When creating the ultimate customer experience, it all comes down to how effective and well thought-out your customer journey map was designed. If your business doesn’t have a customer map, then you are not going to be able to gauge whether or not your efforts are helping to move the business in the right direction.

The following 8 steps will help you create an effective customer journey map. It will help you enhance the overall customer experience with your business.

Step 1. Gather Team Players

Building the customer journey map is not something the boss creates or that is designated to a certain department. This task requires input from all the moving parts of the organization.

Regardless how big or small the business, anyone who has job responsibilities needs to be part of this conversation. That’s because, in the end, each person working within the company affects the customer experience.

Before any research is conducted, one representative from each department is required so that all perspectives of the company can be seen by all. It might come to light that one department was not even aware how another department affected sales or the buyer experience.

Getting all the heads together gives all a unique look at the moving parts of the company. Each member can come up with insights concerning the customer journey.

Step 2. Conduct Research

The best way to develop a sound customer journey map is put yourself in the shoes of your target customers. Rather than looking for ways to improve something, take a look at how the current system affects the customer. From this point on, find ways to improve those experiences.

The team needs to research how the customer thinks, what motivates them, what causes them to take action, what their needs are, what barriers stop them from taking action, and questions they have during their journey. The more the team can get inside the head of the customer, the easier it will be to develop the customer journey map.

Step 3. Listen to Your Customers

Another way to develop the customer journey map is to simply listen to what your customers are saying about your business already. Perhaps they have been talking all this time. However, no one from the company is paying close enough attention as this responsibility doesn’t appear in their job description.

Now is the time to talk with employees who are front-facing with customers, read those surveys that customers have been filling out, go back and check all the complaint logs, scour any customer support e-mails, find clips of recorded call-center conversations with frustrated buyers, monitor social media activity, and study website analytics for any patterns.

Keep collecting these crucial data. At some point, you will begin to identify core pros and cons of your business.

Step 4. Build the Model

samsung galaxy 8 smartphone on table with infographics on customer data

Infographics are an amazing way to take all that research you compiled and present it to the team visually. Standing in front of the entire company and explaining things to them line-by-line can get boring. Employees will lose their focus if they have no material in front of them to follow.

Creating visuals that contain charts and graphs instantly allow the team to see where they can improve and where they excel. Content is king when it comes to the customer journey map. This needs to be considered a work-in-progress and something that will be adjusted at all time as new data comes in.

Some things to consider at this point are customer touch-points, some moments of truth, opportunities to improve, and the actions that customers take in brick-and-mortar stores or online.

Step 5. Make Adjustments along the Way

Nothing is set in stone with the customer journey map as the needs of the buyer change. Seeing what is not working and making small adjustments until you reach the desired goal, that’s the only way to grow and enhance the buyer experience.

In order to make certain that all the key members of the company are on board, the customer journey map needs to be visually pleasing. Work with a designer that can develop an appealing map and will have the ability to make changes as things unfold.

The sooner employees understand the direction the company is going, the easier it will be to get those ideas implemented.

Step 6. Identify Any Gaps

Now the real work is going to start! Once you have visualized what it is like to be the customer, your team will certainly discover a few gaps along the way that interrupt the success of the map. There could be areas with poor transitions or informational overlap disrupting the flow.

Fill in those gaps by having team players consider solutions to potential problems. Those gaps might be quickly filled when one or more department heads expand upon their areas of expertise. In the end, they will be able to boost customer service in your company.

Step 7. Share Updated Data

Each time adjustments are made to the customer journey map or gaps are filled in, design a new visual and present it to all the departments. Regardless whether the change affects one department or several, keeping all parties in the loop will ensure an easier transition. This mapping isn’t just a one-time initiative. If done successfully, it will become part of the culture of the company.

The ever-changing customer journey map will enable everyone to fit those unique pieces together. At the same time, it will create a seamless customer experience.

Step 8. Implement Findings

business implementation concept with a person attaching the last piece to a white puzzle

The final step in the customer journey map is implementing all those findings. The customer journey map has been effectively communicated to all department heads. Keep track of progress by monitoring customer response along the way. Survey customers regularly to see the effects of those changes. Make certain everyone in the company knows to update their maps if there are any new elements.

Final Word

Without the understanding of the needs of the buyers, the customer journey map will never lead your company to success. Get inside the head of the customer and create a stunning visual. This graphic ensures all team players are effectively on board with the direction the company is taking.

If your business has had success with a customer journey map, please share some of your findings with our readers.

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