CJM – An important, but lesser-known marketing acronym

Customer ExperienceDigital Marketing

Conor McCarthy

May 18, 2023
In this blog, we explore how creating a customer journey map can help you get closer to your customers and deliver personalized experiences through a better understanding of their journey to becoming your loyal customer.

ROAS, ROI, CPC, and CTA – our world’s as digital marketers are filled with these terms. The chances are, if you work in data or marketing, you’ve used these more times than you care to remember, and if you have been on LinkedIn over the past few months, you may just have heard know the new one in town – AI. The topic of today’s post however is CJM – and by that we mean customer journey mapping. Let’s look at what is it, how it can help, and note some practical tips to get started.

Simple journeys – not anymore!

At a basic level, customer journeys may seem simple – a company offers a product or service and the customer buys – what do we need to understand, and why do we need a map for this? Well for a start, the amount of digital touchpoints a user has in their journey has almost quadrupled over the past decade and that doesn’t include any other interactions they have with the brand offline. Not only this, but customer expectations are increasing all the time and managing these experiences across these more complex journeys is increasingly difficult. If 80% of customers now consider their experience with a company to be as important as their product – shouldn’t we do all we can to understand to improve this customer experience? This is where customer journey mapping comes in.

Journey Visualization

In short, a customer journey map is the visual representation of the customer journey and helps understand the customers experiences with your company/brand across all touchpoints. Creating this visual representation allows the business to walk in their customers shoes and see it from their perspective – a useful lesson on the bigger picture.

Customers are interacting with your brand across social media, email, search engines, chat – the list goes on. Having a way to be able to understand where customers are engaging with your brand, their pain points and how to remove friction and improve the customer experience is the desired outcome. So if you don’t want to understand the customer better, improve their experience, align your internal teams and identify opportunities to add value you can skip the next part. If you do, lets take a look at what it looks like in practice to design a CJM 😉

The CJM Process

Each business will have their own approach, challenges and specific requirements when creating a map, just as each customer journey does but you can use the below 10 steps as a guide.

Define the purpose: Determine the goal of creating the customer journey map. What specific aspect of the customer experience do you want to explore or improve? This is a critical first step and will guide your entire process.

Identify customer personas: Develop detailed profiles of your target customers, including their demographics, preferences, motivations, and pain points. It's important to understand your customers' perspectives in order to create the most accurate journey map.

Map out touchpoints: Identify and list all the touchpoints a customer encounters while interacting with your product or service. These touchpoints include website visits, phone calls, emails, physical locations, social media interactions, and any other relevant points of contact.

Gather customer data: Collect both quantitative and qualitative data about customer interactions at each touchpoint. This data can be obtained from customer surveys, interviews, support logs, website analytics, or any other relevant sources. It helps you understand the customer's emotions, behaviours, and expectations at different stages.

Create an empathy map: Build empathy by creating an empathy map for each customer persona. This visual representation helps you understand their thoughts, feelings, actions, and goals at various touchpoints. It enables you to step into their shoes and identify pain points and opportunities for improvement.

Plot the customer journey: Using the touchpoints and data gathered, create a timeline or visual representation of the customer journey. Start with the customer's initial interaction and progress through each touchpoint until their desired outcome is achieved or the journey concludes. Include both positive and negative experiences.

Identify pain points and opportunities: Analyze the customer journey to identify pain points, where customers face difficulties or frustration, and opportunities, where you can enhance their experience. Look for areas where you can reduce friction, improve satisfaction, or provide additional value.

Add emotions and thoughts: Incorporate the emotions, thoughts, and expectations of customers at each touchpoint. Consider their mindset, doubts, and concerns to get a holistic understanding of their experience. This step helps you identify emotional highs and lows, enabling you to address them effectively.

Visualize the customer journey map: Create a visual representation of the customer journey map. This can be done using software tools like Miro but equally, free templates and tools are available online – be resourceful!  Include key touchpoints, pain points, emotions, and opportunities. Use colors, icons, or symbols to highlight different aspects.

Iterate and validate: Share the customer journey map with stakeholders, including your team, to gather feedback and validate its accuracy. Make revisions based on the insights gained and further refine the map to ensure it accurately represents the customer experience.

Wrapping up

In marketing, sometimes it takes a little time to zoom out and look at the bigger picture – but the benefits can be significant.

Sure it can take a little time to coordinate the necessary teams and do the research but think of it as an investment. When you consider that more than 2/3rds of companies are primarily competing on CX it may just be worth your while. Plus you just learned a great new acronym to add to your repertoire…

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