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How to Map Your Customer Journey

Business Development

Because modern consumers no longer travel the path to purchase in a straight line, there's really no easy way when it comes to getting into their minds and understanding how they interact with businesses before they arrive at a final purchase decision.  

What you do know, is that consumers are trying to solve a problem or fulfill a need during this process. With this in mind, the best that you can do is to map out your customer journey and try to have a clear grasp of how your customers move towards solving their problems with your products and services.  

This will give you insights into your customer's pain points, what your buyers want, and how they feel interacting with you. You can then use this information to identify gaps in your customer experience, and craft engaging marketing campaigns, high-converting landing pages to optimize the kind of experience you provide your customers.  

So, how do you map out the customer journey?

As your go-to SEO company in Florida, we are going to discuss what a customer journey map is, why it's important, and how to design one.  

Without any more delays, let's get started:

What Is a Customer Journey Map?

A customer journey map is a visual representation of what your customers go through or experience with your brand until they arrive at a point of purchase.  

It is based on a timeline of events, such as the moment they search the web to find potential ways to fulfill their needs, going to your website for a free product demo, using their credit card to make a purchase, etc.  

Its shows how your customers move and interact through each stage. It includes touchpoints and moments of truth, as well as how your prospects feel and the actions they take at each phase.  

Not all customer journey maps are the same, so you need to tailor yours according to your business or products and services. Another way you can refine your customer journey map is to walk in the shoes of your customers or to ask them directly.  

By researching your target audience to better understand their needs, how they make decisions, and how they arrive at a final purchase decision, you can create the most effective and efficient path for your customers. You can optimize each stage to eliminate friction and allow your audience to move smoothly across each stage of your customer journey.  

If done correctly, this will drastically improve your business's customer experience.  

Why Is a Customer Journey Map Important?

To create products or services that your customers will love, you should understand what they're experiencing and how they feel when they interact with your business.  

A customer journey map describes the key events, areas of friction, and motivations your customers or prospects experience with your brand. This information is crucial because it helps with the following:

  • Identify customer pain points: By mapping out what your customers typically experience with your business, you can pinpoint their needs, what actions they usually make, and what questions they have in mind. This will make it easier for you to identify what you should be addressing on your website and in the content you publish.  
  • Increase customer retention: If you want your company to be known to provide the ultimate customer experience, consider post-purchase experiences. By continuing to engage your customers even long after you've closed the deal, you can prevent them from switching to a competitor and continue buying from your business.  
  • Understand your customers better: Knowing how your buyer personas navigate through your sales funnel will help you figure out what your customers are doing at each stage.  You can then use these insights to personalize your marketing messages, develop the right activities, and pick the appropriate channels to guarantee that your marketing efforts reach your audience and convert them into paying customers.  
  • Refine your marketing strategy: Once you have a full understanding of your customers, you can refine your marketing strategy and create more effective campaigns that are tailored to address the needs of your customers and prospects at each phase of the customer journey.  

5 Elements of a Customer Journey Map

  1. The Purchase Process
  1. User actions
  1. Emotions
  1. Pain points
  1. Solutions

How to Map Your Customer Journey

Research Your Buyer Persona

illustration of the word "persona" with a bullseye in the middle

Understanding how your customer moves through the customer journey requires doing your research and learning more about them.

And, what better way to get to know the persona your customer journey map is based on than to ask them directly?

Here are the different ways you can gather meaningful customer data:

  • Talk to employees who interact regularly with your customers
  • Segment your email list and send out questionnaires to the people who belong to your buyer persona
  • Conduct interviews
  • Use social listening to monitor conversations that are happening around your company  
  • Use web analytics

As the leading SEO company in Florida, we suggest that you reach out to people who belong to your buyer persona and are interested in purchasing your products or services or those who have interacted with your company in the past.  

Some examples of questions you want to ask are:

  • How did you hear about us?
  • What brought you to our website?
  • What problems are you trying to solve with our products or services?
  • How long do typically stay browsing through our website?
  • Have you bought anything from us? If so, what convinced you to choose us over our competitors?
  • Was there a time when you decided to go to our website with the intent of making a purchase but decided not to? If so, what made you leave our website without checking out your cart?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how intuitive is our website to navigate?
  • How helpful was our customer support?
  • Do you have any suggestions on how we can improve our products and services?

Set Clear Goals

Before you begin creating your customer journey map, ask yourself what you want to achieve with it. What goals are you trying to achieve with this map? Who is it for?

Making a customer journey map is complicated. So, to simplify things, focus only on one buyer persona at a time. Based on this, you can now begin to identify the objectives of your map. This will also remind you to direct every element of your customer journey map towards their needs and wants.  

Just remember that your customers are trying to solve a problem or fulfill a need. You want to map or design each stage of your customer journey in a way that will make it easy for them to achieve their goals at every stage.  

