapping.

What should be included in a customer journey map:

A successful customer journey map should ideally contain the following key pieces of information:

1. Customer personas - a useful set of questions for creating customer personas has been put together by the Customer Journey Marketer blog.

2. Stages that customers go through before purchasing a product. The stages listed can range from just a few, to many, and is dependent on the business and how the customer interacts with it.
3. Touchpoints for each stage, or points of contact between the business and the customer.

4. Barriers and motivators the customer faces for each stage.

5. An analysis of how your company can better market towards the customer at each stage. A set of questions to help understand the business was posted by the Customer Journey Marketer blog.

How to create a customer journey map:

A good customer journey map should detail the full journey and all interactions that take place. The following are five suggested steps to follow that are useful in creating a full and useful map.

1. Lay the groundwork by talking to colleagues from each department within the business. Establish every single interaction their department has, or potentially could have, with customers - the touchpoints. Additional information that could be useful includes how often these interactions occur, who initiates the interactions, the purpose of the interactions, and the outcomes. This is a way to identify who your customer is, and to build customer personas.

2. Further information on the customer journey can then be collected from various internal logs or records. Such information could include outbound and inbound customer communications, queries made by customers, issues and complaints filed by customers, and even the buying behavior of customers.

3. Next, it is important to communicate directly with customers. This should include new customers, established customers, and those customers that have not returned. It is important to seek detailed information from these customers on their entire journey, and not just their interactions with the business. This is where the stages of the customer journey becomes important - information relating to each stage of the customers journey should be collected, including the customer's goals and feelings.

4. In order to expand on the information gathered in the previous step, it may be useful to have a group of customers keep a diary in order to record every interaction they have with the business, or a competitor, and log their thoughts about the experience.

5. Finally, it is often useful to map out the business' goals in each phase of the customer journey. B2B buying can be influenced by relationship with customers, and by mapping out the importance of each stage of the process, and the business' definition of excellence at each stage, it can lead to improvements in the customer journey.

Examples of customer journey maps:

There are numerous examples available online of B2B customer journey maps.

A journey map posted on Uxpressia gives an example of a Viewpointe customer journey map. It includes the stages of the journey, touch points between the customer and the business at each stage, as well as barriers and motivators to buying a product that the customer experiences.

Primary Intelligence posted several examples of customer journey maps. This example for an online travel agency focuses on a specific customer persona, and lists the customer's need, expectations, and emotional state, at each stage of the journey. This example is for Health Insurance, and it lists various touchpoints at the four defined stages of the customer journey, as well as the customer's satisfaction with each interaction.

Useful Templates:

Additionally, there are also many helpful templates available to assist in setting up a customer journey map.

The Columbia Road blog offers a free template for download.

Uxpressia offers a template.

The Intechnic blog also offers a free downloadable template.

Conclusion:

There are many ways to go about creating a customer journey map, and often several maps should be created in order to create a full awareness of all the customer personas and how they interact with the business through various stages. There are five key pieces of information that should be included in a useful map, namely, customer personas, stages, touchpoints, motivators and barriers, and how the business can improve at each stage. There are also five suggested steps to follow when creating a map: identifying customer personas and touchpoints, finding additional customer information through internal records, identifying the stages of the journey and customer goals, collecting information directly from customers about their interactions, and defining the business' goals at each stage of the journey.
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