Map with pins and string.

The Consumer Journey Explained: How to Do Customer Journey Mapping

How often do you take a pause to think about the fact that businesses are selling products and services to real-life humans? This is a factor in sales and troubleshooting issues in your business. Being empathetic in this way puts you in the shoes of your audience and helps to create better navigation from them being introduced to your brand to when they become a customer.

Once you’re able to meet a customer where they are, you can provide them a unique buying experience to help move them along a sales funnel much easier. Check out this guide on how to craft a consumer journey map.

What Is a Consumer Journey Map?

A consumer journey map is a visual diagram that represents different ways customers interact with your company or brand to get them to a specific point (i.e. buying a product, etc.). Some people might think that making a sale is as easy as putting a link in front of someone’s face and sitting back while they proceed to click and purchase. Now this can be the case but there are often lots of more complex details in between these checkpoints that help to seal the deal on the entire transaction.

The customer journey map is helpful with defining motivation, as well as pain points, that might arise at different points along the journey for your audience. It also allows you a chance to readjust certain marketing components to create a more seamless user experience.

There are a variety of outlines, templates, and strategies that can be used for mapping out the customer journey. The best way to set it up will depend on your company and products. However, it would be most beneficial to use something that includes the key stages, such as awareness, interest, consideration,and validation and broken down with the steps of each.

How to Do Customer Journey Mapping for Your Business

The consumer journey map is used to get a glimpse of how the customer feels when they are interacting with and experiencing your brand. In this case, you’ll need to get a closer look at a customer.

Here are some steps to building an effective map for your company.

1. Establishing an Objective

The first step to take before you begin any type of planning is to figure out the goal of the task that you’re trying to accomplish or complete. Building a consumer journey map is no different. Before you start mapping details out, you should stop to identify the overall function of the map.

You can find your focal point by figuring out things such as which type of buyer you want to examine or certain places in the sales funnel where the lead disengage that you might want to deep dive in on. Once you’ve gotten the overall premise of your map down, you can move on to the finer details and begin to unfold the map more efficiently.

2. Define Target Customer Persona

Now here’s where you want to get really close to the person that you’ll be following throughout this journey. You can build a customer persona by thinking of your ideal client and getting a little more in-depth with their description. For instance, Jill is a women’s life coach that works primarily online and is looking for an email provider to help her send newsletters to her audience more easily.

But don’t just stop there- continue to unwind all the frustrations and other factors that could determine whether Jill purchases your product or not. Keep adding as many as you can to help get the most detailed and accurate depiction of who your customer is and how they’re going about their journey.

It’s best that you focus on a specific individual profile. Trying to cast your net too wide across your audience can make the process of pinpointing and fixing certain issues much harder.

3. Write Journey Checkpoints

There are various points of a sales funnel that a consumer goes through.  It’s important to know where your customers are in their consumer journey, as each stage has a range of steps and can bring up different pain points.

During your customer journey mapping, you’ll want to take a look at all of the checkpoints included that consumers will experience within your buying cycle. For example, when a customer decides to add a product to their cart but doesn’t go all the way through with checking out. There may be something at that moment that makes it difficult or distracts the customer from finishing the transaction.

A key factor to keep in mind is that the customer at the awareness stage is not the same as the one at the purchase stage, which also differs from the person in the consideration stage. Be sure to consider all of these phases when tightening up your strategy.

4. Identify Roadblocks

You may have already figured out some bumps in the road that come up for your customers at this point. Take time to write them out, evaluate and diagnose priority then develop solutions.

The goal, again, is to make the consumer journey a smooth, enjoyable experience.

6. Make Adjustments

Here’s where you start to make necessary adjustments to things that just aren’t working. You may have to keep tweaking until you get it just right but it’ll be worth it for your customer in the end. You should also go on the journey yourself to make sure the changes make sense and flow better.

Start Consumer Journey Mapping

The consumer journey map is such a useful tool that can tell you a lot about what’s going on with your customers from just one session. This is definitely something you should implement in your business to always stay on top of providing the best experiences and representation of your brand identity for your audience.

For more information and assistance on improving your marketing efforts, check out this in-depth guide on optimization for marketing operations.

David York
david@sureshot.io

David York has spent the last 15 years at the forefront of the martech revolution, and is an expert on its past, present and future.