| Customer journey mapping – travel through touchpoints
marketing automation, customer journey, personas, customer personas, buyer personas, leads, prospects, lead generation, lead scoring, A/B Testing, behavioral marketing, agile marketing, silverpop, IBM MC, IBM Marketing Cloud, Marketo, Actito, IBM CxA, IBM Digital Analytics, smartfocus
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Customer journey mapping – travel through touchpoints

Customer journey mapping – travel through touchpoints

You’ve probably heard about customer journeys.
The term “customer journey” is mainly used to describe the process that prospects and clients go through, from the first contact to the actual use of the product/service.
This may seem like it is an easy and linear process, but it isn’t. It’s different for every client.


What is customer journey mapping

A customer journey map tells the story of the customer’s experience: from initial contact, through the process of engagement and into a long-term relationship.
We use the word ‘mapping’ because we visualise the different touchpoints over the different channels. The point of making such a map is to tune these different channels to each other. This way the customer experiences his journey as one integrated, onmichannel process.


Why mapping?

A customer journey map puts the user front and center in the organization’s thinking. It shows how mobile, social media and the web have changed customer behavior. It demonstrates the need for the entire organization to adapt.
It encourages people across the organization to consider the user’s feelings, questions and needs. This is especially important with digital products and services.


Advantages of a customer journey map

A customer journey map doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s possible to start pragmatically and relatively cheap. Every hypothesis that is made can be the subject of more in-depth marketing research.

Herewith a few advantages of customer journey mapping:

  • All different moments of interaction are identified: this way you can indicate which are the most important ones, or maybe you discover some touchpoints that you didn’t even know about?
  • You will get a view on the clients’ needs: what is important for the clients? It’s not always what they indicate as being important, but mostly what they do, or don’t do;
  • You will have a view, from the perspective of the client, on what can be optimized. What can be done in a better manner?
  • You can adapt the communication to the clients’ context: use the right channels on the right moment;
  • You can work on an ideal client experience, as you know where to pay attention to;
  • It will be clear on which processes you can optimise.

As you can see, there are a lot of advantages when mapping all your different channels and touch points clients have with your brand. We definitely recommend to make this, even if it’s just an exercise.


How to map?

We’ll go deeper in on the actual creation of a customer journey map. There are numerous ways to create a customer journey map, but they generally all come down to the same: you want to have an idea for which type of client the map is, which are the stages the customer will go through, what the actual journey looks like, the different touchpoints and which emotions can be linked to these touchpoints.

  1. For whom is this customer journey map?
    A lot of the map will depend on the needs of the initiator of the map. A customer service department or a marketing department will have other goals.
  1. How will the map be used?
    Will it be used by one department? Is it a continuous project or just a static view on the touchpoints?
  1. Define the scope
    The context and the objective of the map will define the actual scope.
  1. As there are many different mapping formats, herewith an overview on the different parts:
    1. Touchpoints: the actual points where a client has contact with your company (website, a letter, face to face, an email,…)
    2. Points of pain: the interactions which are negative for the client;
    3. Points of delight: the interactions which are positive;
    4. Key moments of truth: the interactions that are crucial. This can be a positive or negative interaction.
    5. Emotions: which are the emotions a prospects has when running through your customer journey?
      As long these parts are included, the actual format doesn’t really matter.

    As long these parts are included, the actual format doesn’t really matter.

  1. Persona’s
    Persona’s are an important part of the customer journey. It’s a technique which you use to make, based on demographic or behavioural data, uniform groups of customers. By doing this, you can define the different touchpoints per persona.
  1. Research
    You need some input from the client itself. Check which touchpoints the client sees, which ones are important to him/her, which emotions he/she experiences,… All this to check if your findings correspond with what clients think.
  1. Analyse
    Combine the results in 1 overview. This way you will have a complete view on the customer experience
  1. Define the lessons learned, the to do’s, and KPI’s
    Based on the customer journey map you can identify improvements and priorities. Important is that you define an action plan with corresponding KPI’s.


To conclude

A customer journey map is a very brief and quick medium. A customer journey which scope is too wide, or which takes too long to set up, can already be outdated when it’s finished. And that’s absolutely not the purpose of such a map.
But actually, the results weren’t correct from the start: clients don’t say what they do and don’t do what they say: a lot of decisions are made subconsciously.
Don’t let the customer journey map be a painting on the wall: nice to look at, but without any actual use.
The ‘journey map on the wall’ is just a dodgy snapshot, which only makes sense if a clear objective is defined and if the correct actions are taking in the form of automation. You can only be relevant by discovering the actual customer journey and to personalise on an individual level. And to personalise you’ll have to learn. And if you want to learn, automation is key.




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