Customer Journey Mapping, what is it & why do you need it?

Nightborn - Customer Journey mapping, what is it & why do you need it?

Nowadays, all we seem to hear in B2B and B2C is how to keep companies relevant by using great content and SEO... Yet, many overlook the most important aspect of the process

👉 the customer or user! Especially in terms of the user experience (UX).

UX reigns supreme in this digital age, and creating personalized experiences is the ultimate goal. It all starts with gaining a better understanding of your customers in order to meet and exceed their expectations. As a result, it will boost customer satisfaction, foster loyalty, and make your business more successful. (Win-Win-Win 🥳)

The average business now relies on several communication channels to engage its audience. You need a functional understanding of the user experience of chatbots, websites, apps, ads, social media, and email. Not even taking into account your customer service representatives, salespeople, or the product itself.

And don't forget... You must also communicate a consistent brand message and provide a consistent experience across all platforms which is becoming increasingly difficult and complex to keep up with. (obviously 🤷‍♂️)

But how do you start improving UX?

*Drum Rollll... 🥁🥁🥁*


🔥 By customer journey mapping! (NO WAY?! 🤯)

In this blog, we cover everything you need to know about mapping and optimizing the customer journey.

Nightborn - What is a Customer Journey Map?

What Is a Customer Journey Map?

A customer journey map is a visual representation of how your app or website's users behave while using it. It provides crucial information to businesses on how to improve the user experience and eliminate pain points in their app's UX. For example, making it easy for users to finalize their purchases. A well-thought-out customer journey map is the key to having this process go more smoothly.

Although it may appear that the journey from initial contact to sale is straightforward, it's anything but! Due to the fact that no two customer journeys are the same. With continual technological advancements and new ways for people to buy products or services online, it's essential to prepare and anticipate how a customer will behave at every stage.

The last thing you want to do is set your goals using outdated expectations.

Why is customer journey mapping so important?

Why is customer journey mapping so important?

Customer journey maps have use outside of UX design and marketing. They help facilitate a common business understanding of how every customer should be treated across all sales, logistics, distribution, etc... channels.

It provides major benefits:

  • Creating better experiences: as stated, customer journey maps are used to drive customer-centered design, which leads to better experiences. By knowing how your target audience interacts with your products, you can compare customer expectations to reality and fill in the gaps. You gain the ability to improve your UX by enhancing your strengths and improving your weaknesses. Maps identify troublesome touchpoints for your customers, such as confusing software or website pain points. Improving these areas of friction improves usability.

    💡 According to research, experience is replacing product and price as the most important factors in differentiating your business.

  • Better customer understanding: Segmenting your audience into personas is also a part of customer mapping. (We'll get back to this later on). This will give you the power to personalize your strategies and will provide insight into what different audience segments prefer in terms of messaging, timing, and platform. Truly personalized targets consistently outperform expectations and convert.

  • More effective Marketing: With a deeper understanding of your audience’s decision-making process, you can customize your marketing to address their desires and needs. Marketers will acquire a better understanding of how their customers interact with their business, as well as valuable insight into the best channels for converting leads into prospects and prospects into loyal customers.

    Your marketing, sales, and customer service channels will be united if you refer to a journey map that addresses all touchpoints. It will encourage user-driven marketing and enable accurate lead retargeting across channels.

    You can have the best marketing team, but if your customers aren’t happy, you won’t get anywhere. (FACTS 🔥)

  • Improved customer retention: A useful map takes into account post-purchase experiences and allows for brand loyalty to grow. You can use the knowledge of when and why customers leave to get them back and prevent recurring issues. You can also predict customer behavior and stay ahead of needs, decreasing problems and complaints. You'll learn where people drop off, discover areas for improvement, fix errors, and retarget leads to get them back on track.

  • Better communication about research findings: Journey maps add value to UX research by summarizing the findings in a way that is easy to understand and apply. A UX expert can reduce a great deal of information into a short, visually appealing story that better communicates the data's meaning. After all, research is useless unless it is understood.

  • Prevent silos and unite stakeholders: Silos occur when departments act separately, and their information or goals aren’t in line with each other. Journey maps can help break down business divisions and start a process of wider customer-focused communication in a business since they're an effective way to portray the customer experience across many levels of an organization.

    They can also be used to inform stakeholders about how customers perceive the company when they interact with it. They assist them in discovering what customers think, feel, see, hear, and do.

  • Faster sales cycles and more efficient tasks: By removing unnecessary steps and making tasks more efficient for the user, you implement information architecture that supports UX. Users who complete tasks faster can move through the stages of the sales cycle more quickly, speeding up your average sales process.

  • Scales your business: With goals made, processes become more efficient and strategies become purposeful and easy to track. By continuing to re-evaluate your journey map and customer expectations, You'll find it easier to keep up with technology & industry trends if you continue to re-evaluate your journey map and customer expectations, which is a crucial effort to stay ahead of the curve.

Nightborn - How to map out a customer journey step-by-step

How to map out a customer journey step-by-step

To start, decide whether you want to focus on the entire journey or one aspect of your app’s experience. What are your goals for this mapping exercise? What organizational needs do you intend to meet? What are your customers doing and how are they doing it?

First of all, you will need to do some preparation prior to beginning your journey maps.

What do we mean? 🤔

👉 Well, once you know the journey you want to map, you'll need to divide your audience into segments or groups that can be identified as different user personas.

When it comes to putting together any type of user research, these are extremely important tools! By learning common user behavior, you can create several user personas to understand how different types of users interact with your app. As a result, you'll be able to figure out what your app's users want, how to design features, and which adjustments would improve the UX.

