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Customer journey map: a look at the product from the target audience
- Anna Kosheva
November 2, 2022
Promoting a product or brand is building the perfect path for a user to turn into a loyal customer. But in practice, everything is not so smooth – a person does not act according to the generally accepted scheme for buying a product: he sees an advertisement, shows interest, and purchases the product.
To understand the client’s path, specialists make up a customer journey map (CJM) or a client journey map.
This article will help you figure out how to create a customer journey map and eliminate mistakes when compiling maps.
What is CJM
A customer journey map is a map of user interaction with a product and a brand based on an analysis of the interests, needs, and behavior of the target audience (TA). That is, it is a visualization of the points of contact between the client and the company.
Target audience – potential consumers of the product. It is they who, in English, are called customers. These people are interested in your product because it solves their problems.
When creating a CJM, it is crucial to specify audience segments, prepare a client portrait for each piece and work out how to interact with the product.
Important! The target audience must be segmented to avoid heterogeneity and distinguish categories of users on similar grounds.
Knowing your target audience helps to prepare a USP and direct it to a specific category of users. That is, the offer increases customer loyalty and attracts his attention.
Users can be divided into several categories according to similar criteria:
The customer journey map will be different for the B2B and B2C segments, starting with the portrait and audience segments and ending with the movement along the path to the deal.
The map reflects several vital points:
- Points of contact of the audience with the product and brand.
- Target audience segments.
- The user interaction path: from getting to know the brand to make a deal.
- Problems or barriers in the transaction.
- Interaction with the brand after the first purchase of the product.
There are a lot of options for building maps. Each business will have its individual selection of the target audience and its way of getting to know the product.
CJM can be formatted with tables, graphs, infographics, etc. The main thing is to display the entire path of the client, barriers, solutions, and the result – the transaction. Here everything will depend on how convenient it is for you and your team to perceive the information and work with it.
Learn more about: What is Google My Business, and how to use it?
Consider CJM options; an example is presented below:
The card was created for a real estate company. It describes the path from getting to know the product to make a deal. Three audience segments were selected that are most interested in buying a new apartment.
Examples of CJM visualizations of famous brands:
A card was created for Starbucks. CJM shows the stages that a customer goes through when he decides to order coffee. The map also shows a person’s emotions, from meeting a friend to getting a cup of freshly brewed coffee.
Why use the customer journey mapping method
The value of CJM is:
- Understanding the target audience: who the client is, where he came from, what his needs are, why he bought or why he left for competitors.
- Understanding the points of contact with the client and optimizing sales: how the interaction takes place, what “pain” the client has, how we can help, and what exactly works and does not work in solving problems.
- Understanding weaknesses: the call center cannot solve the client’s problem, the situation on the website when placing an order or trying to contact a specialist, the problem is in the delivery or the cost of the product, and so on.
- It is essential to understand that a customer journey map is an effective tool for understanding the target audience. Still, when creating it, you need to rely on your opinion. Maps is a whole study where one user can be looked at from a dozen sides: your opinion; sales department; a specialist who spoke about his case in an online magazine; the idea of a focus group – several people divided by interests, and so on.
A customer journey map is used at any stage of business development:
- The beginning of the production of a product or the entry of a brand into the market is the first step of the client and his acquaintance with you.
- Accumulated statistics and understanding of the target audience – the client has already made a purchase or faced a problem.
- Complete understanding of the audience’s desires and working with barriers – customer reviews and repeat sales.
- CJM is considered the entire customer journey, but another map option is created to track the user journey on your site – the user journey. In this case, we pay attention to the user’s reaction to the site or application.
The user journey is also the user’s path when interacting with a site or application. The map shows the user experience.
User experience is the customer’s actions, feelings, fears, and thoughts.
When compiling the map, solutions are indicated at each stage: how to work out problem areas and enhance moments of joy for the target audience.
An essential task in compiling a user journey is to collect factual data about user behavior on the site. This data will help optimize the site pages based on your users’ needs.
What is the difference between CJM and sales funnel
The sales funnel designed to push the client to complete the transaction. The main task of the sales funnel is to get a lead.
CJM is a modified model designed to study the client and help him make the right choice. That is, at the stages of interaction with the product, show that the product satisfies his needs at the moment.
Similarities and differences between CJM models and sales funnel
The funnel, like CJM, also describes the user’s path to the transaction, but this is a linear way of moving “from top to bottom.” CJM reflects the non-linear movement of the client.
A non-linear customer movement is a chaotic movement that a customer makes:
Each client has their reasons, but the main thing in CJM is to find a common problem and offer a solution. There is no way to buy the product now – offer a discount or installment plan.
The sales funnel about the company and the product, and the customer journey map is about the client and his way of interacting with the brand.
The sales funnel set by the sales department specialists; describes the stages that the client must go through before making a deal. But in fact, the client does not owe the company anything. Therefore, it is necessary to look at the product through your client’s eyes. For this, a user journey map is created.
A sales funnel implies that the user already knows about your brand or product. The customer journey map shows all the possible ways to see the product and brand.
A sales funnel works to improve business processes. CJM is all about dealing with barriers that can get in the way of a customer in any way they interact with a product.
In the sales funnel, each department of user interaction is worked out: the call center and the website when you first get acquainted with the product and the company; the sales department at the first doubts, questions about the product and its purchase; logistics department in matters of product delivery. If there are a small number of clients, work is underway in the marketing department: new promotions, a new product, or its other presentation, attracting additional traffic sources.
