Customer Journey Map definition and template

Customer Journey Mapping

Customer Journey Mapping and/or creating a Customer Journey Map provides a visual representation of how a customer interacts with a company’s brand, products, services and employees.

In other words, a customer journey map empowers businesses to better meet the needs of their prospects and customers, gain a competitive advantage, and reach key prospects with more relevant messaging that addresses the pain points they experience at specific stages in the buying process.

What is a Customer Journey Map used for?

The primary reason businesses use Customer Journey Maps is to identify areas to improve the Customer Experience.

Improving the customer experience is ultimately linked to increased profitability and a whole host of other benefits for a business including higher employee engagement, increased Customer Lifetime Value and more.

Given the complexity of a customer journey across numerous touchpoints, things can get confusing fast so a great solution is to make a visual representation of the customer’s journey, hence the term customer journey map.

Upcoming customer journey mapping training courses

What are the benefits of a Customer Journey Map?

By putting yourself in the customer’s shoes, you get to experience the pain points and actions they need to undertake when engaging with your business.

That sounds good, but let’s put some numbers behind it.

Research by the Aberdeen Group suggests brands that manage customer journeys experience 21% year-over-year growth, while brands that don’t actually experience a decline at -2.2%.

That got your attention?

A Customer Journey Map can provide you with numerous benefits including:

  • Visualising the experience through the eyes of your customers instead of your own perceptions and beliefs.
  • Identifying gaps and opportunities for improvement.
  • Understanding internal barriers which can also be a frustration for internal staff.
  • Increased sales. Brands enjoy an average sales cycle that is 18 times faster, with 56% more revenue from upselling and cross-selling efforts.
  • Reducing costs. The same Aberdeen study suggested brands experience a more than ten times improvement in the cost of customer service.

How to create a Customer Journey Map?

There are some key stages/components to creating a Customer Journey Map which we have outlined below for you.

1.     Understand your buyer persona

First of all, you should understand who your customers are, what they like, and how they behave.

Analyse your target audience and your demographics data, including your potential customers’ gender, age, location, and income level.

You should also keep in mind that it’s not enough to have one buyer persona.

Different categories of customers may behave differently and prefer different channels for interaction.

2.    Know your customers’ goals

Once you’ve developed buyers’ personas, you should identify their main needs and goals.

What do they want to achieve by purchasing your products or services?

No matter what your niche is, you should understand that you’re selling not a product but a solution to your customers’ specific problems.

We recommend that you consider your customers’ goals at every step of the customer journey, while also keeping in mind that these goals may change.

Make sure that your customers have all the necessary information about your product or service.

Analyse your competition and think of how you can offer a better customer experience.

3.    Outline customer touchpoints

You should map out all contacts between your brand and customers before, during, and after the purchase.

Make sure to consider both online and offline touchpoints, a well as interactions that result from marketing campaigns.

Keep in mind that some touchpoints can be more important than others.

Given that your customers may interact with your brand in different ways, mapping out all of the touchpoints may seem difficult.

To deal with this task, put yourself in your customers’ shoes.

Got a website?

Check out your behaviour flow report in Google Analytics to see how your customers behave on your website.

You may also check out the goal flow report to see how your customers move through the sales funnel, identify traffic loops, and determine at which points you lose customers.

You should also keep in mind that your customer journey map should be easy to understand because different teams and departments may need to use it.

Customer Journey Mapping Template
ACXPA Members can download the Customer Journey Mapping template and a host of other resources for CX Professionals.

4.    Determine and fix roadblocks

Analyse your customer journey and determine any weak spots.

For example, if many customers say that the signup process is too complex, you may want to reconsider your approach and make it simpler so that you won’t lose customers on the way to a purchase.

5.    Improve your customer journey map

Don’t think of your customer journey map as a rigid structure.

Your customers’ needs and preferences change all the time, and you should be able to react to these changes quicker than your competitors.

Besides, you may need to make changes to your customer journey when introducing new products or services.

Your customer journey map should constantly evolve.

Therefore, we recommend that you test and update your customer journey at least twice a year.

Top Tips for Successful Customer Journey Mapping

Being a Member of ACXPA enables you to get access to a vast amount of resources including our ACXPA Member Bites Video Library, a host of templates for CX Professionals including journey mapping templates, customer persona templates, CX frameworks and lots more.

In the video below, you’ll gain some expert tips on how to execute a successful Customer Journey Mapping project.

Top 5 Tips for Successful Customer Journey Mapping

Customer Journey Mapping can deliver many benefits for your business. However, they don’t come without their challenges. These tips will help ensure your Journey Mapping project will be a success.

Presented by: Rod Netterfield, ACXPA Board Member and Director, HUMIND

Getting Started with Customer Journey Mapping

Getting Started with Customer Journey Mapping

In this episode of the CX Matters Podcast, host Justin Tippett discusses how to get started with Customer Journey Mapping with special guest Rod Netterfield. The episode includes:

  • An overview of Customer Journey Maps
  • Key steps/sections you need to include
  • Top tips!

If you’ve been interested in learning more about Customer Journey Maps or aren’t quite sure where to start, this episode is a great place to start!

Useful Resources:

Asides from some professional training on Customer Journey Mapping, the easiest way is to start with a Customer Journey Map template – don’t worry, we’ve got your back!

You can download a Customer Journey Map template here, which provides you with a framework to begin with.

You’ll also find links to a bunch of other resources below that can help you learn more about Customer Journey Maps.

Download Customer Journey Map template
Listen to our Customer Journey Mapping Podcast
Search upcoming courses for Customer Journey Mapping
Read about some Journey Mapping case studies
Join our free CX Community Roundtables
Discover a list of CX Consultants to engage
Upcoming ACXPA CX Roundtable - Next Guest Announcement
Upcoming ACXPA Contact Centre Roundtable July 2024 - John Stavrakis

Upcoming ACXPA Member Bites Sessions

Short, sharp interviews and presentations on specific topics to fast-track your knowledge!

The ACXPA Member Bites are only available to ACXPA Members! 

ACXPA Members can watch all the ACXPA Member Bites at any time in their Video Library. Discover which membership is right for you >

Nadine Power, ACXPA National Advisory Board Member

IVR Best Practice

Over 90% of contact centres are using an IVR (Press 1 for this, press 2 for that), and we've encountered many contact centres with over four layers of options for customers to select from. In this session, Nadine will be sharing some best practice tips on IVR design for 2024.

Presented by Nadine Power, Client Success Manager, VERSA Connects (and ACXPA National Advisory Board Member)

More sessions announced soon! 

(If you're interested in speaking at one of our events, click here to learn more >)

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