Customer journey mapping

Definition

Customer journey mapping is a visual representation of the complete experience a customer has with a brand, product, or service. It encompasses all touchpoints, interactions, and emotions a customer encounters throughout their journey, from initial awareness to post-purchase interactions. By mapping this journey, businesses gain valuable insights into customer needs, expectations, and pain points.

Examples:

Retail (B2C):
A clothing store maps the customer journey, starting with online browsing for a specific style, then visiting the physical store to try on clothes, interacting with sales staff, and finally completing the purchase. The map might identify pain points like confusing website navigation or long checkout lines, prompting improvements to these areas.

Digital Commerce (eCommerce) (B2B):
A B2B software company maps the customer journey for potential clients, starting with discovering the company through industry publications, downloading a free trial, interacting with sales representatives, and finally subscribing to a paid plan. The map might reveal difficulties understanding pricing structures or lack of technical support during the trial phase, leading to adjustments in communication strategies.

Types

The focus can vary depending on the business goals:

Linear Customer Journey Map:
A traditional approach that follows a chronological sequence of touchpoints, often starting with awareness and ending with post-purchase interactions.

Multi-channel Customer Journey Map:
Maps interactions across various channels a customer might use, such as website, mobile app, social media, or phone support.

Empathy Map:
Focuses on understanding the customer’s emotions, thoughts, and motivations throughout their journey, revealing emotional pain points and opportunities for improvement.

Benefits

Improved Customer Experience:
By understanding customer needs and pain points, businesses can identify areas for improvement and create a more seamless and enjoyable customer journey.

Increased Sales and Conversions:
Identifying and addressing friction points in the buying process can lead to higher conversion rates and increased sales.

Enhanced Customer Loyalty:
A well-designed customer journey fosters positive experiences, leading to customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Better Resource Allocation:
Customer journey mapping helps businesses prioritize resources and focus efforts on the most impactful touchpoints within the customer journey.

For example, a travel agency can create a customer journey map to understand how customers plan and book vacations.  The map might reveal a gap between initial trip inspiration and the actual booking process. Based on this insight, the agency can develop targeted content like travel guides and personalized recommendations to bridge the gap and encourage customers to book their dream vacation through their platform.

Related Glossary

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