Customer Journey Map: What is It and How to Use It for Business Success


The following post comes to us from Trevor Michael, a Customer Contact Industry Specialist of Select VoiceCom, specializing in telemarketing and IT support services.

There are only a few things that are constant in life: death, taxes, and the need to buy (obtain, add, find, or accrue) something. We all know the feeling of that “void” that must be filled. Be it organic coffee or the latest smartphone, we’re always on the lookout for something that will hopefully enrich our lives.

In the same manner, marketers and customer service specialists constantly examine what urges consumers to choose one brand over the other.

This is where a customer journey map comes in, providing a clear picture of the cycle that buyers go through before ultimately deciding to purchase.

In this article, we will define what a customer journey map is and how your business can benefit from it as you avoid common customer service mistakes that might push a potential customer away from your brand.

What is a customer journey map?

A customer journey map is a visualization of a customer’s interaction with your brand across several touchpoints. This map identifies all the possible stages that a potential customer might communicate or engage with your brand. The idea is to track what drove your customer farther through the sales funnel.

Customer journey goes by different names. It could be a buyer journey in the retail space or a user journey in the mobile apps industry. Regardless, all of them intend to help businesses see where a particular customer might end their interaction with your company.

How do businesses use customer journey maps?

As a business owner or manager, it’s natural to have a bias for your product or service. You believe your customers will want to acquire your offerings because of their unique selling point. But lo and behold, the sales numbers fail to live to your expectations.

Here, customer journey maps can offer value. For instance, you can use one to see at which point a potential customer bounced off your website. Perhaps they felt unsatisfied with the browsing experience after waiting for the product catalog to load up.

Among the best customer journey map features, one you can leverage is touchpoint visibility. This feature can help your marketing and customer service teams assess their efforts.

With it, they can have a clear view of what a potential customer finds valuable as they interact with your brand, as well as their pain points. From there, you can develop or refine strategies that will better their customer experience moving forward.

Improving Your Customer Journey Maps

Identify the necessary elements in your map

The ideal customer journey map has the necessary elements to make it comprehensive and usable. Here are some of the most important factors that should be present in any journey map:

  1. Main actor – The person going through the journey. It’s in your best interest to build a buyer persona for this.
  2. Current state vs future state – The first one focuses on identifying the flaws in your current customer experience, while the second envisions what you want your customers to experience from your brand.
  3. Scope and scale – Knowing where the journey starts and ends will empower you in providing a highly personalized brand of customer experience.

Emphasize valuable touchpoints

A quick disclaimer: all touchpoints are important in the customer journey. However, there are specific parts of the journey that are more critical in turning a prospect into a sale than others. Identify these touchpoints and make sure the experience is as perfect as possible.

Understand your buyer’s goals

Your buyer persona or main actor interacted with your brand in search of something. Putting this intention top of mind in everything that your brand does can help you create a customer-centric journey map.

Gather inputs across your business units

You may think you have created the perfect customer journey map, but is it really working? Get in touch with people from all levels and departments of the company and ask for their input about your customer journey map. They may be able to provide fresh insights that you might have overlooked.

Creating Better Journeys Toward Customer Happiness

Customer journey maps are guides for businesses to help customers perform a favorable action. That is buying your products or services, growing loyalty with your brand, and becoming an advocate for your business to other potential customers. Creating a comprehensive and detailed map will help your marketing and customer service teams create the ideal experience for your prospective clients.

We hope this guide was able to help you craft the ideal customer experience. Remember that this is not a one-and-done solution; it is a process that gets perfected over time.

About the Author: Trevor Michael is a Customer Contact Industry Specialist of Select VoiceCom, an inbound call center with telemarketing and IT support services. He has operated successfully within this niche industry for over ten years across Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia. He enjoys writing, golf, and going to social events.