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What is a Customer Journey Map in Agile? Why is it important?

Customer Journey Map

Customers are the life of your business. If you want to improve products, customer services or achieve overall success, you must understand them. You have to analyze their expectations and needs. So how can your business solve its pain points?

In short, the secrete behind a successful business is happy and satisfied customers. But, it’s not easy for companies to read their customers’ minds. This is where customer journey mapping can help you.

Using a customer journey map, you can dive deep into your customers’ minds and provide excellent services.

In this article, I share everything you need to know about the customer journey map to build a product or service that your customers love. So, read on to find out more on this.

What is Customer Journey

A customer journey is a path or road your customer takes when using your services or products. It acts as a quick roadmap for understanding your customers. In this journey, you get to know how an individual customer becomes aware of your brand, product, or services. It also helps you understand how they interact with your products and services.

A customer’s journey starts from the first interaction with your service until the end of the transaction. In short, it depicts the complete experience of being a customer.

Now it’s crucial for businesses to pay attention to their customer experience. If you fail to understand customer mindset or provide a negative experience during their journey, your brand reputation will take a downhill turn.

This is where customer journey mapping comes. Mapping your customer journey helps you understand how customers interact with your product or service at every step of their journey.

But, what is journey mapping? Let’s decode that in our next point.

What is Customer Journey Mapping in Agile

In agile, a customer journey map helps you visualize how customers experience your services or interact with your brand during their customer journey.

Customer journey maps act as a visual tool that helps you walk into your customer’s shoes, empathize with their pain points, analyze their scenario, and understand how your business can provide a solution that improves their experience.

Customer journey mapping is way different than creating a customer persona. Instead, a customer or buyer persona is needed to understand your target audience while building a new product or service.

However, personas don’t tell you what experience your target audience faces after using your product. But mapping your customer journey does.

In agile, customer journey mapping can help businesses in three ways.

First, your product manager gains insights into customer behavior by visualizing the customer journey, for starters.

Secondly, every team member holds a different vision about a customer’s journey after using your product in business. Therefore, your product manager, stakeholders, and the development team can share an aligned vision about the customer journey by mapping the journey. Then, you can conduct custom interviews or surveys to get more clarity on this.

Lastly, customer journey mapping can help businesses enhance their customer experience.

According to Carlton Nettleton, Chief Product Owner at Applied Frameworks, customer journey maps mostly fall into four categories:

  1. Acquisition: Stages related to a purchase of a product or service
  2. Retention: Post-sale stages. Actions that are designed after a purchase to improve customer relationships.
  3. Growth: Actions that encourage customers to purchase a service or product again.
  4. Exit: Post-purchase journey that tells how a customer ends their relationship with your business.

Why do you need a customer journey map?

80% of consumers stated that they consider a company’s customer experience as crucial as its products. Moreover, 91% of customers feel a positive customer experience encourages them to purchase again.

These stats from Salesforce are the ultimate explanation of why you need a customer journey map. Mapping your customer journey is vital because:

  • It helps businesses create an omnichannel, personalized customer experience with the help of visualization.
  • It enables you to optimize the customer onboarding process.
  • As you move through the sales funnel, from prospect to conversion, the customer journey helps you understand the differences in buyer personas.
  • Allows you to create a logical order for the buyer journey.

Here are a few more reasons why Customer Journey Mapping should be an integral part of your business strategy.

Improves Customer Experience

Building a customer journey map will help your customer overcome roadblocks and provide a better experience. It enables you to visualize all the stages of your customer’s journey, so you can understand where your business can improve.

Based on the map knowledge, you can improve your services or products. You can also understand your customers’ expectations and needs to help you get more leads, sales, and higher retention.

Work Collaboratively

Every employee in your organization has the same goal- improving customer experience. However, their objectives aren’t the same; for instance, the marketing team works on marketing, the engineering team focuses on the technical part, and the sales team tries to increase sales. That’s why it becomes difficult for your employees to work collaboratively on the same goal.

This is where customer journey mapping can help you. By mapping your customer journey, you create a visual for your team members that depict what customers want or need. As a result, your team members can stay aligned and work toward the same goal with the customer journey map.

Achieve Customer Success

Customer success is an integral part of any successful business. And customer journey mapping can help you achieve that. A customer journey map can help you monitor, track, analyze, and improve customer touchpoints. In addition, it enables you to understand what strategy is working in favor of your customer and what isn’t to enable customer success.

Provide an Omni-Channel Service

From marketing to customer service, today’s customer wants to receive a highly personalized experience from businesses. That’s why companies are taking customer journey map’s help omnichannel marketing and service efforts.

For example, a customer journey map can help businesses target one ideal prospect across several touchpoints in omnichannel marketing.

Here it would help if you took Spotify’s example to understand how customer journey mapping is important for popular brands. Spotify hired a marketing firm to improve its music-sharing experience for customers with the help of a journey map. The purpose of the customer journey map was to decide where the music-sharing features fit best into the customer experience.

Source — http://www.meghanabowen.design/spotify.html

In the map, you can see the customer experience mapped out from the start, from opening Spotify on a device to whether they shared a song with their friends or family.

Throughout the journey, Spotify mapped out what a customer feels, thinks, and engages with. Then, they used customer surveys and research data to gather all the information.

Based on the customer journey map, the brand managed to identify what challenges its customers are facing and how to solve them. This way, they can make their users’ music sharing experience better and seamless.

The customer journey map is an excellent example of how it can help you understand customer engagement and customer behavior to enhance the overall customer experience.

