How to Create Customer Journey Maps

6 min readMar 10, 2023
Image source: Unsplash

According to the Baymard institute Cart Abandonment Stats, nearly 70 percent of online shoppers abandoned their carts in 2021. Why would a customer spend hours browsing a store and adding products to their cart only to close the tab seconds later?

Well, here’s the thing — understanding your customers’ minds can be extremely challenging.

You can never fully predict the journey from awareness to purchase for any customer, even when you have considered every possible factor.

While it’s impossible to predict the customer journey with 100% accuracy, customer, and user experience (UX) journey mapping will help you gain as much insight as possible.

What is a customer journey map?

Customer journey maps are visual representations of a customer’s experience. It helps provide an understanding of potential customers’ needs at every stage of the journey as well as the factors that motivate and inhibit them.

Why do you need a customer journey map?

Kerry Bodine, a customer experience consultant, explained the purpose of customer journey maps in a Moz Whiteboard Friday:

The goal of the customer journey map is really to get a holistic view of what the customer is going through from their point of view and really what it’s like for them on a personal level, that human level.

What does a great customer journey map look like?

Each journey map is unique. The design will vary based on the type of business (i.e. product or service).

An agency acquired by Capital One, Adaptive Path, refers to customer journey maps as ‘experience maps. Their visualizations:

1. Illustrate how a customer moves through each phase of interaction.

2. Illustrate how a customer experiences each phase.

The Adaptive Path team builds an touchpoints inventory after conducting qualitative and quantitative research:

The image above highlights that the customer mapping process begins by defining the behavioral stages a typical customer moves through. Each touchpoint is then further refined.

Using that as a starting point, they create a “lens” through which to view the journey based on the customer personas they have created. It is possible for each persona to generate a map, which can be used as the reference point when determining how to proceed.

A customer journey map highlights the points at which customers become stuck or irritated on their path to purchase and beyond. It’s a visual depiction that combines persona and user data.

Without data-driven personas, it can be difficult to map the customer journey.

What inspires your customers? What are their requirements, reservations, and concerns? Knowing who you’re communicating with is the first step. Anecdotes or educated guesses are insufficient. Data is what is required to create viable personas.

Today’s most successful businesses delve deep into their data to create personalities. Once you’ve created your personas, you can combine that information with an in-depth examination of user behavior on your website. The result will be your customer journey map.

How to Create a Customer Journey Map in 5 Easy Steps

While journey maps can encompass all interactions with a company, this section will show you how to create one to improve your website.

Step 1: define the behavioral stages.

Image source: The BigDoor Blog

Customers may travel through various stages when navigating your site, depending on what you sell. A B2C ecommerce company may have only a few clearly defined phases, whereas a B2B SaaS company selling to the Fortune 100 may have several.

Your personas should offer you a good picture of the journey clients take from their first landing to a purchase and further interactions.

The next step is to determine which interactions belong in which stages.

Step 2: Align customer goal with each stage.

This is possibly the most vital, in some circumstances, the most difficult step in designing a customer journey map.

What do buyers hope to achieve as a result of their purchase?

At each stage of the behavioural cycle, what do customers hope to accomplish? It is possible to get that information from a variety of data sources:

Survey answers.

User testing.

Interview transcripts.

Customer service emails or support transcripts.

After that, you can determine whether your website accomplishes each of those goals.

Step 3: Outline your touchpoints.

Deem touchpoints to be places where customers interact with your website and where you assist them in achieving their objectives. These touchpoints will be categorized according to the stage of your customer’s journey.

A common touchpoint for retailers could be a product description page; for service businesses, it could be anything from a pricing page to a contact form.

Touchpoints during the user journey can be identified in two Google Analytics reports:

  1. Behavior Flow report.
  2. Goal flow report.

1. Behavior Flow report

With Behavior Flow report, you can see how users navigate between pages or events. This can help you understand or show where your users struggle to find the information they need.

By mousing over specific steps in the flow, you can segment traffic by any dimension.

2. Goal Flow report

The Goal Flow report enables you to determine whether users are accomplishing a goal of your choice through a funnel.

You’ll be able to tell if users — or a portion of them — are unexpectedly quitting in the middle of their journey to the goal, or if your traffic is looping back.

Step 4: Evaluate if your consumers achieve their goals successfully or not

This is where you take the data you’ve gathered and compare it to how effortlessly your consumers can complete their tasks.

Consider the following categories of questions:

Where are the bottlenecks?

Do a lot of people abandon their shopping carts on the checkout page?

Do users visit your opt-in download page but do not complete the form?

The Google Analytics reports you’ve mined for information will show you where problems arise. The existing qualitative data you have , the same research you used to create your personas should assist you understand why the difficulties exist.

Examine your customers’ behavior (or lack thereof). How successfully are their needs satisfied at each touch point and during each phase?

Step 5: Provide suggestions for improvements.

Begin by determining which pages or touch points should be addressed first. Pages can be ranked based on how simple and affordable it is to make updates. The next step is to decide what to test.

For example, if research indicates that customers are concerned about being locked into a specific plan after signing up, changing your wording on a relevant page may assuage their concerns.

How to visualize a Customer Journey Map

Spreadsheets may not be appealing, but they are excellent for data organization. Your client journey map does not have to be intricate or visually appealing.

Remember: that it is a tool to help you learn how users interact with your site, where they get stuck, and how to address problem areas.

Image source; adaptive path

The above is an example of a customer’s interaction with a SaaS firm. Each step contains a related consumer goal, as well as the appropriate touchpoints.

You can get as specific as you want. Annotate where you notice clients missing steps or looping back. Under “Key Findings,” include your route analysis and the hypotheses to test under “Recommendations.”

It’s critical to understand that client interaction with your website or brand isn’t a linear function process. It’s not always easy to get people to move from point A to point B without jumping ship or skipping a step. This journey can be influenced by a variety of elements, including consumer pain points, emotions, and your company’s touchpoints and processes.

But, taking the effort to learn as much as you can about your consumers’ goals — and how they navigate your website — may go a long way toward keeping them satisfied. It will also help your business develop.

Customer-centric brands understand this, and it’s why they consult with us. Are you looking to optimize your journey for the customer or exploring a new business opportunity to serve a customer’s unrecognized needs? Let’s help you create an effective customer journey map that will enable you to understand your customers’ experience so you can delight them at every stage of their buying process. Schedule a discovery call with Atarodo. You can also follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn and our blog to learn more about how we are enabling ambitious businesses to achieve their goals through high-impact marketing.




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