User Journey Map: What is it & why you need one 

Nowadays, all we hear in B2B and B2C is that companies stay relevant with great content using SEO. Still, many executives forget the essential part of the equation in the process: The user experience. The User Journey Map is a story about understanding your users, how they behave while visiting your website, and what you can do to improve their journey so they keep coming back.

This post will take a deep dive into everything you need to know about how your customers act every time they connect with your brand.

What is the User Journey Map?

In short, the user journey map is a diagram that takes you through the customer journey of a user while interacting with your website or app. It allows companies, especially your UX team,  to see the brand from a user’s standpoint and what is the experience and interaction with your product across their digital channels. 

Creating a Customer Journey template might seem like a challenging endeavor. How can you know what a customer will do once they set foot in your store or enter your website? When the Customer Journey is documented, different behavioral scenarios are plotted using existing data.

Believe it or not, this is an easy-to-use marketing tool that anyone can create, and it can be invaluable to your company’s future strategy.

With the constant changes in technology and the new ways people buy products or services online, it is essential to plan and anticipate how a customer will act every step of the way. Because the very last thing you want to do is set your goals using outdated expectations.

Customer Journey Map vs User Journey Map

The two terms: Customer Journey Map and User Journey Map, are quite similar. They are both a visualization of the customer journey, displaying the interaction of a customer with a brand.

The difference is that one will focus more on the customer experience with the product (customer journey map), while the other is on user experience with your app, website, or digital channel (user journey map). 

Be it a user or customer journey map; this tool is used to understand how you can provide a better experience to your customers and potential leads. This is all about placing at the center of all the second most crucial aspect of your company: your clients.

The importance of a User Journey Map

Creating and analyzing a User Journey Map to understand user behavior helps an organization learn how its customers travel through the entire sales process and how they feel during every touchpoint in their journey. 

This approach provides two significant benefits:

  1. Enables decision-makers to stay focused on customers.
  2. Eases the shopping experience for potential customers.

You can have the best marketing or sales team, but if your customers aren’t happy, you won’t get anywhere. Having a customer success team in your company may be critical to ensuring your customers are receiving the best attention, and on the right path to becoming loyal customers, and advocates of your brand.

The best way to explain the user journey mapping process is to look at it as a visible chart that all team members should have on their walls.

How to do a User Journey Map?

The most important aspect of creating a compelling user journey map is looking at the process from the user’s perspective. 

In doing so you will need two types of research to achieve this goal:

Analytical Research

Using your website analytics will tell you exactly where users are, how much time they spend with you and when they leave. We’ll discuss what tools you can use to track user-generated content and put the data into an easy-to-interpret stream of information.

Anecdotal Research

Acquiring this data is difficult. How do you find out what the customer is thinking?

Social networks are useful for measuring how customers feel or think. When someone is happy or upset about their experience with a company, they may feel compelled to report it on Facebook or Twitter.

Asking customers to fill out surveys about their experiences can also help you gather anecdotal research. 

In addition, having the right customer journey tool could help you to measure user behavior, essential for accurate planning.

How to trace your User Journey in a Map

how to create a user journey map - steps

Step 1: Remember that the user is number 1, always

Putting yourself in your user’s shoes and doing all your planning around that motto will go a long way. The customer is the reason for your existence.

Too often, executives forget this important detail and focus on marketing, SEO, social media, and branding. Yes, these are all critical aspects of running a business, but you can’t forget about your users and how they interact with your brand.

Are they satisfied with the experience? Is your website easy to navigate and has all the information the user wants?

Step 2: Identify user touchpoints

Every time a user comes into contact with your brand, whether before (a social media advertisement), during (a visit to your website), or after (positive or negative comments, newsletters, customer experience), you have the opportunity to increase your sales.

These interactions are known as contact points. With this information, you can identify the obstacles that appear in the customer journey.

A smooth sales process where the customer is in and out in the blink of an eye is just as important as offering high-quality products or services. In short, having satisfied customers translates into brand loyalty.

Step 3: Create a chart

This graph should not be overly complicated but should include, as mentioned above, both analytical and anecdotal research data. It will highlight when customers stop engaging or when they get frustrated, so your team can adjust their strategy.

There are countless options in any transaction, so it is impossible to anticipate every possible scenario. But understanding where the obstacles are is crucial.

A chart is useful for understanding customer behavior, fixing problems, and identifying successes as well.

Using emojis (sad, angry, neutral, happy, or excited) is useful to quickly visualize the user’s state of mind at any given time.

Learn how to create your customer journey canvas and download our free template.

3 Examples of a User Journey Map

Ensuring stellar customer service means all your sellers are on the same page. In addition, your training must reflect the policy that the customer always comes first.

To better interpret the Customer Journey, we will see three practical examples of experiences that can occur countless times anywhere in the world. They have probably happened to you at some point.

Example 1: Fantastic user experience (UX)

A young woman is surfing the web for a dress, and your website catches her eye. She has never heard of your brand, but his attention is immediately captured by how good everything looks.

