Jerry Angrave (author of ‘The Journey Mapping Playbook’ and founder & CEO of Empathyce, UK) joined the founder of The Lighthouse Social, Luan Wise during May’s Social Media Summit. Jerry spoke about his experience with Customer Journey Mapping (CJM) and provided viewers of the summit an insight into the process.

If you missed the session, here is everything you missed.

What is Customer Journey Mapping?

Customer journey mapping (CJM) is a visual tool that allows us to understand our customer’s better. Essentially, it is a visual storyline of the engagement that a customer has had with a particular service, brand, or product. 

CJM is a way of visualising what it is like to be one of our customers and can be used for both B2B and B2C customers. It forces us to step back from our day-to-day business and look at it from our customer’s experience. From that, we can identify what we could do better and what we are doing great. This feedback allows brands to improve on certain areas, and increase the publicity of the areas that are thriving. 

How to get started with customer journey mapping?

The first piece of advice is to buy Jerry’s book, ‘The Journey Mapping Playbook’. Here you will find a practical guide to preparing and facilitating customer journey mapping. However, for a brief overview, here is what Jerry recommends you do. 

  1. Identify your brand’s key issue(s)- This could be something that you notice your customers complaining about regularly. The trick is to really hone in and focus on something you want to put your efforts into. 
  2. Identify the persona that you are targeting- This is about how your brand/product/service fits into their lives. So, it is less about identifying basic demographics, and more about their lifestyle in relation to your brand.
    1. What do they do? If they are B2B, what job role are they in? 
    2. What do they need and why do they need it?
    3. What is their ideal outcome after interacting with you? 
    4. What are their fears, hopes and expectations? 
  3. Look at the journey of that customer- You may want to focus on one aspect, such as onboarding, invoicing, or marketing- depending on what you offer. 
  4. Set up a workshop with people from different parts of your business- If you are a large business, try to get as many people from as many different departments as you can. If you are a small business or the sole person working at that company, that is perfectly fine. Just grab a whiteboard and a few pens, and work with what you have. 
  5. Ready, set, go! Once you have everyone necessary in one room, and a key issue to focus on, you are ready to begin understanding your brand from your customer’s eyes. 

I have my workshop set up. What do I do now? 

Setting up workshops may be slightly daunting, especially if it is not something that you have done before. But, here are a few tips to ensure that it is as successful and productive as possible. 

  1. When inviting co-workers, let them know how it will benefit them and their department. For example, if you are inviting someone from the finance team, discuss how the improved understanding of your customers will benefit the financial well-being of the company. Make it relevant to their world.
  2. At the start and the end, if you can get someone from the senior team to say a few words emphasising how beneficial the workshop is, it may highlight the importance of the task at hand. 
  3. Keep the energy levels high. You are likely to lose engagement and motivation if your energy levels start to drop. 

If you can achieve the above points, then you will be off to a great start. If you are struggling with the workshop itself and the actual content, here are some more tips from Jerry. 

Further Workshop Tips

  1. Start by sharing stories around the room, both good and bad experiences with a service and/or product that each person has had recently. Then, build upon each story and discuss whether that could happen at your company. 
  2. Discuss the persona and the key issue(s) so that everyone is on the same page. 
  3. Break down the customer journey of the stage that you are focusing on ideally to around 4-5 steps. The key questions to consider at each step of the customer journey are:
  1. For the above questions, get everyone in the room to write down what they think the answer is to each question, at each step. Then, open up the room for discussion. 
  2. If you have time, at the end of the workshop, look at each step and try to understand what are the issues that your organisation has. Surface the specific issues that relate to that part of the customer journey. 
  3. Do you have data for each part of the customer journey? E.g. clicks, customer service requests, website drop-off. This may help your discussion. 
  4. When you draw the workshop to a close, ask people to vote for the answers that they think are the priority. From there, you can see the key issues that people from different departments think are the most important. 

This first workshop should hopefully be one of many. The participants will want to see what happens next so make sure you keep them updated with the next steps. Then, re-group and focus on different areas, different journeys and even different personas if you have a multi-level business, e.g. B2B and B2C. 

What is Customer Journey Mapping useful for social media?

Customer journey mapping is highly useful for most, if not all aspects of marketing. For social media, in particular, when we understand the journey that a customer has been on, we can then make our social media more relevant and targeted. 

Understanding the behaviour of a customer, allows us to understand why they are interacting with us. Once we understand that, our social media marketing can be more effective. We can ensure that the customer remembers the right things about our brand/service/product and that we evoke the right emotions. Not only is this great for social media growth, but it strengthens the entire business. Especially if people remember us for the right reasons and continue to be customers in the future.

This is a brief overview of customer journey mapping. So as mentioned, do read Jerry’s book for more information if it is something you are interested in. The biggest takeaway from this summit is… just do it. If you are overwhelmed with organising a workshop, just sit in a room by yourself with a whiteboard and go through it yourself. If you do have co-workers, then perhaps share with them what you have found and it could inspire them to join next time. Another tip from Jerry is that quick wins can be highly rewarding. Making small changes after each session can encourage the longevity of the workshops, whilst the slower wins are in progress. 

Have you heard of customer journey mapping before? Have you been inspired to start up a workshop?

Tinisha Osu is a Marketing Executive with two degrees in Psychology. She is the first-author of a published psychology paper and is beginning her career in marketing through blog-writing, creating social media content and running marketing campaigns.