Once you’ve done your preparation & understand what you need and what a customer journey map is. You can follow a 9-step process to map out the journey.

Your customer’s journey is complex, so the job of the map is to make it as focused and simple as possible.

Step 1: Remember the customer is number 1 & the reason you exist

A customer journey map illustrates how a user perceives your business and interacts with your products or services. Not your design team, not you, ... Only the user! You have to put yourself in your customer's shoes because there can always be a difference between how you view yourself and how users view you.

Step 2: Conduct research

When analyzing your customer journey map, make sure it's easy enough to keep them taking the ideal logical steps while providing the personalized and educational content they need to stay engaged.

You will need two types of research to accomplish this goal:

  • Analytical research: By using your website's analytics, you'll know exactly where the customers are, how much time they spend with you and when they leave.
  • Anecdotal research: How do you find out what the customer is thinking? Voice of Customer (VOC) feedback, such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, and workshops, are simple but powerful ways to get information.

The more user research you have, the easier this exercise will be. Be creative, and if you don’t have the right research to define the journey, then consider how you can carry that research out.

Step 3: Identify customer touchpoints

On the business end of things, each touchpoint is crucial for interaction and conversion. Without identifying every touchpoint, you’re missing out on ways to optimize the mobile app user journey and identify areas for improvement.

Targeted prospects want their journey to be as simple as possible, so including too many touchpoints in their buying process may not keep them engaged the entire way through. A seamless sales process where the customer is in and out in no time is just as important as offering high-quality products or services.

🤝 Having satisfied customers translates into brand loyalty.

Step 4: Implement your customer journey map

Now that you’ve identified each possible touchpoint, it’s time to implement your new findings and see how they work digitally. Create a understandable, logical and visually-appealing customer journey map that is accessible for all necessary team members.

BUT HOW?! 🤷‍♂️

You can create a timeline map that brings together the journey over the course of time or use a completely different style of diagram. The objective is to simply show how a customer moves through your app's touchpoints and channels, as well as how that customer feels about each interaction along the way.

Users will use your app in many different ways and not everyone will share the same goal. Create several customer journeys for your persona groups to avoid generalizing your audience and misinterpreting data. Understanding the complexities of how people engage with your app is the most effective method to improve service and influence the performance metrics that matter most to your company's goals.

Step 5: Regularly optimize your customer journey map

Your online customer journey will change frequently as technology develops and new digital platforms are introduced. By taking the time to regularly review how your customers are moving through your buying cycle, you can identify gaps and develop processes to streamline the customer experience.

Although the process of creating a customer journey map can be a timely endeavor, it provides unparalleled value for both your brand and your customers. 🙌

Step 6: Develop KPIs and measure success

Without measuring the success of the user journey, you won’t be able to move forward with your targets and the journey map will serve no purpose.

KPIs should be developed to understand the performance of each customer journey and where improvements may be made. In addition to revenue, you should be able to define KPIs such as conversion rate, retention rate, active users, and more...

Step 7: Test the customer journey first-hand

When mapping the touchpoints in your customer journey, you can also test this yourself to get a clear picture of the process. This way you gain first-hand experience of your app and have an opportunity to note down the positives and negatives. You can also test out your app as different user personas and see what works best.

Your research should reveal how different users interact with your app, which steps they take, and their satisfaction or pain points at every step. Once you have this information and use it to create a map of the user journey, you can begin the optimization process. This includes A/B testing results to see which modifications have positive results and can be implemented to your entire audience.

Nightborn - A/B Testing

Step 8: Continually optimize your mobile app using fresh data

There is no endpoint to your app’s optimization. You should always be looking for new ways to improve the user experience and satisfy every user persona. Whether you are eliminating unnecessary steps in the customer journey or looking for ways to retain users, your app’s performance can always be improved by gathering more data and acting according to your findings.

This is why it is important to A/B test as much as possible.

Step 9: Consider the customer lifecycle

Retaining current customers is less expensive than acquiring new ones and just as vital to long-term success. As a result, many journey maps are organized around four stages: awareness, consideration, decision, and after-sale. This can be effective as long as you remember that not all users buy, and you focus on the problems you’re solving at each step of the journey.

UX designers often use maps for specific projects and goals. These maps are detailed and account for the entire digital customer journey relevant to the product.

Nightborn - Customer Journey Mapping Examples

Customer Journey Mapping Examples

To better interpret the customer journey, we'll give you two practical examples of experiences.

Example 1: Slow loading times

People expect everything to happen right away, which is why website speed optimization is so important. If a customer has to wait and see the timer going around and around, they'll go elsewhere. If you are not aware of things like your bounce rate and the time spent on your page, you have a problem.

In this instance, a customer experience map can be eye-opening for your team.

Example 2: The failed checkout

Even if your website works seamlessly through the shopping process, having an inefficient checkout can kill a sale. Your order forms should be programmed so that if a user makes a mistake, they only have to fill out that field and the rest of the information is saved.

Putting in the same information over and over can lead to higher abandonment rates.

Nightborn - Customer Journey Mapping final words

Final words

Creating customer journeys doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. The effort put in is worthwhile because it enables a shared understanding of the user experience and offers each stakeholder and team member the chance to contribute to improving that experience.

Seeing the details in sharp relief will give you the chance to translate your empathy into a design that better meets your users’ needs and removes as many pain points as possible. Offering a streamlined and enjoyable online experience will keep customers engaged while you drive sales forward. 🚀

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Get in touch.

Get in touch

Maxime : + 32 494 90 36 65

David : + 32 468 10 07 97


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