Is Customer Journey Mapping complicated?
Depending on the specific application, the Customer Journey Mapping (CJM) process can be very simple, extremely complex, or anywhere in between. If applied to a low-budget product launch, the path may be very short. On the other hand, some big budget campaigns will have multiple customer types (each with a different journey), dozens of touchpoints, and can take years to fully execute. The path for some journey maps looks more like a rat’s nest than a straight line connecting point A to point B.
If you are new to CJM, don’t worry about the intimidating charts, graphs, and diagrams you saw when you googled “Customer Journey Mapping” and clicked on “Images”. Sure, it can be applied in powerful and complicated ways, but, as I said in a previous article, even the first round of CJM can reveal exciting opportunities for instant results.
Take it one step at a time and learn as you go. I’m not sure if it is accurate to say “There’s no wrong way to do it” but I believe that is largely true. The specific application of CJM is different for every industry and department within a company. In fact, it often varies from one project to another within the same team.
You’ll need to customize your Customer Journey Map to your unique situation anyway so don’t try to retrofit someone else’s map to work in your environment. Forget the complicated diagrams you saw in your Google search and take it one step at a time in a way that best applies the benefits of CJM to your needs.
Let me review a few of the basic principles. If you google “Customer Journey Mapping” and look through the Image results, you’ll see a variety of formats. Some are tables, some are linear, some are circular, some have fancy icons, some have 4 stages in the journey and others have less or more. But one common factor is that most begin with “Awareness” (or a synonym of it) and end with Advocacy (or something similar to that concept).
A single sale is rarely the end goal in a CJM strategy. That is why the path doesn’t usually end with “Purchase”. We want repeat business and we want customers who, through word of mouth, recommend our product or service to others. That’s why “Advocacy” is often the last touchpoint or the point at which a cyclical journey starts back over again.
In the image below, I’ve outlined 10 steps of CJM that are common with many, but admittedly, not all, applications. As much as it pains me to do so, for time’s sake, I won’t go into detail about each of these points now but I will expand upon them in future articles.
If you are new to CJM, I hope these articles help remove some of the intimidation you may feel about this exciting process. If you are a CJM veteran, please leave a comment to add to what we’re discussing. Would you recommend adding any points to this list?