How to get started with customer journey mapping in Agile

Now that you know all the benefits of using customer journey maps in business, it’s time to know how to create one. Read o to learn how to get started with a customer journey map in 6 easy steps.

Step 1. Set Clear Goals

It’s easier to create a customer journey map when you have a sense of direction. Knowing your goals and targets will help you gain valuable insights to complete the journey map effectively.

That’s why before creating the map, first ask yourself what goals you want to achieve with the map. Whose perspective will it be from? What experiences will be the main factor of the map?

Here are some more points you must consider to set clear targets for your map:

  • Can your map be able to point out the weakness in your sales funnel? Can it identify where you should make changes to learn what’s wrong? Can you gather insights from the journey map?
  • What information do you want to gather from the customer journey map? Where are your customers facing problems? What you’ve predicted wrong about your customer journey?
  • What are the things your customer doesn’t like about your brand? Where are they expecting improvement?

Step 2. Build a Buyer Persona

How well do you know your customers? If you want to create a customer journey map, you have to understand all the touchpoints on your customer journey.

This is where a buyer persona can help you. A buyer persona is made with fictional characters who present an ideal customer for your business. While creating the persona, you have to consider a few factors like your ideal customer’s background, lifestyle, demographics, personality, and shopping preferences.

You can gather all this information from online surveys, interviews, and different market research. You have to collect as much information as possible because this will help you understand your customer and create a perfect persona.

After collecting all the information, make sure to analyze the data to identify who’s already doing business with your brand. What challenges are they facing? What keeps them going? What’s stopping them from achieving their goals? Do they have fears?

Here’s a pro tip: While collecting data, asking a lot of “why” questions will help you understand the motivation and pain points of customers.

Also, watch out for your competition. Analyze what types of personas they are targeting? This will help you get a clear idea about a typical buyer.

Once you’ve collected all the demographics, expectations, income, location, and other data, you’ll be able to create an accurate persona. Also, remember it is ideal for keeping at least two personas to create a customer journey map.

Step 3. Identify all the Touchpoints

An accurate customer journey map draws out all the different stages of customer touchpoints, for example:

  • Awareness: From where did your customer find you? How did they first interact with your brand? What challenges are they facing? You can consider asking these questions in the awareness stage.
  • Consideration: In this stage, the buyers are looking for a way to handle all the changes they face. In the consideration stage, they decide whether they want to make a purchase or not.
  • Purchase: The customers are settled with their decision in the purchase stage. In this stage, consider these questions: Does the customer make the purchase? If not, do they interact with your customer service?
  • Post-purchase: This is technically the last stage, but not the end of the customer journey. Most brands follow up with their customers for feedback and loyalty bonuses in the post-purchase phase. This is the right stage to turn one-time customers into long-term followers.

You can divide these four elements into different segments. But, make sure these elements are present in each segment. You can also create a customer journey map based on the old touchpoints formula: AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action).

Step 4. Test the Journey

After drafting all the basic touchpoints, it’s time to test the journey yourself.

While testing, make sure to keep a note of the positive and negative encounters on the way. You have to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and adopt their mindset. Try to approach things from their point of view. What type of problem are they having? Does your journey map address all these problems?

You can install analytics to take data-driven journeys. Collect data from email marketing, website traffic, and. Social media engagement metrics to understand the customers’ perspective.

Step 5. Use A/B Testing

You have to perform A/B testing to understand your customers’ real feedback. By measuring their journey, you’ll have answers to questions like what are your Map’s weak areas or customer challenges.

Step 6. Revise

Customer journey mapping isn’t a one-time thing. You can’t always make it right the first time. So, make sure to refine your process until you’re getting an accurate result.

What Makes a Good Customer Journey Map

Above, we shared how you can get started with customer journey mapping in agile. Now, it’s time to keep a few pointers in mind that’ll help you make your map more accurate.

It should be based on real data.

A good customer journey map must be based on real market research and customer data.

Why is customer data or market research important? Well, customers won’t always know about their preferences if they’ve never used your product or a feature.

As a business owner, it’s your duty to innovate ideas and present them to the customers. These new ideas are workshopped based on the customer persona and research. Once you’ve created a new product or a feature, try to make it useful to the users. And feedback plays an important role in making new improvements.

And a customer journey map needs to consider customers’ thinking, feeling, and actions. That’s why it’s crucial to create a document compiling all the user research, customers feedback, surveys to gather the data you need to create a good journey map.

It’s Beyond Your Marketing Funnel

A common mistake every business makes while creating a customer journey map is making a marketing plan storyboard. The marketing funnel or marketing plan is good for creating a skeleton of the journey map, but the map goes beyond that.

For example, the customer journey marketing funnel starts with awareness, interest, consideration, and purchase.

You can explore social media, ads, and other awareness-building methods in the awareness phase. You can talk about webinars, email marketing, and other methods that increase customer experience in the interest stage. In short, the marketing funnel deals with basic activities that should be done at each phase of the funnel for your buyer’s persona.

On the other hand, the customer journey map goes way beyond that. It includes a customer’s thinking, feeling, and doing at each phase of the funnel.

That’s why customer journey mapping should include the complete user experience with your product or service in each sales cycle stage.

The Bottom Line

The best time to start with the customer journey mapping is today. By developing a visual representation of your customer’s buying process, you’ll get insights into your customer behavior and expectations.

Once you understand customer challenges, you can make necessary changes to your products and services. You’ll be able to improve the customer journey touchpoints.

Lastly, remember the main purpose of customer journey mapping is to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and deliver a better customer experience.

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