Customer Journey Maps
You can probably imagine a long list of possible channels for interaction with customers. In general, I have found that entrepreneurs benefit from building a customer journey map to ensure that the right channels have been identified without overcomplicating the process.
A customer journey map simply tells the story of how the customer learns about, purchases, and uses your product or services. I encourage entrepreneurs to build a customer journey map in a two step-process:
- Write a short paragraph describing how a customer learns about, purchases, and uses the product or service in the first person-- from the customer’s perspective. It is usually extremely helpful to include sentences that start with these phrases:
Take a large, blank sheet of paper (or use an online drawing app) and draw a journey. It might be linear, curved, circular, or a jumbled mess. Include every item from Step 1. Try to add simple images that clarify or exemplify the key moments, events, information, or interactions in the process. The nature of the “map” is much less important than figuring out what is actually happening during the process.
- “The problem I used to have was….”
- “I first learned about [product/service] when…”
- “Before I decided to buy it, I did the following…”
- “Here is how I actually bought [product/service]...”
- “I use [product/service] in the following ways…”
- “Since the purchase, I have interacted with the seller…”
Everywhere on the map that your customer interacts with you is a channel connection. It might be the phone, the web, a mobile app, a retail facility, a social network, a magazine advertisement, and so on. Understanding the customer journey gives you insight into those channel-enabled events.