Customer Journey Map

Visualize the customer experience. Work together to gain insights that lead to better decisions about development priorities using customer journey maps

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What is a Customer Journey Map?

A customer journey map is a visual representation of your customer's interactions with your product or services from awareness to consideration, purchase, and more. Once you understand your customer's journey, you can be more empathetic to their needs and make sure your marketing, sales, and product development efforts are aligned to make that path smooth and impactful.

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Customer journey map example
6 steps to Customer Journey Maps

What are the Steps to Building a Customer Journey Map?

Step 1. Clearly define your buyer persona and customers.

Step 2. Define the stages of the customer journey. For example: awareness, consideration, purchase, retention, and advocacy.

Step 3. Make a list of customer touch points where a customer will interact with your brand. Some may be under your control like your advertising, email marketing, and sales team interactions and some will come from third parties like social media, reviews, and influencers.

Step 4. Collect data and analyze feedback. What's the sentiment of the customer at these touch points? Are they happy, curious, excited, concerned, or frustrated?

Step 5. Note pain points.

Step 6. Identify opportunities for improvement.

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What are the 5 Stages of a Customer Journey?

A typical customer journey is usually described in 5 distinct stages, but you can add to or reduce this to meet your specific business model or industry. In general, the stages are supposed to describe a unique phase in the customer journey that will help you understand the customer's behavior, pain points, and motivations during that step. It can help you optimize your product and sales and marketing strategies.

The most common stages are described as:

  • Awareness. Customer recognizes a problem or need they have and seeks to better understand it.
  • Consideration. Customer understands their problem and researches different solutions.
  • Purchase or Decision. Customer identifies the correct solution for their needs.
  • Retention. Customer considers renewing their license or buying more products.
  • Advocacy. Customer is willing to share their positive experience both within their organization and with strangers in the form of reviews and case studies.

Other names for these 5 stages:

5 Es: Entice, Enter, Engage, Exit, and Extend

5 Cs: Connection, Cultivation, Consideration, Conversion, and Continuation

5 As: Awareness, Appeal, Ask, Act, and Advocate

Some also add stages like support, evaluation, onboarding, and usage.

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5 stages of customer journey

What is a Difference Between a Buyer Journey Map and a Customer Journey?

A buyer journey consists of only the first three of the stages mentioned above: awareness, consideration, and decision, and it does not extend past the purchase decision. A customer journey map looks at the journey more completely and includes what happens after conversion and considers both retention and advocacy or willingness to extend or grow a license.

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What is the Difference Between Journey Mapping and Story Mapping?

A customer journey map is from the perspective of your customer: the recognition of their needs and problems and the search and decision making that leads them to become your customer. A story map would focus on your product or service and how it delivers what the customer is looking for.

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VS.Journey MappingStory Mapping
Choosing a customer journey template

How to Make a Customer Journey Map in SmartDraw

Step 1. Start with a customer journey map template

The template will contain a matrix of columns and rows. The columns will represent the stages in your customer journey. you can easily customize these stages to your industry. Rename the existing stages or add or remove columns.

The rows represent touch points, feelings, and opportunities. You can also customize these if you want and add additional rows as needed.

Step 2. Add touch points under each stage

Add sticky notes or cards to represent touch points for each stage. Drag and drop them from the attached symbol library and type to customize them. Touch points may include doing a Google search, watching a YouTube video, reading a post from a co-worker on LinkedIn, and so on.

Step 3. Add the sentiment associated with touch points

Analyze the customer sentiment associated with these touch points. Were your customers frustrated waiting to hear back after a demo request? Did they encounter an error while trying to buy? Did they see a negative review while considering your services?

Step 4. Add opportunities for improvement

Your customers feelings at each stage should make it easy to identify their pain points and lead you to opportunities for improvement. Add cards for where you think you can improve their experience with your brand. Maybe you need to support a new method of payment on your buy path. Maybe you need to make sure your support staff follows up and helps onboard new customers.

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