Many organizations are fairly proficient at gathering data on their users, but data generally fails to demonstrate the negative experiences and downfalls of customer user experience. Where data fails, storytelling triumphs and one of the most significant storytelling tools in business is the customer journey map.
A simple yet powerful tool, essential in improving user experience.
Every business aims for building a long-term, loyal customer relationship. Let’s think of this long-term relationship as a bridge. This symbolic bridge has many pillars, and one of those cornerstones is user experience. Despite best intentions and the amount of analytical data available, many companies still function with internal focus and often forget to strengthen their bridge, especially the valuable pillars. This becomes evident when customers interact with their various products, services, or employees.
Customer experience can be affected by different customer interactions with either the product or services, more specifically the product usability, user interface (UI), accessibility, and even customer support or web design. Focusing on strengthening the cornerstone of user experience makes the bridge more stable which in turn heightens client satisfaction, loyalty, and sales, thus driving business ahead.
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An excellent way to start working towards improving the user experience is by developing a customer journey map. Once the customer journey map is created, it can be used to make positive changes to every aspect of your company from user experience to web design.
What is a customer journey map?
A customer journey map provides a vivid yet structured visualization of a customer’s user experience. This map tells the story of the customer’s experience distinctively from the initial contact all the way into the long-term relationship. The touchpoints where users interact with the service are often used to construct a “journey”—an engaging story based on their experience. This story details their service interactions and accompanying emotions and reactions in a highly accessible manner.
How do you create a user journey map?
The first and most crucial step is identifying the touchpoints where users interact with any service. These contact points can be very diverse since they are based on the product and services. Almost every customer will interact with a virtual platform such as websites, social media platforms, email campaigns, engine providers, etc. as well as physical trips to the retail shop, face-to-face customer service interactions, and phone conversations. These are all interactions that can be represented as touchpoints. Forming a customer journey map involves defining all these touchpoints and making sure they are based on user insight. Interviews and personas work well in generating user insight. Once these touchpoints are identified, they can be connected in a visual representation of the overall journey. This overview should be simplistic and easily readable for the company audience, but should also incorporate sufficient amount of detail to provide real insights into the customer journeys that are presented.
A good technique in developing an accurate customer journey map is basing it around personas. This insures that the users experiencing the journey become far more than just names on a page. It provides valuable insight into their behaviors, goals, and emotions.
It is necessary to examine the elements that are beyond the provider’s control as well, like identifying where the customers acquire their information, often times from their peers and loved ones.
Why are these maps used?
The amazing attributes of the customer journey map provide a high-level overview of the numerous factors influencing the user experience, formed from the user’s perspective. Developing the map based on user insights allow it to outline both formal and informal touchpoints. A customer journey map also helps identify gaps a company may have: gaps between devices, departments, and channels.
These gaps are points in the customer experience that are disjointed or unsatisfying. Creating an even more immersive user-focused experience can be accomplished by “personalizing” the map by fusing together photographs with personal quotes, thoughts, and commentary.
The complete overview of the map enables the identification of both problem areas and opportunities for innovation while focusing on specific touchpoints, allowing the user experience to be broken down into individual stages for further analysis. This visual representation of the map opens up the possibility for a quick comparison between several experiences in the same visual language.
An important tip in creating a successful customer journey map.
It is vital not only to visualize the path of the customer journey—encapsulated through a series of touchpoints—but also to collect stories that explain why the journey happened the way it did. What were the circumstances, motivations, and experiences that resulted in this process? The unique property of this tool is that it can be either very simplistic or decisively complex. We can add more relevant blocks and touchpoints to capture and visualize decision-making information, depending on the situation.
We’ve mastered the art of user experience and immersive content. We continuously help brands to add pillars with the ultimate goal to strengthen the bridge of long-term relationship with their clients. Our dedicated marketing team are specialists in developing customer journey maps for our clients. Do you need help in improving your business? Request a free consultation to discuss all of your ideas and problems. We promise to bring your user experience to the next level.