From a bird’s eye view, the customer journey is a simple, transactional journey happening between a seller and a buyer. However, a deeper dive into the ocean of customer journey brings you face-to-face with the complexities associated. No customer journey goes from point A (product advertisement) to point B (purchase). Rather, it is a journey from A to Z with several touchpoints in between. Missing even one of these touchpoints might result in the customers’ drifting away.
This makes it extremely important for companies to understand the customer journey and the touchpoints involved. The only workaround solution for this situation is using customer journey mapping.
Don’t know about customer journey mapping? Do not you worry! This blog will answer all your questions about customer journey mapping. We will define it and will also answer the 10 FAQs about customer journey mapping.
What is a customer journey map?
A customer journey is the detailed history of the end-to-end transaction happening between a company and a client. For a company, it starts with market research and understanding customer needs and continues even after the product’s purchase. While it sounds quite simple, the process is much more complex, especially with the modern-day tools that trigger a customer journey.
Customer journey maps are an ideal way to handle the complexities of the customer journey. These maps are a visual representation of your consumers’ interactions with your company. Through this exercise, firms can put themselves in their customers’ shoes and see their business through the customers’ eyes.
From an outside-in perspective, a customer journey map illustrates all the stages involved in the customer journey. This is the major differentiation between a process map and a journey map.
While that is a broader way of explaining customer journey mapping, you will be able to understand it better from these FAQs. So without further delays, let us answer the most common FAQs on customer journey mapping –
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10 frequently asked questions about customer journey mapping
1. What does a customer journey map include?
A customer journey map typically has a diagram showing all the possible stages of customers’ interactions with a brand/ company. There are four key components in a customer journey map. They include –
Customer stages: The key reason for creating a customer journey map is to determine the various stages of interaction. A customer journey has at least four stages: inquiry, assessment, purchase, and deployment. These stages may be referred to by different names; for example, an inquiry is sometimes referred to as awareness. There is frequently a fifth stage known as loyalty or advocacy.
Buyer personas. Typically, a buyer persona represents a market segment as a whole. Because CX teams can more correctly predict consumers’ behaviors and moods using personas, it is a vital tool for generating path maps.
Touchpoints with customers. Touchpoints that a consumer is likely to use at each stage of the journey should always be included in a customer journey map. For example, a consumer may connect with a brand via phone calls or chatbots during the installation or service stage.
Emotions. Capturing customer emotions and feeling is another important reason for creating a customer journey map. This helps a brand understand the customers’ pain points better and thus strategize its approach.
2. What are the benefits of having a customer journey map?
With a customer journey map, it becomes easier to understand the path that the customer takes to reach your product. The map is of extreme value as it helps predict the path of prospective customers, as well. It also helps understand the inter-departmental silos and the gaps in customer experience (CX).
The most obvious benefit of a customer journey map is that it shows how customer progresses through the sales funnel. Maximizing the path’s efficiency equals more sales at a faster rate. Furthermore, comprehending the customer experience is critical for sales and marketing to comprehend the consumer experience.
3. Who should be involved in journey mapping?
It is always a good practice to involve three different teams in the journey mapping:
- The day-to-day operations team that oversees the project’s progress.
- The CX team, which is responsible for customer success
- The Action team – this comprises people from across the organization – responsible for taking actions that impact customers.
4. What separates customer journey mapping between B2B and B2C companies?
Several factors differentiate B2Bs from B2Cs, and the most significant among them is the customer set. While B2Cs approach their customers directly, mostly in person, B2B firms may not meet the customers in person. Therefore, the Customer Immersion stage is of extreme importance to B2Bs. There is a difference in recruiting as well. While the sales team of a B2B company can reach out to their customers to help them understand everything about mapping, B2Cs do not follow this process.
5. How many customer journey maps do you need?
While there is no rule as to how many maps you need. However, because a journey map helps create a shared vision among the teams, creating a map for each scenario would be immensely helpful. For instance, if you are a healthcare management tool provider, you should create separate journey maps for individual personas.
6. What are the mistakes to be avoided when creating a customer journey map?
Customer journey maps can be great tools for understanding the customer’s needs. If done right, they can be worthy of the investment of time and money. However, some companies fail to create effective customer journey maps, leading to failure in the effort. The following are three mistakes to avoid when creating customer journey maps –
- Avoid emphasizing only the touchpoints, rather than on the entire journey. Always focus on the entire route rather than just the specific touchpoints of interaction.
- Avoid creating the map only from a marketing standpoint. While the map offers great marketing insights, its primary purpose is to support the customer experience (CX) teams.
- Avoid considering the project as a one-time project. It must be considered an ongoing process that needs to be worked on regularly.
7. How to evaluate the effectiveness of a customer journey map?
Evaluating the effectiveness of a customer journey map is key to measuring the overall customer success. The evaluation can be done by gathering and then measuring the data points along the journey. At the same time, it is also advised to have a customer effort score to understand the level of difficulty/ease for the customer to follow a step.
8. What are some customer journey KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)?
Customer experience efforts fail when there are no measurable goals set in place. Therefore, it is especially important to set goals. For this, it is important to identify the right KPIs. The following are some of the KPIs for customer journey –
- Reduced customer churn
- Reduced customer complaints
- Increased positive feedback
- Lower abandonment of shopping carts
- Reduced cost to serve
- Increase in customer referrals
- Improvement in Net Promotor Score (NPS)
9. What information is required to create a customer journey map?
To create an effective customer journey map, you need to start with a review of your existing data/ knowledge. This may include:
- Employee surveys and feedback
- Competitor analysis
- Insights from the customer research
- Complaints related to the customer journey
- Channel information
- Mystery shopping data
Once you have this information at hand, you will have to analyze the information to identify the gaps you need to conduct additional research. Next, relate this information with the data about your customer personas and create themes accordingly.
10. What is the ideal time required to create an effective customer journey map?
The amount of time you need to spend on creating a journey depends on the approach you take for the map. If you opt for the research-first approach, which involves gathering deep customer insights before mapping, it takes from 3 to 12. If you choose the hypothesis-first approach, you need a day to two to conduct a workshop with the internal stakeholders; the hypothesis is then mapped based on existing knowledge.
Considering all the steps and teams involved, it is ideal to keep 8 to 12 weeks to create a complete, effective customer journey map.27
Here you have it, the top 10 FAQs on customer journey mapping. If you have any questions or would like to share your opinions, please post your invaluable comments below. Also, do not forget to keep reading our blogs in this section.
You might also like:
- Customer Journey Map: All You Need to Know – Customer journey map is a diagrammatic representation of a customer’s journey throughout a project. Learn about the complete customer journey map here.
- To see how SmartKarrot helps B2B companies streamline and scale customer success, Request a Demo.
Shivani is a talented CS manager with the skillsets to elicit, scope and manage end-to-end B2B SaaS project delivery. She has a keen interest in depicting her learnings in customer success by writing resourceful blogs and articles.
Published May 06, 2022, Updated May 15, 2023