Hashing out a customer journey map is on most marketers’ to-do lists, but it keeps getting pushed back.
Maybe a high-priority project gets in your way or—ugh—who has the time? Whatever the reason, customer journey mapping often doesn’t happen, even though it should.
To help you start that long-delayed project, we’ll break down what a customer journey map is, walk through why it matters, and help you make your own in less than 30 minutes with our handy, free template.
What Is a Customer Journey Map?
A customer journey map is a step-by-step visual guide detailing your customers’ experience with your brand.
And if you’re thinking, “Hey, isn’t that what a marketing funnel is?” Not exactly.
A marketing funnel explains the process of turning a prospect into a conversion. However, a customer journey map goes beyond the conversion funnel to show you every part of the customer experience.
While a marketing funnel sorts customers into their statuses as prospects or customers, a customer journey map looks at the actions they take. As a Business 2 Community article points out, many customer journey maps don’t follow a straight line—they include roadblocks and loops.
Think about your experience as a customer: Haven’t you put an item back on the shelf or visited a website from two different devices? We typically don’t go straight from point A to point B when buying: We waver back and forth.
When you make a customer journey map, you try to capture every step of the customer experience, including the not-so-linear parts. That way, you have a game plan for whatever direction your customers take.
Should You Create Customer Journey Maps?
Yep. But don’t just take our word for it!
Sixty-five percent of customers say they’d keep buying from a brand that gives them a great experience during the whole customer journey. Plus, 44% of marketers say that complete customer journey mapping leads to better customer experiences.
Customer journey maps also make sense on a human level. If you know what your potential customers want at each stage of their buying journey, you can serve it to them on a silver platter. And they’ll pay you back in loyalty and conversions.
What does this tailored content look like in action? One of our favorite landing page examples of 2021 by Grass Roots and Mutesix uses the company’s knowledge of the entire customer journey to tell a story, taking you through the whole conversion process.
When you have a customer journey map on hand, you’ll be able to make hyper-focused content and landing pages that deliver what your audience needs when they need it.
In other words, you’ll have content and landing pages that convert.
How to Create Your First Customer Journey Map in 30 Minutes or Less (Free Template)
It can be tricky to capture the essential parts of a customer journey without taking hours to do it. Fortunately, we have a template that will spare you a ton of work.
Try this quick-and-easy method using our template:
- Grab your customer data: Snag any customer personas, feedback reports, and marketing data you have on hand. You’ll use these docs as references for your customer actions, pain points, and preferences.
- Figure out the steps a customer takes from awareness to mega-fan: Using your knowledge of your product and your reference documents, think of every action a customer takes during their experience. Get as detailed as you can! Your customer journey should include the steps that happen before purchase (such as gaining awareness) and after (like leaving a review).
- List each touchpoint: Your touchpoints are the content that your customers interact with during each step of their journey. For example, they might get their first impressions of your brand from a landing page or your website. With your touchpoints available at a glance, you’ll be able to troubleshoot any content that doesn’t fit its customer journey stage.
- Write down the possible challenges and solutions for every step: Roadblocks like pain points and design limitations can stop a customer from moving forward in their journey. Brainstorm what elements could get in their way and come up with possible solutions for those issues.
- Fill in potential opportunities for better marketing: Every part of the customer journey also brings opportunities to wow your audience. What can you do to keep your audience moving to the next step?
Your completed spreadsheet should look a little something like this:
If you don’t have detailed answers for every section right now, no worries. Just write in what you can. Your customer journey map is a living document that you’ll edit as your customers’ experiences grow.