Customer mapping is the process by which you create a map of your customers’ journey while accessing your products or services, a visual tool that helps you understand the steps which customers take from start to finish. It lets you gain insights into what your customers go through, the common challenges involved with each step and how you might resolve them.
To create a customer map, you can follow these rough guidelines:
- Identify what areas you are intending to map.
- Think about what reasons customers might have for purchasing your products.
- Create buyer personas to better help you understand starting points, taking into account factors such as age, demographics, lifestyle, tech-savviness, etc.
- In those personas identify where one might make contact with your business, through websites, stores, etc.
- Consider factors that drive a customer’s purchasing decisions – price, quality, and budget are good ones.
- Think about how one might proceed given the above information.
Of course, no map will be entirely accurate for all customers involved. However, a good map has paths that follow a majority of your customer base, so overall they are quite important.
Customer mapping lets you see a logical order to your buyers’ journeys, as all purchases have a story to them that will fall into a path on the map. It lets you see motivations for purchases, things that might put customers off choosing your product, and touchpoints, where you might make contact. Touchpoints are very important to identify and enhance, since they are where your customers make first contact with your business and lead to all other subsequent steps.
Different paths for different customers
Customer journey maps aren’t linear; many customers start from different points, take different decisions and can even skip steps along the way. For instance a more tech-savvy customer might skip a step of researching your products’ compatibility if they are already familiar, and might start their journey online or on an app, rather than in-store where a more traditional customer might begin.
Customer maps should be adapted for each potential starting point, branching point and end point, in order to get a better overall picture. Remember, each path will lead to a purchase so ideally your map should have a single endpoint.