13, Feb 2024


Unraveling the Concept of a Customer Journey Map

When we talk about a customer journey map, we are essentially referring to a visual representation of the entire process that a customer or potential customer goes through when engaging with your company in pursuit of a specific objective. For instance, this could involve the path a visitor takes through your website to ultimately reach the page where they sign up for a trial. Alternatively, a customer journey map can be employed to document the complete process that a customer undergoes when purchasing your product, starting from their first visit to your website, leading up to the point where they finalize the purchase by signing an agreement with a sales representative.

The Significance of Customer Journey Maps

Customer journey maps play a crucial role in enabling various teams within an organization to comprehend and appreciate the experience of prospective and existing customers during their interactions with the company. This understanding proves invaluable to sales teams, who can now adopt a holistic and objective viewpoint, gaining insight into every step that a prospect must take as they navigate through the sales funnel. By stepping back and taking in the bigger picture, these teams may uncover a need to simplify the process by eliminating unnecessary steps.

Developing a customer journey map is essential for any team or company seeking to enhance their sales funnel. By mapping out the customer's journey, teams gain visibility into any missing steps or areas that require improvement. Armed with this information, they can bring about the necessary changes to streamline the process and make it more efficient.

Extracting Insights for Product Managers from Customer Journey Maps

Customer journey maps offer product managers unrivaled opportunities to gain profound insights in multiple ways. By mapping out the entire journey, from a novice user landing on your product website to making a purchase, you and your team can adopt an objective perspective from the user's standpoint. This perspective allows you to identify potential pain points or areas that could be enhanced to improve the overall customer experience.

Sharing your journey map with other members of your organization fosters collaboration, enabling everyone to collectively work towards refining the customer experience. This collaboration proves beneficial for departments such as marketing, sales, and design, ensuring that no one remains in the dark regarding the customer's needs. For instance, Jeremy Rawson, one of our own experts, crafted a journey map documenting his personal experience with our platform, ProductPlan.com. The map encompasses every step, spanning from his initial visit to our website to his creation of the first product roadmap for his company.

In addition to gaining insights into customer needs and desires, product managers can glean numerous other valuable pieces of information from customer journey roadmaps, including:

  • A step-by-step breakdown of how prospects interact with your product demo, which can help identify areas that require trimming, expansion, or an enhanced level of persuasion.

  • An assessment of whether your marketing or sales teams have introduced excessive obstacles that hinder interested prospects from trying or buying your product.

  • An evaluation of whether certain aspects of your product impede users from completing desired actions in a logical and streamlined manner.

By attaining such insights, product managers can make more informed decisions about their product strategy and development.

The Process of Creating a Customer Journey Map

Marketing expert Aaron Agius proposes the following six steps as a template to create a customer journey map:

Step 1: Define Your Objective

To embark on the journey mapping process, it is imperative to comprehend the desired outcomes you wish to achieve. Do you aim to track customer movement throughout your sales funnel? Would you like to understand how customers interact with your support team? Or perhaps you wish to explore how customers utilize a specific feature of your product to attain their goals?

While you can create multiple journey maps, focusing on different customer interactions with your company, it is helpful to keep each map centered around a singular aspect of the customer's journey. This approach facilitates clarity in identifying the steps taken and areas that necessitate improvement.

Step 2: Discern Persona Goals

This step involves delving into the goals, needs, values, and self-perception of your target audience in order to better understand your prospects and customers. By comparing this persona data against your journey map, you can gain insight into areas where the current customer journey conflicts with the desired process.

For instance, let's say your primary personas consist of busy executives, as indicated by their responses in surveys or the research you have conducted. Armed with this knowledge, when reviewing your journey map, consider whether any steps would prove particularly challenging for someone with limited time. Is there a way to streamline the process for their convenience?

By devoting time to discerning the goals of your personas, you can ensure a smoother customer journey experience, enabling your prospects and customers to derive optimal value from it.

Step 3: Identify All Touchpoints

In order to progress to the next step, it is crucial to identify all possible channels that a prospect may utilize as their initial point of contact with your company. This encompasses online ads, social media posts, organic search results leading to different pages on your website, or outbound marketing emails.

Once you have compiled a comprehensive list of potential touchpoints, proceed to assign likely emotional triggers to each touchpoint. These triggers will prompt users to take action and engage more profoundly with your company or product.

Step 4: Utilize the Four Types of Customer Journey Maps

According to Agius, there are four types of customer journey maps that can be utilized:

  1. Current State: This entails a detailed walkthrough of how customers currently interact with your business.

  2. Day in the Life: Similarly, this is a detailed walkthrough of your customer's journey with your company, but it is contextualized within the broader scope of their daily activities.

  3. Future State: This represents your vision of how you envision customers interacting with your product or company in the future.

  4. As-Is State: This offers an evaluation of how customers currently interact with your business, compared to how you desire them to.

Step 5: Embark on the Customer Journey Yourself

Armed with a thorough understanding of your customer's motivations, challenges, and fears, it is now time to experience firsthand the path that your company has laid out for achieving the desired objective that you wish to measure.

Whether you aim to learn about the steps prospects must undertake to acquire a free trial, speak with a sales representative, or complete an action using your mobile app, navigate this journey yourself.

It is crucial to document each step of the journey, making notes at each stage regarding insights gained, identified pain points, and any gaps or unnecessary steps in the process. This meticulous documentation will form the basis of customer experience enhancement by streamlining and optimizing the process.

Step 6: Adapt the Journey Map as Needed

Following the completion of the customer journey and the review of your notes, the time has come to make all necessary adjustments to the map. Potential modifications include adding, deleting, or rearranging steps in the customer's journey. Furthermore, this presents an opportunity to provide more detailed descriptions for each step if deemed necessary.

Subsequently, you can commence implementing these changes across your organization, which may involve updating the sales process or streamlining the free trial funnel.

To assist you in your journey mapping endeavors, we present two sample customer journey maps, as inspired by Agius's work on customer journey maps featured in Hubspot. Feel free to utilize these templates as your starting point:

Sample 1: A customer journey map illustrating how a hypothetical customer may interact with a restaurant.

Sample 2: A customer journey map showcasing the periodical journey of a customer engaging with your business.

Remember, the creation of a customer journey map allows your company to truly grasp the entirety of the customer experience, identifying areas for optimization and streamlining. By embarking on this endeavor, you are taking a significant step towards improving your company's customer-centric approach.

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