How to Map Your Customers Journey

mapping your customer journey on a blue background with a smiling woman

Ready for a little art project?

We’re going to build a customer journey map to help you improve your customer experience as they move through your funnel!

If you’re not super familiar with all the jargon I just laid on you, Courtney made an awesome video about the difference between user experience, customer experience, and the customer journey that you should take a gander at that on our youtube channel.

As for this article, it’s all customer journey all the time.

What is the Customer Journey?

So you’re totally familiar with the term “funnel” now. Feeling all hip to the lingo and then BAM “customer journey” gets dropped hella casual and you’re like, “ugh, what?”

Here’s the best tip I can give you – it’s the same thing and can be used interchangeably… mostly.

A “funnel” is the view of what people go through from a salesy, technical side of things and is usually geared purely towards smart guy language and profit. While not necessarily a bad thing, we prefer talking about the “customer journey.” It’s softer and bridges that gap between what a business wants and what a customer wants.

Knowing your customer journey means knowing what your customer goes through on your website and beyond. You’re able to put yourself into the shoes of the people you want to impress the most with your brand and make it easy for them to take your desired action. 

What is Customer Journey Mapping? Why Do You Need It?

Court talks about this in depth throughout her video, so we’re going to keep it simple here.

Customer Journey Mapping is where you literally draw out the steps that you want your customers to go through for each of your marketing initiatives.

Check out the sign I’m holding in the main image of this article and you can see what I mean – that’s OUR CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAP for our Top Three Email Automations Giveaway.

Notice that it’s on big paper, high level, and super simple. We didn’t include the details at all on this map, just the basic, “these are the steps we want our clients to take.”

When to Make Your Map 

This should be the first thing you do when you have a new high level initiative.

Especially the first time you create a new initiative because you need to make sure that you have all the steps in order and they all make sense.

If you do this right, it’s repeatable!

How to Create Your Customer Journey Map

I love to do this on big paper with a sharpie – I learned that from book Rework, by the way.

The sharpie marker keeps you from looking at too many details. There will be time for that later. Your focus right now is purely on the steps that your ideal customer will take on their journey to reach a desired goal.

Step one: identify your desired goal for the customer journey

This step is ignored all the time. People just launch into building something with no real, tangible goal in mind.

Your goal should be simple, and you should have ONE goal for every step of the journey. 

A good rule of thumb for customer journey maps: always provide a “next step” for the potential customer. In every step, make sure they get something when they complete the goal you have set. The Three Automations Funnel Example:

  • Your goal is to collect email. In this step, you get an email address and they get a free download.
    • their next step is a free webinar
  • Your goal is to learn more about the person you just signed up. You get more info about the via a survey and they get their webinar
    • their next step is booking a call
  • You goal is to get them to schedule a call with you. You BOTH get to get on a call with each other (they get help and you have a hot lead).

Looks like a funnel, right? That’s because this is where most funnel gurus end. But we’re on a journey.

Step two: identify the potential customer that is heading out on this journey

You need to communicate really, really well with one particular type of person. This is ESPECIALLY TRUE IF YOU’RE GOING TO BE RUNNING ADS otherwise you’ll waste real money.

It’s pretty easy to understand the concept of a funnel, but this added layer of understanding who your ideal customer or client is, will make or break any customer journey.

Expanding on the example above – having the client fill out a survey about their experience with email marketing before they can watch webinar about email marketing works because our ideal client understands that we use that information to help them. We wouldn’t suggest giving this type of survey in an ecommerce company or as a wellness practitioner.

Knowing who your ideal client is will help you SO much here because you know what they will take those small actions for.

Make a list of actions you want them to take and what you’re willing to offer them to take it.

Step three: draw it out

This is the MOST FUN PART.

Draw out the journey. This is going to be messy at first, don’t worry. It’ll get clearer. Redraw it once you understand the whole thing.

Start by drawing all the places where your ideal customer will embark on their journey. Will this just be in an ad? Are you optimizing for SEO? What about directly from social media? How about an affiliate? Make sure you understand this step so that you can plan the details for each one later on.

If a goal for one of the customer’s steps is email collection, build your automated email sequence into the funnel. Example from our customer journey map:

  • We wanted people to click from the three automations download to watch a free webinar. We ask them to take a survey to watch it, so the link we give them is to the survey page.
  • We built the link to the survey page into the download, but we also built it into the email sequence so people would receive an email a few days after signing up for the download reminding them to watch the webinar.
  • The survey page is linked to the webinar page.

Once your map is drawn out, go over it a couple of times yourself, and go over it with someone who doesn’t understand the ins and outs of your business.

YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMERS DON’T INHERENTLY UNDERSTAND YOU so make sure that all of your steps are super clear.

Here’s an image of our map so you can try to copy it (but it’s likely that this won’t EXACTLY work for you, so check in with step two).

Step four: get started

It’s detail time.

Once your map is clear and well laid out, jump into it.

When you’re deep in the details of ads and copy and imagery and steps and funnels and on your fifth cup of coffee, shit can get lost and confusing.

I like to go through each step of the map and write down everything we’re going to need to create. 

Like a to-do list.

I love lists….

Anyways – lay out your plan of attack. Make sure it makes sense.

And follow it blindly.

Check it every step of the way to make sure, but in general, your planning-stuff brain is different than your doing stuff brain. So you need to trust that your planning stuff brain did it right while you’re doing stuff here.

Boom – you did it. You made a customer journey map, and then you followed it!

Questions? Send us an email to info@dandelionbranding.com and ask away! (Or just say hi! We love emails!)

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