Home Blog Customer experience What is customer journey mapping – A complete guide

What is customer journey mapping – A complete guide

Have you ever wanted to see what the experience is like for your customer’s perspective, from beginning to end? To see what matters most to them, not just what they complain about? To make their journey from A to B as easy and comfortable as possible? Customer journey mapping is the first step. 

What is a customer journey map?

A customer journey map serves up your customers’ perceptions, goals, expectations, emotions and action priorities in a digestible visual feast for the eyes. It’s a data-driven storyboard that plots the highs and lows that your customers go throughout their specific interactions with you. 

What is customer journey mapping?

Customer journey mapping is process of creating a visualization that uncovers what your customers truly value about working with you and captures their perception of a specific experience(s) from beginning to end. 

An ideal journey map accounts for all the different ways your customer can ‘touch’ your organisation; websites, apps, in-person, social media, call centres, etc. 

Through a combination of interviews, workshops and independent research, together we build a detailed picture of your customers’ touchpoints and lay down unbiased recommendations on what you should do next to make those moments that matter even better.  The scope of this map can be very narrow to all-encompassing, and Forsta takes pride in exploring key customer journeys with an array of specific goals in mind. 

Why is customer journey mapping important?

If you’re already getting survey data from your customers, you’ll know that data-driven action is better than guesswork, but it can be hard to get a full picture of what your customers are going through as a whole when you don’t involve them alongside your internal perceptions. That’s where customer journey mapping can be of help: 

  • Make sure you’re measuring the right metrics (asking the right questions!) across all your touchpoints throughout the journey to accurately measure success. 
  • Identify your strengths, weaknesses and priority areas for improvement, promotion, or maintenance. 
  • Expose how certain outcomes affect other moments in the journey that you might not have predicted. Put time and effort into the correct actions (saving you time and money in the long run.) 
  • Improve your voice-of-customer roadmap by engaging your customers in the process.
  • Engage the rest of your organisation in CX by better understanding the paths your customers take. 
  • Educate and on-board new team members on the customer perspective. 
  • Create early buy-in for change with customers in mind, bringing them into the process, rather than solely relying on internal perception. 

Customer journey map design 

Customer journey mapping builds a story from two key perspectives:  

  • Customer: Their needs, goals, expectations, emotions throughout the journey. 
  • Company: How you are organised and set-up to support, enable and deliver on needs, as well as remove obstacles. 

At Forsta, we rely on our four-phase methodology for all customer journey mapping projects: 

  1. Explore 

    First, we look at what you already know. We’ll look at existing customer journey maps and any research you’ve already done, then talk to senior managers about what matters most to them. We’ll sketch-out the framework of the customer journey and carry that into the next stage. 

    Who’s involved? Senior executives, CX team  
  2. Align 

    This is the internal workshopping. We’ll bring in your best subject matter experts and go stage by stage through the framework, filling in the details of each step: We’ll ask: what goals, needs, expectations, emotions, barriers and successes do we think make up the customer journey? We’ll move on to the next stage when we have a draft of a detailed journey map based on your SMEs’ internal perspective. 

    Who’s involved? Subject matter experts/functional leaders 
  3. Prove 

    Next, we’ll take this internal map and validate it externally (with your customers.) We’ll interview a selected 10-15 and ask them: Does it look like what’s important to you? What’s missing? Are some things more important than others? What do we do right? Where do we go wrong?  Who’s doing better out there? 

    Who’s involved? Key selected customers 
  4. Design 

    Finally, based on your customers’ input, we synthesize the findings to create a final journey map. It’s vital this final version translates into action for you, so we’ll be working with your CX team and key stakeholders to come up with strategies to respond to what we’ve learned. Additionally, we’ll make sure you have ways to keep a close eye on customer responses to the changes you make in the future (like aligning quantitative survey questions to track key points in the customer journey.)

    Who’s involved? CX team & key stakeholders 

Using data to optimise your customer journey mapping

Data drives action but how do you know what data is important? Customer journey mapping answers that question for you.  

If something matters a lot to your customers and it’s a pain point, then you’ll know it’s a priority for you to fix! If it matters a lot and works really well, then it’s something you can use and promote as an advantage over your competitors. If it’s not important, you’ll know to prioritise elsewhere. 

We will provide you with this list of priorities.  

What is customer journey analytics?  

There are several ways you can use a customer journey map as part of your ongoing analytics: 

  • Build an action plan based on the priorities of your company and the priorities of your customers. By painting a vivid picture, you will be able to predict what will have the biggest impact, and how it might affect other things your customers get up to. 
  • Sooth teething problems that come with building new customer journeys by involving the customer as part of the design process. Scoping out a customer journey with guided customer input is a no-brainer. It’ll put you in pole position to make sure you invest in something that does exactly what your customers need and expect it to do. 
  • Tap your frontline employees with crowdsourcing tools to prioritize initiatives and make sure what you do has the most impact. These tools make gathering and ranking ideas effortless, so you can focus on the ones that make a difference. 
  • Keep track of success using your pre-established CX measurement methods (like your quantitative surveys and feedback forms) by asking the right questions in the right way at the right time. 
  • Leverage background digital data to gauge the effect of your changes at key moments in the journey (like product search, basket & checkout and repeat visits) after you make the changes we recommend. 

Combine the findings from customer journey mapping with your pre-existing CX initiatives to support (or question!) your perceptions of what is important to customers. Applying a different, and more holistic method, to your CX investigation is sure to turn up the heat on any initiatives you already had ear-marked for change. 

How can Forsta help? 

We can start at the beginning of your new engagement and help with scoping and designing the customer experience or lend a hand refreshing an ongoing or earlier program you want to run. Our customer journey analytics and mapping tools are here to help. 

Our subject matter experts have extensive tenure with decades of experience in CX, market research, voice-of-customer and voice-of-employee initiatives. We’ll get to the heart of what works and what doesn’t for both you and your customers. 

A snapshot of who’s involved from Forsta 

  • Program Manager 
  • CJM Consultant 
  • Visualisation Expert 
  • Tech Support for Integration 

 Conclusion

Customer journey mapping is an exercise in exploring, learning, and prioritisation. You can learn a lot by looking at an experience as a story, asking questions about perceptions, expectations, needs and strengths as well as the barriers that turn your customers away. Involving your customers in the process is essential to avoid a biased internal perspective from prioritising the wrong areas, but the journey needs to make sense for you. You might even uncover things you would have never considered and use it to create whole new experiences that have the best chance of delighting your customers in the future! 

Customers are always on the move and mapping out their journey is the first step to making ensuring their experience is everything that it should be. 

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