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What Is a Customer Journey Map? 6 Easy Steps to Create One

March 16, 2022 • 3 minute read

Customer journeys today span across multiple channels and devices. It has become important to have a well laid-out map that connects different touch points together to ensure a seamless customer experience. In this article, we’ll look at what a customer journey map is and how you can create one to identify and close the gaps between customer expectations and the actual services they receive. 

What is a customer journey map and why do you need one? 

A customer journey map is a visual representation of the entire customer journey from brand discovery to purchase and beyond. It helps you tread in the customers’ footsteps and see where your services might lack or where you can make improvements to upgrade your customer experience.  

Whether your customers interact with you via social media, email, livechat or other channels, mapping the customer journey will tell the story of your customers’ experiences with your brand across all touchpoints. Let’s look at some benefits of creating a customer journey map. 

1. Streamline customer experience across all channels 

Identify gaps in services or cross-channel communications and enable a more streamlined customer experience across email, chat, voice and other channels. 

2. Optimize customer service costs 

According to research by the Aberdeen Group, brands that create and use customer journey maps can experience more than ten times improvement in the cost of customer service. 

3. Improve customer and employee satisfaction 

When your services meet customer expectations, satisfaction naturally increases. On the other hand, when employees have a better understanding of company goals, they perform their roles with greater efficiency. 

4. Understand your customers’ pain points

As customers move from awareness towards purchase, your map will be able to tell you where your customers might get stuck so that you can remove those roadblocks. 

5. Accelerate your sales cycle 

With customer journey mapping, you can achieve an average sales cycle that is 18 times faster, with 56% more revenue from upselling and cross-selling efforts. 

6. Offer proactive solutions to customer problems 

Visualizing at which stages your customers may experience difficulty will help you step in and provide preemptive solutions.

7, Boost your customer retention rate

Mapping the customer journey will also let you identify the common factors contributing to customer churn so that you re-engage customers and reduce abandonment. 

How to create an effective customer journey map?

1. Define the scope 

The scope of a customer journey map will describe what your map will entail. Will it be a high-level map with end-to-end customer experience or one that focuses more on individual goal completions? The scope of your map should be selected based on your specific business goals

2. Collect quantitative and qualitative user data 

Your map should reflect user realities for which you need to think like your customers. In order to do that, you would require customer data from different fields, such as product design or sales and marketing. You must collaborate across different disciplines and departments to craft a holistic customer journey. 

3. Create buyer personas 

On the basis of collected data, you must create buyer personas with demographics like age, gender, occupation, education, income, geography and psychographics like customer preferences, needs and wants. It will help you get a better idea of what your customers expect and why.  

4. List customer touch points 

​​Customer touchpoints constitute the majority of your customer journey map. They represent the various ways and mediums in which customers interact with your brand. When creating a journey map, you’ll want to take all potential touchpoints so that you don’t miss out on any opportunities for improvement. 

5. Craft a narrative 

Instead of making assumptions about customer behavior, make use of all the information you have to sketch a journey in step-by-step interaction format. Each step will demonstrate an interaction that the persona has with your service/product, chatbot or human agents. 

6. Validate and improve 

Once you have sketched a map, you now need to compare the actual customer journey to understand how to optimize the user experience. Today’s customer behavior is constantly evolving, thanks to rapid digitalization.You need to continually test and iterate your user journey in order to promptly adapt to any shifts. 

 

Download Now: Free Customer Journey Map Template

Role of AI in customer journey mapping 

One of the most important components of effective customer journey mapping is collecting customer data. However, most enterprises today rely on a myriad of data sources which makes collecting accurate insights a laborious affair.

By leveraging AI-powered data capture, you will be able to develop a more reliable view of your customers’ journey, and transform their digital experience at every touchpoint. Let’s look at a few more ways in which AI plays an important role in customer journey mapping. 

1. Make accurate predictions  

Leveraging AI for a more thorough customer research can help you get a clearer vision of the customer journey and will give you a better understanding of your customers’ expectations and pain points. Instead of following a costly and wasteful ‘broad brush’ approach towards predicting trends in customer behavior, you can use AI-powered analytics software to know precisely who your customers are and what they are looking for, you can then target them with a higher degree of precision. 

2. Understand your customers better 

AI in combination with machine learning and NLP is the perfect solution to help you better understand customer intent and analyze customer behavior at every step of their journey. AI is capable of analyzing customer data points across multiple channels in real-time. This data will help you identify patterns and give you a true understanding of your customers’ habits.

3. Identify most preferred channels 

With customers using multiple channels to communicate with your brand, it can be difficult to keep track of all the interactions. With AI-powered customer service software, you can analyze what channels are the most popular among your customers to craft the perfect seamless omnichannel experience. Creating a customer journey map is just one part of the process, implementing it and making sure you deliver delightful customer experiences is what matters. 

4. Adapt and improve in real-time 

Customer preferences and expectations are ever evolving. It can be challenging to stay on top of them and offer dynamic support without a layer of automation. AI can help you capture and analyze customer data to obtain real-time insights into customer data. You can use these insights to personalize communications and enhance the overall customer experience. 

To sum up

Customer journey mapping provides a visual storyline of the entire customer experience to help you gain a deeper understanding of who your customers are, how they engage with your brand and what you can do to improve end-to-end customer experience. 

Customer journey mapping can be a time consuming process as it requires you to capture and analyze customer data at various stages and touchpoints. However, with AI-powered analytics software you can automate the entire process and get real-time insights into customers’ intent and journey to offer proactive support, accelerate goal completion and avoid roadblocks. 

Get in touch with our experts to create your own AI-powered CX analytics software that can help you get better insights into what your customers are doing and why in real-time.

Harshika Alagh

Harshika is a content marketing writer at Yellow.ai who's passionate about writing data-driven and actionable long-form content in the tech, communication and education niches. She thinks outside the box and believes in sharing the true vision of a brand with its audience. Her other interests are painting and singing.

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