What is a Customer Journey?
The customer journey map is a customer experience term that is widely used in businesses from different industries to better understand potential customers. A customer journey map helps provide further and valuable information regarding the intended audience.
Customer journey maps start from a potential customer’s first time needing a solution like yours, includes how and via what channel they are introduced to your product or service, how they interact with it, and ends as they achieve value with it. It covers every aspect of a customer’s journey with the solution you offer.
These maps are mostly visual, but an example would be a customer journey map of a website creation app, such as Wix. It starts by stating the customer’s main motive behind wanting to create a website, for example they might want to transform their business into an online shop. Then they search this concept in Google and come across Wix, signup to the app and finish their onboarding. After they see value from the product, they create a website with Wix and become a recurring user of the product.
This journey map would include how the customer felt and what they’ve experienced during this journey, so that more insight could be achieved regarding their interests and emotions.
Creating a journey map is especially important if a business wants to provide personalized experiences and get a better share of the audience they want to engage with. It can help optimize the product UX for a better experience and even the marketing campaign for improved engagement metrics.
How to create a Customer Journey Map
Creating a customer journey map starts with a thorough research. A business has to invest in monitoring the experience of their customers, whether through usability testing or user behavior tools, and they also need to conduct 1on1 meetings and surveys with their customers to better understand how they feel about and when using their solution.
Considering all of these, the huge amount of data that is gathered is then analyzed for similarities(which are certain to appear) and then a customer journey map is created using these similarities. There could be multiple customer journey maps, as product have different functions that attract different profiles of customers, so businesses should avoid using all of the data to create a single-type customer journey.
The customer journey maps should be revised every couple of months as the needs of users might evolve or new uses of the product might surface.
What are the best Customer Journey Mapping tools?
Variety of tools can be used for creating customer journeys. Ready-to-use templates are also available waiting to be hand-filled with simple tools such as Excel, Canva, even MS Paint.
However, there are a couple of products that people creating a customer journey map prefer and they seem to offer a better experience.
The first one is Microsoft’s product, Visio, which is a diagramming and vector graphics software that is perfect for this purpose. It offers a high-end experience to its users and being a paid-tool, it is worth the price for a business that utilizes diagrams often.
A simpler and a free alternative could be Gliffy, which is a browser-based tool for creating diagrams, flowcharts, and wireframes. It is not as advanced as Visio, but can be utilized in startups for its simplicity and pricing.
Another free but a bit more advanced tool is Lucidchart, which allows diagram and chart creation and collaboration and might be perfect for mid-sized businesses. It also runs on the browser and offers a large collection of templates to start with.