What are customer journey maps?
A customer journey map is a visual storytelling tool, designed to help your organisation understand the entire purchasing process from the perspective of your customers.
From consideration and interaction, through to conversion and retention, you’ll be able to gain insight beyond just the data.
By understanding the emotions, environments and routines of your customers, you’re able to dive deep into how customers choose to interact with your brand, as well as their motivations for doing so.
An effective customer journey map will highlight key customer touchpoints over the course of their buying journey. These touchpoints could include Google ads, social media pages, review sites, word of mouth, and so on.
For this reason, journey mapping is highly valuable when crafting an omnichannel experience, making it a long-term asset for all departments in your organisation.
In other words, customer journey mapping helps align marketing, development and design strategies around a shared understanding of the customer’s pain points, and as a result, it enables us to work towards ROI metrics that make sense for all teams throughout the sales process.
Learn more about customer journey maps in the following sections:
- How do customer journey maps benefit your digital product?
- User Journey Analytics – A Data-Driven Approach to customer journey mapping
- The complete user journey mapping process
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How do customer journey maps benefit your digital product?
Customer journey maps help all departments in your business align around a common customer narrative, and prioritise what elements of the journey to fix and improve.
Here are four ways journey mapping can help you build a better digital product:
1Help you understand the ‘why’ behind the numbers
The key role of the customer journey map is to provide a qualitative understanding of the metrics that run your business.
While your business may measure ROI, cost per acquisition or customer lifetime value, it’s often difficult to understand why these numbers are fluctuating. Qualitative visual maps that track customer experience throughout their journey help you understand what levers to pull, as well as how to improve these metrics.
2Identify unseen gaps in the customer experience
Mapping out details in the customer journey helps you see where customer experiences are falling short.
Beyond complaints logged by customer support, you’re able to step into the shoes of your customers and identify areas that could be massively affecting the customer experience.
It can also highlight areas where customers lack solutions or have serious unresolved pain points, and that could, therefore, be a great market opportunity.
3Quickly prioritise high impact activities
Customer journey maps help you understand key moments that impact your customers’ purchase decision, allowing you to further invest resources into these high-impact touchpoints. This is especially important in the increasingly omnichannel world.
For example, if you discover that customers are coming into your retail stores, and then going back home to research your product online before purchasing, you can prioritise development and marketing efforts toward improving this post-store conversion rate.
4Align the customer journey with your brand promise
Many companies claim they put their customers first, but is this really what your customers feel when they interact with your brand?
By mapping out every touchpoint and emotional states of your customers throughout their purchase journey, you can ensure that you’re delivering your brand’s promise at every turn.
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User journey analytics – A data-driven approach to customer journey mapping
User journey analytics is about quantifying the number of customers actually moving through the purchase journey and tying hard numbers to more qualitative aspects of the user journey mapping.
It is a crucial aspect of UX research that allows you to implement data-driven changes to your digital product to better capture your target audience.
By quantifying the user journey, you’re able to verify your research and qualitative insights with real-time numbers. You’re able to see how many customers are taking a certain flow path, how many are converting from stage to stage, and ultimately have quantifiable KPIs that all teams in your company can work towards.
How do I include data analytics in my customer journey map?
The ideal tools to utilise in user journey analytics are dependent on your business. If your business is primarily online, then Google Analytics, Facebook Analytics, Hotjar and any other data analytics tools are likely to encompass most of your customers’ purchase journey.
Meanwhile, offline stores can still benefit from in-person surveys and questionnaires.
It’s not just about the hard quantitative data, however. You can also quantify some more traditionally ‘emotional’ aspects, like customer satisfaction, through surveys like the Net Promoter Score, or on-site customer experience through heat mapping tools like Hotjar.
Ultimately, you only want to capture and focus on data that your team understands, and can take advantage of. Hence, when analysing your collected data, it is best to focus on extracting actionable insights, rather than trying to capture 100% of all the recorded metrics.
Data analytics work hand in hand with traditional customer journey mapping. By integrating online and offline quantitative data into your map, you’re able to unlock deeper insights and uncover new opportunities for your business.
Here are four main benefits of integrating user journey analytics:
Perhaps the most significant benefit of integrating analytics is that you get a sense of how many customers there actually are in each journey.
Thus, you begin to zoom out from looking at an ‘individual’ idealised profile, and instead, aggregate many similar customers into a customer segment with shared behaviours and values.