The dropdown menu on the women’s clothing page is easy to click and search.

There’s a choice of price ranges (you don’t want to spend a fortune), and you also have the option to click the clearance box. Each product is fully described and includes measurements for different countries, materials used, and care instructions.

When the user chooses the perfect dress, she quickly checks it out and decides to sign up for a new customer account because she just loved the experience.

She bookmarks the website for future reference. This is the time when your email address or zip code is collected for marketing purposes. You should also ask them to fill out an online survey once they have received their first order.

The customer is so happy with his first purchase that she shares photos with his friends on social media. In her Instagram post, she mentions your store and how user-friendly your website was.

In this example, there are multiple places where your efforts paid off. From the moment the customer became aware of the layout (the store) to the ease of checkout, every step mattered and the UX was flawless and frictionless.

Example 2: Slow load times

A mother is shopping online with her young son. She’s stressed, and the boy is misbehaving. She’s looking for a specific toy for a birthday party and isn’t sure if she’s got it, but she heard about your site from a friend (that’s great!).

The customer clicks on the toys, and the page takes forever to load (not great).

Try the solution of typing a keyword in the search bar. There are no results for your search. Frustrated, the customer heads to Amazon, where she can place an order in two clicks, and get her toy in time for the party.

You can almost bet that this person will never come back to your website. You can even leave a negative comment on social networks.

Have you ever clicked on a website you’ve heard about only to have slow load times?

You don’t want to hear that your customers are having this experience. Improving your site load times can help you lower your bounce rates.

People expect everything to happen immediately, and website speed optimization is critical. If a customer has to sit there and watch the timer go round and round, they will go somewhere else.

If you’re not aware of things like your bounce rate and time spent on your page, you’ve got a problem. In this case, a user journey map can be eye-opening for your team.

Example 3: The failed payment

Your customer connects to the Internet and is excited to buy a product from your website.

Your brand is easily recognizable, and they have seen your Ads on Youtube while watching a music video, so they decide to try it even if we’re talking of an older person who rarely buys anything online.

The experience is smooth… until they get to the box.

The customer keeps typing in the wrong card number and has missed one or two numbers at least three times. The customer is not a computer person but thought it would be easier to buy online than going to the store.

Every time you type in a wrong credit card number, the screen clears all other fields, and you have to start from scratch.

Even if your website runs smoothly during the checkout process, having an inefficient checkout can K.O a purchase. Your order forms should be programmed so that if the user makes a mistake, they only have to fill in that field and the page retains the rest of the data.

Repeatedly entering information can increase your abandonment rates. The worst part is that, at that point, the customer is ready to buy – and your website won’t let them.

These customer journey map examples show you how you can fix simple things to improve your website and increase your revenue.

Optimize the Customer Journey by understanding how they navigate

By definition, the User Journey Map is a visualization of your UX at each touchpoint. Your goal is to increase lead generation for your business by making the experience of purchase a frictionless and delightful one. Optimizing the way users navigate your website and making this process more efficient will keep them coming back and spending money with you.

The following is a checklist to understand the obstacles where people can feel frustrated or discouraged.

Answering the following questions will allow you to understand what happens every time someone enters your website:

  • Is your home page attractive? Are users interested in staying and exploring multiple pages? Pages with good-quality images and simple layouts tend to do very well.
  • Does the user know how to navigate your website? Do they give up at some point in their search, or can they easily click through the menu and find what they’re looking for?
  • Do you have a strong CTA (Call to Action) at the end of your articles? Make sure your CTAs move visitors to the next step in the sales funnel.
  • Are your visitors scrolling down to see more content? Are your articles informative and easy to understand? Do they include links to more relevant content on your site?
  • What about your bounce rate? How fast do website visitors leave? If they come out after a few clicks, you have a problem. The longer a person stays on your site, the higher the chances of conversion.
  • Is the time on the page long or short? If your visitors leave too quickly it may mean that you have things to fix. When people leave right away, it’s because they don’t like what they see or can’t find what they’re looking for.

To optimize the user journey map and fully understand how it navigates, consider using a click tracking tool on more than one page. This will help you identify the ones with the most traffic.

And, you’ll also be able to see which pages are responsible for the most conversions.

How to get the most out of your User Journey Map?

Many things can distract you from your goals.

We hear a lot about using content marketing and SEO to achieve good search engine rankings and drive traffic to your business.

But as technology and the way consumers shop change, you should never lose sight of the fact that customer experience makes or breaks your company’s success.

Understanding what kind of experience users have when they visit your website is crucial to your long-term growth and an essential component in charting the customer journey.

Once you can visualize how your visitors interact with your brand and determine why they stay or leave, you can run a survey with a customer experience platform, such as QuestionPro CX

Get actionable insights. With QuestionPro CX, you can close the feedback loop using a ticketing system. You can create a ticket for each detractor and assign it to the right person, and get the issue resolved. Such a mechanism can reduce the churn rate and eventually convert your detractors into promoters. Why? Because you are not only recollecting their feedback but closing the loop by taking action and fixing their problem.