What is a Customer Journey Map?

A customer journey map (CJM) is a visual representation of the experience your customer has when interacting with your brand. It begins the moment they realize a problem needs solving, continues to the time at which they decide your company has the best solution, and finishes with the post-purchase experience. In a B2B environment, a CJM provides insight into not only how other businesses perceive your services, but also what their needs and expectations are.

Why are Customer Journey Maps important?

Customer journey maps can be incredibly helpful in understanding the strengths and weaknesses in your sales process, which ultimately provide your business the information needed to enhance any sales or marketing strategies. CJMs provide insightful information for targeting future customers or re-positioning current products/services for new markets. Ultimately, an effective CJM strategy creates a foundational understanding of the requirements that facilitate your target audience’s decision-making.

Now that the importance of CJMs has been established, let’s walk through the steps of creating a B2B customer journey map.

  1. Set clear objectives for your map

    Before anything else, it is pivotal that you create objectives for your customer journey map. In doing so, you can guide the rest of the process by narrowing down its true purpose. Which businesses are you interested in understanding? What kind of insights do you wish to gain?

  2. Create your persona

    A persona is a semi-fictional character (or group of characters) that is representative of your target market. In the case of B2B mapping, these personas are based on your desired customers’ demographics, psychographics, motivations, and challenges. There are many ways to access the information necessary to build out B2B personas, such as website analytics, questionnaires or surveys, engagement metrics, and even direct customer interviews.

    It’s important to note that in B2B journeys, there will be multiple types of personas for every product/service your business offers. Identify attitudes, needs, and expectations to gain a deeper understanding of your customers in order to target them effectively. Defining the goals of each of your personas will not only help down the road when identifying specific touch points but also when mapping the ways in which your service offerings meet their goals.

  3. Map the journey

    Now that you understand what type of personas are interacting with your brand, you need to fully understand their journey. Different customers experience different journeys. Each journey has a unique combination of moments of truth, touch points, and insights that are specific to the particular persona and service/product they’re seeking.

  4. Moments of truth

    Moments of truth are the points in which your customers are making key discoveries in their decision-making process. The two most important moments of truth to focus on in your B2B CJM are the moment in which your customer first realizes they have a problem that needs to be addressed and the moment in which they select your business to solve it successfully.

  5. Touch points

    Moments of truth are influenced by touchpoints along the journey. Touch points account for all of the ways your customer interacts with your brand, both directly and indirectly. They are the main aspect of your customer journey. Touchpoints can be as obvious as consumers visiting your website or as latent as seeing an error message when attempting to contact service representatives.

    In B2B customer journey maps, touchpoints will be different and more difficult to identify because there are less channels in which you can effectively reach your audiences. This is attributed to the fact that businesses generally do not interact in the same way a consumer would. Thinking about the specific channels businesses utilize to discover services/products will aid in your mapping process. Data derived from your website, paid search, paid ads, and boosted social content are great resources to identifying relevant, strategic B2B touchpoints.

  6. Connecting the dots

    The most important part of identifying your moments of truth and touchpoints is connecting them back to your identified/targeted personas. This step is where the visual representation of the customer journey will take shape. Start from the very first moment of truth, move through each touchpoint, and continue with the post-purchase experience.

    Your touchpoints evoke an emotion in your customers which motivates their decision-making process. According to Qualtrics, relying solely on touchpoints when constructing a CJM misses nearly 40% of the journey. Thus, it is important to identify customer motivations and emotions in order to render a comprehensive journey.

    Pain points, emotional responses, and motivators must be included when creating a holistic B2B CJM. Remember to connect each of these with the touchpoints of your customer journey.

  7. Test, evaluate, re-test

    Once you’ve completed your customer journey map, test the personas, touchpoints, and moments of truth that you have identified and analyze their success. Look for gaps in your journey and places where negative emotions may be evoked. Assessing both your personas and customer journeys is key to ensuring the continued success of your CJM strategy.

Building Better Moments

When mapping the customer journey, you are identifying the moments that matter the most to your audience. A CJM is not only a critical resource in your B2B sales or marketing strategies, but also offers your business the opportunity to stay relevant and informed. Tahzoo can help you map your B2B journey in order to build better moments for your customers.

  • Claire Gugerty

  • Claire Gugerty Marketing