Why a customer journey map can only take you so far
Elizabeth Williams | April 08, 2019
Customer journey maps are on many marketers’ to-do lists and a lucky few manage to find the time and the budget to get them done. I think they are well worth the investment, particularly when you add in the dose of reality known as the customer experience map. They’re not the same thing and here is why. Your journey map focuses on the ideal path from initial awareness until your customer tells you to get lost. It looks at each touch point with your brand, including advertising, website, sales rep, service and so on. They are, by necessity, pretty idealized, though you need to ground them in actual user research, and you may find you have different journeys for different buyer personas. For example, one B2B mapping exercise I did showed that enterprise buyers waited far longer in the buying cycle to contact the client’s sales department. Small business owners, on the other hand, often went straight to a sales conversation after just one website visit. Understanding this dynamic, including how long decisions take, the reference networks customers check with as they make decisions, and the number of alternatives they consider is incredibly helpful in designing an efficient process to separate buyers and their money. Once on board as a customer, there are multiple other touchpoints around payment, shipping, installation, support, billing and so on. The more we understand how our customers prefer to do this stuff, the better we can design an awesome experience for them.