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Visualising your customer journey

Getting ready for customer journey mapping

Visualising your customer’s journey is an important part of understanding the journey. Customer journey maps were once only used for web development purposes to map the user experience (UX). Today they are a marketer’s essential map for visualising the path to purchase.

According to Hoski & Goddard (2015) the customer journey map provides a compact visualisation of an end-to-end customer experience. Customer journey maps can help a business deepen its understanding of customer behaviours, thoughts and feelings across touch points in the journey that should become actionable for the business.

Think about the following prior to developing your visual journey:

  1. Build from the customer’s or consumer’s point of view
  2. Review the customer or consumer’s perceptions
  3. Review online and offline touch points
  4. Include performance indicators.

Undertaking these four steps will enable you to develop a solid journey map that incorporates all your research and understanding of your customer or consumer. It will provide you with increased opportunity for growth of sales and attraction, and retention of your customers or consumers.

Over the next few pages, we will delve deeper into what each of these steps mean and provide you with a guide on visualising your customer’s or consumer’s journey.

Step 1: Build from the customer’s point of view

View your customer from the outside in, not the inside out! Building from the customer point of view and not an internal business point of view is critical.

The customer’s experience is the foundation of the journey map rather than the internal processes of your online business.

You should focus on what the customer does, thinks, and how they engage with your products or services or brand. The journey map is best developed with specific customers in mind which is why it is recommended that you complete the profiling, segmentation and persona building of target customers or consumers prior to visualising the customer’s journey.

Step 2: Customer perceptions

Customer perceptions of their experiences should be relative to their goals, needs and expectations.

When seeking to understand the customer’s journey, make sure that the maps you create are actionable.

To get the best out of your customer journey map, include both positive and negative customer perceptions as this will provide you with the opportunity to improve engagement and interaction between the customer or consumer and your business.

Remember that both qualitative and quantitative research will help uncover customer experiences and emotional states throughout the journey, so it’s really useful to return to the research and data you collected earlier whenever you need to.

Step 3: Review online and offline touch points

Customers will engage with touch points both online and offline.

When reviewing the customer's journey, it is important to map across multiple touch points and not just one particular touch point.

The most valuable customer journey maps will be those that are close to the reality of what the customer does rather than those that isolate only one activity touch point.

Step 4: Include performance indicators

Quantitative research allows you the opportunity to include metrics (quantitative data) in the construction of your customer journey map. Some recommended metrics are:

  • Net Promoter Scores (NPS) - scores that are used to gauge loyalty of customer relationships. The NPS is widely used within research tools such as Survey Monkey, SurveyGizmo and Qualtrics.
  • Customer satisfaction measures - measures such as quality, reliability, extent of customer needs being fulfilled, likelihood of repurchase or recommending.

If you’re looking for more information on quantitative measures, read ‘How to Measure Customer Satisfaction: Do You Overlook these 4 Key Customer Satisfaction Measurements?’ in the Related Links area.

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This article is from the free online course:

Online Business: Customer Profiling for Success

RMIT University