Customer Journey Maps

Customer Journey Maps

A customer journey charts out the sequence of user interaction with your brand across various touchpoints (website, phone call, e-mail, social media) and steps along their journey (research, negotiation, purchase, support).

A photo of a woman doing her computer work, a dog sitting on the sofa and a girl listening music on headphones

The best way to understand the brief concept of Customer Journeys is to see one as an example. In the real world the template is much more complex going beyond just touchpoints with customer goals, expectations, experience etc.

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Touchpoints — describing various channels our potential clients may have contact with our brand.

Stages — there are various phases to a buying process — clients start by building awareness of their product needs, do some research, narrow down their preferences to a list of candidate products and brands they’d actually consider, and, finally, choose one to purchase. But it doesn’t end there — after receiving a product, clients may contact our support team, share their product review online or even come back in the future.

Moods & emotions — when clients interact with your brand, their feelings may vary according to how good we are at meeting or exceeding client needs in various stages.

Customer journeys are critical grooming grounds for marketers, considering it sometimes takes up to 2 years for clients to make a buying decision. It doesn’t really matter if you’re buying a new machine for your production line or a bicycle. Nowadays, clients paths are complex because they gather information and interact with brands through different channels not available 10 or 20 years ago. While “inbound marketing” is a hot topic, the fact is, often Inbound marketing means meeting the prospect where she was headed, not all the way to your door. Still, if they’re on that journey, you’re in it together.

As clients are in control of a buying process, our goal is to be proactive and accompany our potential customers, assisting them on the way with knowledge and good advice and various intangibles to make sure they buy from us. To achieve this, we first need to map their journeys, understand how they feel at various touchpoints, and adapt our communication and marketing campaigns to strengthen that interaction.

It is no longer about pushing sales but about being a concierge who advises, shares knowledge & expertise, is available through various channels, and is ready to act once your client is ready to press a “Buy” button. There of course may be need to apply some subtle efforts to move the Buy point closer, but the biggest difference from hardsell approaches is finding prospects already leaning towards those needs and that decision, and clearing the brush of obstacles ahead, being a useful and trusted partner that’s worth finishing the journey with.

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McKinsey ran a survey of some 27,000 American consumers across 14 different industries, and found that helping clients along their customer journeys can have a significant impact on numbers