Customer journey maps help contact centers understand and improve the customer experience by planning and documenting the journey through the eyes of the customer. This helps companies understand how customers are interacting with the brand and where there’s room for improvement. No two maps are the same and each brand has to create their own way to chart the customer experience.
There are a lot of ways to build a customer journey map; there’s no leading standard or master model to replicate. Every company’s customer journey map is different from the next. Ultimately, though, the map has to visually represent how the customer uses a company’s products or services and how they move through the shopping process. Here are six critical components of any customer journey map.
1. Represent interactions that are outside your control. For example, shopper education often begins before the customer even visits the retailer’s website. Potential customers may visit review websites to see what other people are saying about a brand.
2. Instead of only brainstorming internally, get intelligence from actual customers as well. Interviews and surveys, for example, can help make the map more accurate.
3. Represent different customer segments by including various customer journeys. For example, one customer segment may spend weeks researching the product, while another segment may use different tools in order to research the same product in a shorter period of time. Additionally, include both recurring customers and potential customers, as they’ll follow different paths.
4. Highlight interactions that are especially impactful. Some moments are more critical than others. For example, when a customer visits a medical facility, a bad check-in experience can taint the entire experience, even if the rest of it is otherwise positive.
5. Make sure the customer journey map delivers on the brand promise, whether that’s effortless shopping, customized service or being unique from other competitors. The customer experience should always be in-line with the company’s branding.
6. Include experience length. Do calls usually last 30 seconds or do they go on for ten minutes? Do shoppers spend half an hour choosing a product or several hours?
An additional consideration is customer verbatim. While this is optional and certainly not a requirement, using specific quotes from actual customers can add life to a customer journey map. It’s also a clear way to communicate each part of the customer experience, which helps when training agents.