Key Things to Know About User Journey Mapping
One thing is for sure: in today’s market, it is vital to put your customers first. After all, they are the linchpin of every business, so most of what you’re aiming to achieve depends on their experience with your brand – hence the user-centric approach to conversion rate optimisation we’ve talked about.
In this blog, we want to shed some light on another aspect of digital strategy that is customer-focused, namely user/customer journey mapping.
What is a user journey map?
A user/customer journey map is a visual representation of the user flow on your application or website. In other words, it displays the entire path taken by your user, from the initial to the final customer interaction.
What this user flow looks like depends largely on the type of website/app you are running. Because there can be a multitude of variations, user journey mapping only zeroes in on the main navigational flow your user might take.
Why is user journey mapping necessary for your business?
Investing time and effort into creating a thorough user journey map is all about providing the best possible user experience; and, as we know, the importance of customer experience cannot be stressed enough. In fact, let’s take a look at some stats that show just how important it is:
Crafting a user journey map allows you to scrutinise each touchpoint between the user and site/app and take a look at the entire experience from your user’s perspective. It provides you with more insight into your potential customer’s motivation and ultimate goal, as well as which features facilitate the journey and which present a barrier.
So, a user journey map essentially sheds more light on the relationship between your user and brand, making it possible for you to discover improvement opportunities and blow your potential customers away.
Aside from putting your customers front and centre and allowing you to impress them, user journey mapping also brings a lot of benefits for you and your team. Namely, it’s a process that requires input from different departments for the end result to be as accurate as possible.
For instance, the marketers provide more insight about market trends and your target audience, the support team collects all the negative feedback from users, and the UX/UI designers work on actually creating the best possible experience for the customer based on all information and discussions. Whichever team you include, the idea is to collect all relevant data and take different points of view into account. This will contribute to the creation of an effective map while simultaneously helping your teams work together like a well-oiled machine.
What does user journey mapping involve?
Although every map is unique, there are a few steps that are indispensable in the creation of each one. Let us have a brief look at what they are.
1. Setting goals
Before getting to work, it’s important that you have a clear idea on why you are creating this journey map in the first place. You should be able to answer questions like:
- What are we trying to accomplish with this map?
- What is this map going to capture?
- What is the map going to be based on?
- Who will be the “actor” in this map?
This will create a firm foundation for the remainder of the mapping process.
2. Research & customer persona creation
As with any project, it’s crucial to conduct some thorough research before moving on to the execution part. In this case, the research you need to conduct is tightly connected to each potential customer’s motivations, needs, goals and concerns.
Therefore, you should collect feedback directly from people who have purchased from you before, or at least those that are planning to. You can do so by creating a survey with questions formulated specifically to give you concrete information on how target audiences are perceiving and experiencing your website/app.
For example, you could ask what drew them to your website/app, how they would rate their experience on it, and what they think could be improved, among other things. Once you acquire all the relevant information, narrow it down so that you can create the one customer persona that will be the focal point of your journey map (the “actor”).
Additionally, part of thorough research is checking all the touchpoints users are using to interact with your website and jotting them down. Afterwards, you should analyse them carefully, which brings us to the next point.
3. Interpreting touchpoints
Listing all the touchpoints will give you an overview of all the actions users are performing across the journey, from arrival to exit. This is extremely useful to the mapping process, as it allows you to interpret every single step potential customers are taking and uncover improvement opportunities for each.
You should ensure that the touchpoint analysis provides you with a clear idea about all the actions performed during the user’s journey, as well as your customer’s:
Circumstance – the factor that created the need for a business like yours;
Motivation & end goal – the reason they are visiting your site/app specifically;
Pain point – the issue they are looking to solve;
Obstacles – elements inhibiting the end goal or stopping the customer from reaching it altogether.
To give you a better idea of what these actually are, we can take a look at an example. For instance, you’re running a flower shop and you’ve got a website that allows people to create bouquets online that you’ll assemble and deliver. Here is what the above components may look like for your user persona.
Circumstance: "My friend just told me about the date of her graduation and I want to get her a beautiful bouquet for that day, tailored to her personality."
Motivation & end goal: "I want to find a nearby business with reasonably priced customisable bouquets I can order in advance."
Pain point: "I don’t know much about flowers and usually end up paying too much for something sub-par."
Obstacles: "The pricing on this website is not accurate; it tells me a price range for each kind of bouquet, but once the design is final, the price is higher than expected."
The obstacle ultimately jeopardises the entire sales process, as the user is highly likely to abandon the cart and not return to this flower shop website. Therefore, the pricing issue would be one of the key things to take into account when creating a customer journey.
4. Sketching the journey & determining resources
Once all necessary information has been collected and analysed thoroughly, it is time to begin drafting the map. The map is a supposed be a redefined version of the customer’s journey – a detailed representation of the touchpoints, actions and feelings of your customer as you envision them after enhancements have been made.
Besides, you should determine how useful your current resources are and what new ones you might need to invest in for the purpose of implementing all tweaks and boosting the UX.
This step may also involve putting yourself in the user’s shoes and taking the journey yourself as well. Seeing the entire experience first-hand can be the final confirmation you need that the new map will have been worthwhile. In addition, like conversion rate optimisation, your user journey mapping process may benefit from A/B or MVT testing for the purpose of creating the best possible user flow.
As we have seen, user journey mapping is a broad topic and there is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” approach to it. So, make sure to keep in mind the key facts and fundamental steps we’ve outlined, while also remembering to do whatever it takes to craft a bespoke map that uniquely captures your brand’s character and customers.
If you would like more information about user journey maps or need help with the mapping process, feel free to reach out to us. Digital agency GRM Digital can help you create wonderful user journeys that bring you happy customers and positively influence your reputation and revenue.