This ultimately bridges the gap between an in-depth profiling of one idealised customer and the actionable insights to be unlocked through segmentation.
While journey analytics gives you a macro overview of the purchase journey, it also enables you to zoom in and understand how you can deliver more personalised experiences for each customer.
For example, if you find that one of your landing pages is attracting and performing well with a certain customer segment group, you can optimise your email follow-ups and service engagement to best target them.
3Unlock new opportunities
With an overview of all the relevant data flowing through your system – customer sign up rates, conversion rates, high performing channels – you’re not only able optimise, but discover untapped opportunities as well.
If you find that a lot of your customers are, for instance, discovering your brand through word of mouth, you could implement a referral scheme to capitalise on this natural behaviour.
4Real-time, adaptive feedback system
One significant benefit of user journey analytics, especially with regards to digital analytics, is that you get a real-time overview of the map.
You can see how many customers are in each stage of the journey, where they are progressing or leaving, and understand how real-time engagement changes with any adjustments you make to aspects of the journey.
The complete user journey mapping process
When writing a customer journey map, it’s important to remember that it’s written from the customer’s point of view.
As an emotional ‘bridge’ between the experience of the customer and the mechanics of your business, journey maps serve to highlight the emotions and perceptions of your customers.
For this reason, it is essential that throughout this process, you keep the focus on real customer experiences.
The journey mapping process follows six main phases:
1Define your target customer personas
Customer personas are the foundation of the journey map. Reach out to real customers and prospects, and create 3-5 targeted personas that represent a few key segments of people that currently, or that may want to, interact with your brand.
Make sure that your personas are distinct from each other, and select only one customer persona to build the map around.
2Segment the purchase journey into phases
Next, outline the key stages that a customer goes through in their purchase journey, from discovery and awareness through to post-purchase.
In real life, a customer may interact and re-engage with your brand at many different phases, but for clarity, it is best to visualize this journey as a linear path.
3Detail brand touchpoints in each phase
Touchpoints are the points at which a customer or prospective customer interacts with your brand. This could include seeing an ad on social media, visiting your website, speaking with customer service, or visiting your retail store.
By listing out every touchpoint that customers engage with at each phase of the journey, you’ll see what actions your business can take to improve your customers’ experience throughout that journey.
4Understand customer experiences at each touchpoint
The unique benefit of creating a customer journey map is that you have a chance to gain insight into the customer’s emotional journey.
It involves mapping out, at each phase, what the customer is trying to achieve, their expectations, steps they took, emotional states, as well as any other thoughts that crossed their mind when going through the journey.
One crucial insight from this would be understanding where and what your customers’ ‘moments of truth’ are. These are the one or two key moments that have the potential to affect what your users think and feel about your product and whether or not they are going to convert to a paying customer.
5Determine pain points
Think of pain points as obstacles that your customers encounter on the purchase journey.
Perhaps they are running into customer service issues during the purchase phase, or maybe they are confused about where to find your product despite having an initial interest to purchase it.
6Fix and improve the journey
Once you figure out the desired actions and emotional states at each touchpoint, you can start optimising these experiences to create the most enjoyable and frictionless purchase journey for your customers.
You can also systematically resolve identified pain points, and ultimately help drive customer satisfaction and ROI for your business.
Industries we’ve worked with
Our UX research and development team has worked with over 200+ industry-leading organisations throughout Asia.
We treat our clients as business partners, helping them uncover, document and action their customer journey maps, and develop digital products that put their customers at the centre. This approach has allowed us to expand our global portfolio and work with the following industries:
- Tours & Activities
News & Entertainment
- Burda Thailand
- Ocean Glass
- Das Intergroup
Travel & Hospitality
- Ko Van Kessel
- Bangkok Hospital
- Bumrungrad International Hospital
- Food Panda
- Arthur Online
- Home Connect
- AIP Internship
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As a leading digital consultancy in Thailand, we provide end-to-end services to help clients digitise their entire business model.
Customer journey maps, while incredibly useful, are just one component of a business’s customer experience and digital strategy. With customer insights on hand, it’s now time to leverage these insights to create new digital products, optimise existing touchpoints, and unlock new revenue streams.
This is why we’ve developed an end-to-end service model to help all our clients, including:
- UX Research
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- And more
Visit our main services page to learn more about how we can help you grow your business today.