How to Create a Customer Journey Map: Your Guide for a Better Customer Experience

If you're into social media marketing, or really any kind of online marketing, you know how important it is to create a great user experience. After all, if users don't enjoy using your site or app, they won't stick around for long.

But how do you know what's working and what isn't? How can you tell if your user experience is up to par? One great way to find out is to create a customer journey map. 

Creating a customer journey map allows you to understand your customers better and thus help you in improving the user experience. In this article, we will discuss how to create a customer journey map and the steps involved in the process. 

How to Create a Customer Journey Map: 

What Is a Customer Journey Map?

A customer journey map is a visual representation of how customers interact with your brand. It consists of customer touchpoints, which are the various ways that people come in contact with your brand. It includes a timeline that illustrates the customer's experience from start to finish. 

Customer journey maps can be extremely helpful in understanding how customers interact with your brand. By understanding the steps that your customers go through when interacting with your website or product, you can make changes to ensure that they have a positive experience. 

Why Do You Need a Journey Map Template?

Social media marketing is not just about coming up with content ideas and then posting them on your social media platforms. In order for your social media marketing efforts to be successful, having a solid strategy behind them isn't enough. You also need to have a well-designed plan that will help you execute your strategy. 

And how do you come up with an execution plan? Well, that's where a customer journey map comes in handy. With a customer journey map, you can better visualize how each step of your marketing campaign affects your overall goal—be it acquiring new customers, increasing sales, or building brand awareness. 

How to Map a Customer's Journey

If you own a social media agency or you're in charge of social media for your company, it's important that you understand how to map a customer's journey. Keep in mind that the steps involved in creating a customer journey map will vary depending on the type of business you're in and the product or service you offer. However, there are some general steps that you can follow to create your own customer journey map. 

Step 1: Set your business goals

Setting business goals is essential. It's how you know what your end goal is and how you're going to get there. After all, how can you determine which steps will help your brand reach its goals if you don't know what those are? 

Your business goals should be specific and measurable, so you can track how your social media efforts are helping you achieve them. For example, if one of your goals is to increase sales by 15%, then that means all of the steps in creating your customer journey map should help you get closer to that number. 

As you come up with your goals, don't forget to include your customers. Your goals should also be customer-centric and reflect what they want, need, or expect from you. Simply put, your goals should answer the question, "What's in it for them?" 

Step 2: Create your buyer personas

In order to understand your target market and create an effective customer journey map, you need to create and define your buyer personas. Buyer personas are general representations of your ideal target customer but should be based on a realistic view of your customer data gathered from market research, surveys, and interviews. 

Buyer personas help you understand who your customers are and what they want from you. By creating them, you'll be able to better tailor your content and messaging and make them more relevant for your audience.

In social media marketing, it's not enough to know who your target audience is. You also need to understand how they interact with you and how they move through the buying process. Not only that, but you must also understand what entices them and how to appeal to their emotions.

Step 3: Do your research and gather customer feedback

Now that you've created your buyer persona, it's time to do some research. This will help you gather customer feedback and understand their various interactions with your brand. 

Feedback enables you to look at the purchase process from your customers’ point of view. It lets you learn how each step affects them. Not only that, but it also helps you create better content for them as well as better targeting for ads based on where they're at in the buying process. 

You can start by looking at your website analytics to see what pages are being visited the most, how long people are staying on your site, and where they're coming from. You can also look at social media analytics to see how people are engaging with your brand on social media. 

Step 4: Identify your customer's touch points and channels

Social media marketing is all about connecting with your customers where they are. That's why it's important for you to identify all of the touchpoints and channels your customers are using to interact with you.

Understanding how the buying process works for your customers will let you figure out the best ways to use those channels effectively. For example, if you know that your customers are using social media to research products, then you need to be active on those channels and provide them with the information they're looking for. Or if you know that your customers prefer to communicate with you through email, then make sure you're providing them with quality content via email. 

The point is, you want to be where your customers are. It will only help you connect with them better and move them further through the buying process.

Step 5: Understand your customer's pain points and emotional values

Once you're done with your research, it's time to understand your customer's pain points and emotional values. This information is essential in order for you to create content that speaks to them on a deeper level.

Take note of where your customers are experiencing difficulties and frustration throughout each part of the journey. This will help you come up with solutions to address those areas through developing new products or services, improving customer service, and enhancing your marketing strategy, to name a few.

Understanding your customer's emotional values will let you create content that resonates with them on an emotional level. This is especially important in social media marketing where emotions play a big role in how people interact with brands. When you know what motivates your customers, you can tap into those values for increased customer loyalty and conversion rates.

