User Journey Mapping: Prepare to Grow Your Business Organically
The excellent customer experience is what makes a product successful. How to make sure we understand the client’s emotions along the entire path of interaction with our brand? User journey mapping is here to give us a huge deal of help.
In a market where numerous players compete against each other, customer experience has become a key point of differentiation. A clear strategy for customer interaction is no longer optional – it is essential for those who want to succeed. To be more client-focused in their approach, companies need to visualize the customer experience, taking a deep dive into all the touchpoints, emotions, and behaviors. In other words – perform a user journey mapping (UJM).
Define a Perfect UJM
A user journey map is a visual display of customers’ processes to achieve their goals. It may be a product purchase, app download, website registration, etc. UJM helps to get a clear understanding of what motivates the company’s customers to reach these goals. According to Ascend2, a research group:
- 54% of marketers utilize UJM’s for planning a strategy;
- 87% of them report seeing some success;
- 28% consider the tool as highly beneficial.
The following three concepts are essential for creating a comprehensive UJM:
- Users (customers). Being a client-centered methodology, UJM requires careful customer research. The company must understand the structure of its user base, identifying particular groups with distinct characteristics: incentives, motivations, and expected outcomes.
- Goals. While conducting the research, the company recognizes customer objectives. To be clearly understood, they have to be set as SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. From this point, the company can connect clients with their final goals.
- Scenarios. Depending on particular customer groups and their objectives, the company must identify specific actions users should undertake to achieve them. The UJM is typically based on a scenario that covers the most prominent client segment while aligning with the company’s business strategy.
Delighted showed how to journey map a retail process
The user journey can rarely be displayed linearly from point A to point B because customers, in most cases, take a cyclical, multi-channel path. Whichever way they take, it is important to remember they are solving a problem. Therefore, business leaders employ various tools to showcase the journey, from mere paper notes on a board to Excel spreadsheets and infographics. It is crucial to present the UJM in a way that makes it easily understandable for all users. Here is a journey map template.
Understand Your Customer
Companies may create a buyer persona to understand your client clearly – a set of customer characteristics with all of their demographics and psychographics representing an average customer. Having a clear persona helps direct every aspect of the UJM towards them. Once a sufficient amount of information about customer personas is gathered, the focus should be narrowed to one or two. Keep in mind that a UJM tracks one customer’s experience who is taking a specific path with the company. If too many personas are grouped into one journey, the map will not accurately reflect customers’ experiences.
The next step is listing touchpoints – all the places where clients can interact with the company. They may include websites, display ads, Google reviews, etc. It is an essential step in creating a UJM because it provides insight into the customers’ actions. Whenever actions are taken, they drive some emotions. A pain point or a problem typically causes the emotional factor. Having them identified helps to understand what content to provide to smooth the user’s emotional journey.
100+ user journey maps
View 100+ user journey maps. The UJM is going to touch on practically every part of the business. It will highlight all of the resources needed to create the customer experience. Therefore, it is vital to consider the available resources and how much is required to improve the customer’s journey. Using the UJM, a company can advise management to invest in customer service tools that will help to manage customer demand. By including new tools in the map, the company can accurately predict future impacts to prepare reliable business plans. It dramatically simplifies the process of negotiating with decision-makers to attract investments and expand the project.
Visualize the Journey
After a company conducts proper research, it should know who the users are, their goals, and what they want to achieve by interacting with a product. Additionally, it should know a few scenarios. When the most valuable scenario is chosen, the company has to figure out how to convert it into individual steps to map out the process.
Mobile app user journey map.
A simple example of UJM for downloading a mobile app includes the following steps:
- Need realization. A person gets an idea that a particular app may be helpful.
- Investigation. He explores the app list looking for a required set of features.
- Download. After the research is completed, he makes a decision and downloads the application.
- Usage. The person utilizes the app to fulfill his needs.
- Customer service. He contacts the company to ask for assistance with any difficulties.
- Reaction. He tells friends about the experience, whether in person or on social media.
A more complex case of the UJM would include different layers explaining various points of the customer’s path. It may represent questions that worry clients at each stage and attributes that can satisfy them at a maximum level. For instance, at the step of a need realization, customers ask themselves:
“What do I need to download? Is it a good fit for my need?”
and they require reliable information about it. When choosing purchasable goods, they will likely be interested in prices and delivery terms. They learn about the brand; sometimes, they want free samples, quick customer service, and an easy way to return the product.
UJM created for Starbucks shows customer experience on the entire length of interaction. From sitting in their cars or offices to finishing drinks, clients get various emotions that may turn their impression to positive or negative spectrum. Keeping them satisfied allows a high rate of retention as well as favorable publicity. Therefore, Starbucks employees need to make sure customers are happy at every single stage of the journey.
Starbucks user journey map.
Businesses can delight customers at every stage of their buying path when they fully understand the user’s journey. There are many affecting factors, including pain points, emotions, and the company’s touchpoints and processes. A user journey map is the most effective way to display this information, whether to optimize the journey for the customer or to explore a new business opportunity to discover any unrecognized needs. The UJM’s are not hard to build, but the benefits may surpass the highest expectations.