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  • Writer's pictureIan Morris

How to create a customer experience map and get results

Diagram with "Customer" as parent node and "Experience" and "Map" as child nodes

Analyse and optimise the buying journey your customers take with your brand. Customer experience maps are a great tool to stop prospects clicking away.

What is customer experience mapping?

Customer experience mapping is an integral exercise for any business that wants to increase conversions and minimise the risk of potential customers not completing on their purchase. The basic end result is a visual diagram of each stage of the buying process, detailing which touchpoints and departments are involved along the way.

In simple terms, taking time to understand your customer journey is about identifying any chinks in the process, which create an opportunity for customers to go elsewhere. Not only that, it also gives you the opportunity to provide the best customer service to turn one-time customers into returning customers.

→ Download our FREE template to create your own Customer Journey Map.

Why is it important to think about your customer journey?

Creating a customer journey map may not be a quick task, but the benefits are exceedingly valuable and can lead to significant growth for your business.

It’s hugely important to understand every aspect of your business, as well as your target audience. Therefore, the process should include at least one person from each department, and time needs to be devoted to collating data from current and prospective customers.

A product or service should solve a problem for the customer, be it a new pair of jeans for a special occasion or graphic design for a rebrand. It doesn’t matter what you do, there is always a customer journey. In order to map it out, you have to consider the pain points of your customers (what problem do they need solving?) along with the touchpoints (where do people see and interact with your brand?).

By structuring these touchpoints into an order, you create the steps of a customer experience map. The number of steps will vary depending on the business, but every step should have a goal. If the goal isn’t hit, you run the risk of losing a sale. Ironing out that glitch leads to more conversions, increased profit, and business growth.

A detailed customer journey map should be made central to all departments, so that everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet. It should be reviewed monthly or quarterly in order to keep it up to date and relevant, especially if new services or products become available.

Need help running a customer journey mapping workshop? We can help. Call us on 0115 9061320 or send us a message.

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The 5 key stages of mapping your customer journey:

Here is a guide to the thoughts and actions of your customers along each step of a buying journey:

1 – Awareness – there is the desire to make a purchase, which leads to Google searches and potential clicks on adverts. Ideally, customers will already be aware of your brand from marketing campaigns.

2 – Consideration / comparison / research – with several options to choose from, the customer takes time to compare, evaluate, and talk to friends and family. This is a high risk area for losing prospective customers.

3 – Acquisition (decision) – this stage starts the moment the customer decides on your product and takes them through from checkout to receiving the product and evaluating whether it meets their needs.

4 – Service (delivery) – this stage overlaps with Acquisition and involves elements such as updates through the delivery process, ease of returns, and speed of reimbursement.

5 – Loyalty – the process shouldn’t stop at delivery, as what you actually want is loyal customers who return again and again. In addition to excellent service and products, you need incentives – new products, discounts, industry news. Newsletters are a great way to communicate these, but keep them useful, as spam is a sure-fire way to lose customers.

→ Download our FREE template to create your own Customer Journey Map.

What are you aiming to produce?

The ultimate goal is to produce a diagram that can be used by the entire company to visualise and understand how a customer interacts with your brand from the moment of initial attraction to post-purchase support.

Although it can take time and effort to produce, it needs to be kept simple and accessible. A series of post-it notes on an office display board is a really effective way to communicate a customer experience map.a

Nothing is set in stone though. It’s a guide and a tool to be reviewed monthly or quarterly, so you can build on it as your company evolves or as new products and services are added.

Things to consider with your Customer Mapping

  1. What are the objectives for the map?

  2. Who are your buying personas? (link to blog)

  3. What does your collated customer data tell you?

  4. What are the current touchpoints at each step?

  5. Take the journey yourselves – what would you expect?

  6. What improvements or changes can be made at each step? (Compare each step to data such as analytics, reviews, interviews, and questionnaires).

  7. Who is responsible for each touchpoint? Which team does it fall to? Are they aware of how they can improve the customer experience?

List of brand touchpoint examples

When you review your customer journey and make a note of all of the touchpoints that a customer interacts with, these are just a few you may need to consider:

  1. Social media

  2. Advertising

  3. How-to guides

  4. Email marketing

  5. Review sites

  6. Personal recommendations

  7. Landing pages

  8. FAQs

  9. Browsing the web

  10. Product details pages

  11. Free samples

  12. Live chat

  13. Sales calls

  14. Cart and checkout processes

  15. Payment and purchase confirmation

  16. Shipping updates

  17. Product and packaging

  18. Delivery

  19. Support team and after-sales

  20. Follow-up questionnaires

  21. Returns processes and queries

  22. Offers and promotions

Enriching your customer experience map

Once you have a basic customer journey mapped out, you can enrich it by adding more information. If it’s too complicated, then it isn’t practical, but some of the ideas below can help make it more useful:

  1. Add the typical questions that a customer might ask at each stage.

  2. What does a customer expect at each stage? What outcomes do customers want? What does the competition offer?

  3. Consider the emotions or feelings (pains and desires) that a customer is feeling at each step.

Plan your customer mapping workshop

So, the next thing to do is to get a date in the diary and get your team booked in. Get everyone out of the office and focus on the task at hand. It’s really enjoyable and a great change from the daily grind – it can also yield some amazing insights, too!

Do you need help with mapping your customer journey? We can help by running a half-day workshop with you. You’ll be guided by an expert, learn for yourself how to do it and the value it can add. Get in touch today.

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