The user map shows different options for solving the client’s problem.
Example: a problem with filling in the data in the registration form – find out the reasons for the inconvenience – suggest options – test on a test group – apply the changes in practice – test the reaction of users.
The sales funnel can reflect aggressive sales methods, and CJM will gently push the client to make a decision.
For example, a client contacted a banking company to find the loan details. Funnel work: every other day, he receives calls from a bank specialist about making a decision. This approach can frighten off the client – and he will block your contacts forever. CJM work: it is recommended to take the touches of the client who applied and send the whole offer to him by mail. If the user uses several organizations, he will always have the opportunity to compare your offer with another bank.
For each segment of the audience, we create user portraits. Each element reacts differently to the product: its cost, expectations from the purchase, and reality.
Important! Create authentic images of customers who interact with the product. There is no need to add your opinion; in the user’s maps, it is difficult to assess real problems.
Stages and channels of interaction
We describe the stages of interaction with the company and the product and indicate the channels through which the client comes.
Stages of interaction:
- The emergence of the need – what to do in the evening?
- Interest – advice from a friend or finding a movie for the evening.
- Exploration – search for services that provide an extensive library of movies.
- Buying – choosing the best offer.
- Return – signing up for a premium subscription, updating a previous one, or connecting additional services.
Interaction channels or touchpoints:
- Search engines.
- Advertising on search or networks.
- Recommendations from friends or bloggers.
- Social networks.
- Email distribution.
- Outdoor advertising.
- Audio advertising.
- Advertising in print media.
We fill in all the stages in the template according to the goals. For example, a user has expressed interest in subscribing to an online movie theater service:
Thought: find a service that can download the application to the tablet.
Actions: search for options from popular services in the market.
Touchpoints: search engines, online advertising, recommendations from friends.
Opportunities: Indicate the advantages of the service for quick decision-making (we compare the service with a competitor and find the benefits). An alternative option is to agree with a competitor to provide access to both services for watching popular series and films.
We are looking for weak points in user interaction with the product at this stage.
We indicate the problems and barriers at each stage:
- Aggressive selling or intrusive advertising. Regular mailing or frequent calls from the company.
- No product advertisements. The client found you but forgot after a few days.
- Problem with ordering online. Complicated form or filling error.
- Negative reviews about a product or company, reviews on the Internet, or the manufacturer’s website.
- Overload of information on the site. The user cannot find the answer to his question.
- There is no response from a call center or sales department, the phone is unavailable, or the manager does not call back.
- Special purchase. No credit or installment payment.
- No access to online payment services. The company accepts cash payments or has not connected several payment options on the site.
Also, in this section, we consider options for solving problems.
Let’s analyze the list above and suggest an optimization:
- Switch to a quiet mode of communication with the client. Sending emails and reducing the number of calls. Check with the client at what time it is more convenient for him to receive a call, whether you can help him or if he is not interested in the service.
- Conduct marketing analysis and launch advertising to potential customers.
- Simplify the order form, and check the site for errors.
- To work with the company’s reputation on the Internet, respond to reviews, and analyze the negative aspects: what they are connected with and how to minimize them. Attract loyal users to write comments about your product.
- Check the content on the site for water and congestion. Formulate the answers in the blocks on the site: description, characteristics, benefits, use cases, and the like.
- Check phone numbers for forwarding and connection (whether your number was disconnected for non-payment). Check the work of managers – keep records of calls and messages to your customers.
- Consider several options for purchasing a product.
- Connect popular payment options for services. You can also indicate on the site that the manager can tell you more about payment options.
Compilation of CJM
Maps are created based on the received user data:
- Who has already purchased on your site?
- Who was interested in your product or brand?
- Who left a review on the product?
- Who returned to you?
We add to the map all the data obtained at each stage of interaction between audience segments and the product. After introducing barriers and steps, try to analyze the customer journey and emotions. That is, look at the product through the eyes of the user.
Important! When writing the CJM, use the language used by the client. Look at the situation through his eyes and do not try to eliminate the problem that seems insignificant to you. Tag all user comments.
After receiving a map of interaction with the product, you need to analyze options for improving the service, communication with the client, and stages of additional attraction of attention.
First, you must select urgent tasks and start improving the product, website, business process, brand reputation, user communication, touch points with the client, and so on.
We use several indicators for targeted actions to assess the effectiveness of hypotheses and changes. They can be found in analytics systems – Google Analytics and others.
Indicators for evaluating hypotheses:
- Repeat site visits.
- Average time on site.
- Conversions for each stage.
- The number of pages viewed.
- Percentage of positive and negative reviews.
- The frequency of search queries for the study period.
After analyzing the hypotheses, we determine the positive or negative effect of the changes.
A customer journey map, or a customer journey map, is a tool for visualizing user interaction points with a product and a company. Each card is individual; you can’t just take a ready-made case and apply it to your brand.
To create a CJM, you need to work out the target audience, divide it into segments, collect as much information as possible, and find the weak points when the user contacts the product.
Use unique services for visualization. It will help you and your team gather all the data in one place and work through every step of the customer journey.
In CJM, the client’s problems and motivations are visible in a simple and understandable path of the client. Therefore, it is convenient to work with cards at any level of a business process: marketing department, sales department, delivery department, and so on.
- Anna Kosheva
November 2, 2022
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