A customer journey map is a great tool to visualise all of the steps a customer takes as they go through your sales process and then receive and use your products or services. But how do you go about mapping the journey?
Mapping the customer journey
Whilst there are a handful of software applications out there, initially we’d recommend starting out with a good old pen & paper.
- A3 blank paper (use it in landscape)
- Some coloured pens (we love Sharpies)
- Post-it notes
Next you need to think about what journey to map. If you have a range of products or services, in time you’ll want to map each one. For now, just select one of them.
Start to think about the different steps in the journey and write each one down on a post-it. Pop them down on the paper in the order they happen.
Think about every little detail:
- How do you get paid, and how easy is that for the customer?
- How do you package the goods you send out?
- How often do you communicate with the customer?
- How do they find you and what does your online presence look like?
See it from the customer’s perspective
Once you’ve captured all the steps, put yourself in the customer’s shoes and think about the process from their perspective. Is there anything you’ve missed?
Ideally you’ll want to speak to some customers, so that you can learn how your journey makes them feel. Also ask if you’ve got everything covered – there may be steps they see that you don’t.
You’ve now got your first customer journey map!
Common mistakes people make when mapping a customer journey
- Forgetting the pre-sale stage. 70% of the buying decision is made before the customer makes contact with you. Think about how they find you – what is that experience like?
- What is the user experience like on your website? Can people find what they need within a couple of clicks? Is it easy to navigate?
- If you send goods out, remember that the carrier is part of the customer experience. Some carriers are better than others. We’ve all heard about parcels being left in bins, or not delivered at all. The customer will see this as your problem.
- Remember to map the post-sale process. How easy is it for customers to contact you? Some companies make this really difficult and lose future business as a result.
- Don’t assume you know it all. You don’t, you’re not the customer, so you can’t know how your experience makes them feel. Ask them, find out what they think. You’re guaranteed to learn stuff.
Mapping the customer journey is the first step to creating great customer experiences, so take your time and do this right. You’ll reap the benefits in the long run.