Also, keep in mind that your persona's ultimate goal at each stage changes as the process unfolds.  

Here are some examples of common goals:

  • Awareness stage: Research different solutions to their problems.  
  • Consideration stage: Identity which products or services are fairly priced.  
  • Purchase stage: Determine which business offers a smooth checkout experience.  

Identify Your Touchpoints

Touchpoints are all the places or instances that a customer comes in contact with you, from the moment they become aware of your company to the time they're ready to purchase your product or service, and beyond.  

For example, a potential customer may find your business online through an ad, then they check out your website, read your reviews on a third-party site, shop at your retail store, contact your customer services, and many more.  

List down all the touchpoints your chosen persona is currently using, including the ones you believe they should be using.  

Check out this list of possible touchpoints for your reference:

list of possible customer touchpoints

Photo from SurveyMonkey

By identifying your touchpoints, you'll know what actions your customers or prospects are taking at every stage. If they're using fewer touchpoints than expected, it could mean that they're not satisfied with their experience and are leaving right away.  

On the other hand, if they're using way too many touchpoints, it could be because your website is difficult to navigate and requires multiple steps to get to an end goal.  

Make sure that your audience is satisfied every step of the way along your customer journey. Understand how they navigate through your site or how they go about your social channels, paid aids, or email marketing to get a clear grasp of their objectives and how you can help them to make achieving the goals easier.  

Aside from touchpoints, the following should also be on your list:

  • What your customers do throughout their interaction with your brand or the actions they take, such as doing a search on Google for your keywords or clicking on your ad. Knowing the actions your audience takes at every touchpoint allows you to determine how you should optimize each stage to shorten the actions your audience need to take to achieve a goal, and as a result, increase conversions.  
  • What your customers feel or the emotions that drive them to take action or convert. Recognizing the emotional driver of your audience enables you to provide the right content at the right time and ease your customers' emotional journey with your brand.  
  • The roadblocks or obstacles your customers are facing and stopping them from taking their desired action. One common obstacle is the mode of payment. For example, one of your customers would love to order your product but you don't accept the card they're using. Taking note of the common obstacles in your customer journey enables you to find a solution and mitigate them.  

Determine the Resources That Goes into Creating Your Customer Experience

Map the current state of your customer journey and jot down the resources you already have. For instance, your customer service team has social listening tools so they're able to respond to customer complaints, especially ones where they have not been tagged in.  

Then, take note of the flaws of your customer journey and the resources you'll need to fix them. Let’s say your marketing team is struggling to generate and keep track of customer data, so it's difficult for them to serve personalized and highly targeted marketing initiatives to your audience. You then discover that they need a CRM tool to make it more convenient to manage relationships with clients and provide them a seamless experience across all touchpoints.  

By indicating the resources you currently have and the tools you'll most likely need, you can accurately predict how they can help close the gaps in your customer journey and improve the experience you provide your customers.  

Walk in the Shoes of Your Customers

illustration of customer surrounded by different touchpoints

Now that you've mapped out your customer journey, it's time to travel it yourself.  

Is your website easy to navigate? Are your social media channels prompt in responding to inquiries? Are you posting enough engaging content online? Is your checkout process fast? What needs aren't being met?

These are just some of the questions you should be able to test and answer as you travel the customer journey yourself.  

As the top Florida SEO company, we suggest you walk in your customers' shoes. Doing so gives you the assurance that you're indeed providing them a valuable experience and making it clear that your company can fulfill your target audience's needs.  

Make the Necessary Changes

Finally, make the necessary changes to your website and its content, social channels, checkout process, and your customer journey as a whole to provide better experiences to your customers.  

With the help of your visualized customer journey map, you can “sure that your customers' pain points and needs at every stage are always addressed.  

You must review your customer journey map regularly to identify gaps and opportunities for optimizing your customer journey further.  

Take Your Business to the Next Level by Optimizing Your Customer Journey!

Customers want their experience with you to be connected and seamless, meaning they expect you to know and remember who they are and what they're looking for across all touchpoints, and be able to continue where they last left off, without having to go through the process of filling out forms again or signing in.  

To provide them the kind of experience they want, map out your customer journey and identify which areas have friction and are stopping your audience from achieving their end goal.  

By continuously optimizing your customer journey, you can improve your customer experience, increase your sales, and boost brand loyalty!

Digital Resource is your go-to SEO company in Florida. If you're struggling to plan your customer journey and create engaging marketing campaigns, high-converting landing pages, and other marketing efforts for each stage to optimize the kind of experience you provide your customers, we can help!  

Our team of digital marketing experts and SEO specialists can craft a custom marketing plan that will not only provide the kind of experience your target audience wants from you, but also help you achieve business goals. Contact us today to get started!

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