Step 6: Draft the customer journey map

After you've done your research and gathered all the necessary information, it's time to draft the customer journey map. To start off, you need to identify how many steps there are in your customer's journey, from the awareness stage until they become a loyal customer.

Once you've identified the steps, it's time to start filling in the details of each stage. This includes understanding how your customers interact with your brand at each stage, what channels they're using, and what emotions they're feeling. You can also include any pain points they're experiencing and the solutions you've developed to address them.

Here's a quick example of how a customer journey map might look:

Bear in mind that the customer journey map is a living document. That means it's not set in stone and you can always make changes based on how your customers are engaging with you over time. What's important is to take into account the various departments that will be impacted by your strategy. Afterward, communicate the user journey to stakeholders and other departments who can help you achieve your goals.

Step 7: Validate your drafted customer journey map

The final step is to validate your customer journey map. This can be done through customer interviews, usability testing, and surveys.

Customer interviews are an excellent way to get feedback directly from your customers. You can ask them how they feel about every step of the buying process and learn whether there’s any crucial information you missed out on.

Usability testing is also another great option since this allows you to test how well your product or service works with real users in a controlled setting while researchers watch and take notes. This is a great way to catch any potential issues and fix them before they become a bigger problem. A common example of usability testing is A/B testing. 

Last but not least, surveys allow you to get valuable insights from customers. Surveys help you track how the customer's journey is evolving over time. You can send out surveys before and after product or service updates and releases to see if there are any changes in buying behavior.

Once you've gathered all this data, you can then revise your customer journey map and continue improving the user experience. Make sure all of the steps are still relevant and that the information is accurate. This will help ensure that your customer journey map is effective in helping you achieve your business objectives.

Are There Different Customer Journey Maps?

There are different types of customer journey maps that businesses can use to better understand their customers' experiences. There are several types, but the three most common are current state, future state, and day in the life. With each type having a different objective, it's important to know which one will be the most beneficial for your business.

Current state 

The current state customer journey map is used to understand how customers are currently interacting with your brand. This includes understanding their pain points, what channels they're using, and how you can improve their experience.

Future state 

The future state customer journey map is used to imagine how you want customers to interact with your brand in the future. This includes developing a vision for how you want the customer experience to be and what channels you'll be using.

Day in the life 

This particular journey map goes into detail about a specific customer's day. It includes the different tasks and activities they do, giving you a glimpse of how they go about their daily life.

Which one should you choose?

If you're not sure which map to choose, it's best to start with the current state customer journey map. It's the most straightforward map you can use for gaining valuable insight into your customers’ experiences. Aside from that, it's also an excellent starting point for laying the groundwork for a future state map and formulating a vision of how consumers would interact with your brand in the future.

Once you have a better understanding of your customers’ experiences, you can create your future state customer journey map. Finally, if you want to get even more in-depth about how your customers are going about their day-to-day, then it might be time to create your day-in-the-life customer journey map. This may take a little bit more time to create, but it can be worth it in the long run if you want comprehensive documentation of your customers’ daily activities.

Final Thoughts

Creating a customer journey map can seem daunting at first, but it's a process that's definitely worth the effort. By taking the time to understand your customers and their experiences, you'll be able to create content and marketing strategies that are more relevant, effective, and engaging for your target audience. This will lead to increased customer loyalty and conversion rates, which are essential for any business looking to grow in today's competitive market.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the meaning of customer journey? 

Essentially, the customer journey pertains to the various interactions and experiences that customers have with your brand. 

What is the benefit of a customer journey map?

Customer journey mapping is essential to any business, as it offers several benefits. A primary benefit is you’ll be able to understand your customers, their experiences, and pain points better. Customer journey mapping also enables you to make improvements to your products and services. 

How long is customer journey mapping?

Since customer journey mapping involves plenty of in-depth research, it can take from weeks to months to create your map. 

Is customer journey mapping a design tool?

While they’re more of a research-based tool, customer journey maps can help you improve the user experience. They can give you insight into how you can design your touchpoints for a better customer experience. 

What is the difference between a customer journey map and an experience map?

Compared to a customer journey map, a customer experience map is a holistic visual tool that gives you insight into customers’ experiences. Customer journey maps are based on a specific buyer persona. Meanwhile, an experience map is based on a general user. 

About the Author
Geri Mileva, an experienced IP network engineer and distinguished writer at Influencer Marketing Hub, specializes in the realms of the Creator Economy, AI, blockchain, and the Metaverse. Her articles, featured in The Huffington Post, Ravishly, and various other respected newspapers and magazines, offer in-depth analysis and insights into these cutting-edge technology domains. Geri's technological background enriches her writing, providing a unique perspective that bridges complex technical concepts with accessible, engaging content for diverse audiences.