July 4, 2023

‘X’ marks the spot: three reasons why you need a customer journey map

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‘X’ marks the spot: three reasons why you need a customer journey map


Hanna Garrett, PR & Marketing Manager:
  • Understand your customers’ needs and expectations 
  • Enhance your marketing strategy 
  • Increase sales 

Customer expectations are transforming; 88% of customers consider their experience with a brand as important as the brand’s products. In an increasingly digitalised world, the number of touchpoints before a customer makes a purchase has also increased. So, how can brands adapt to meet their customers’ expectations and encourage them to make that purchase? 

This is where customer journey mapping comes in. The customer journey is the series of interactions that a customer has with a brand, product, or business as they move from an initial need or want to make a purchase decision. A typical customer journey for a hospitality business might look like the below, for example:  

Stage in customer journey →
Repeat purchase / advocacy
Customer activities
Family / friend recommendation
Social media visit
Google search
Comparing and evaluating multiple options
Add to basket
Create account
Receive confirmation
Get help if problems occur or booking changes need to be made
Enjoy stay
Repeat purchase
Share experience online
Customer goals
Find accommodation option that matches decision criteria
Find and select relevant products easily
Check out effortlessly
Effortless receipt of confirmation / additional information
Quick resolution to booking amendments or problems Have the correct room on arrival
Have the correct room on arrival
Repeat positive experience
Share positive experience and feelings
Social media channels
Search engines
Search engines
Online travel agents
Online review sites
E-commerce platform
Automated email
Automated email
Chatbot / social media messanger service
Word of mouth
Online review sites
Online forums
Social media channels
May move to desktop / table depending on time of day
May move to desktop/table depending on time of day
Mobile or desktop
Customer experience and emotions
Digesting large amounts of information
Effort is required to sift through options
Wary of misinformation / a lack of information
Inspired and excited
Lengthy checkout / too much information required to complete purchase
Frustrated by issues, satisfied when resolved in a timely manner with limited effort
Happy when received
Lack of ease to access review sites / lengthy login processes
Low effort / high impact reward
Desire to share experience

Most businesses use a wide range of channels to communicate with their customers and it can be challenging to understand how their sales and marketing activities are impacting their brand’s perception. 

Customer journey mapping provides valuable insights into a customer’s thoughts and emotions as they interact with a brand, so mapping the customer journey will inform communications and marketing strategies to help increase sales, reduce customer acquisition costs and increase customer retention.  

Why should a company map its customer journey? 

1. Understand customer expectations and identify unmet customer needs 

    With 66% of customers expecting companies to understand their needs, identifying potential obstacles in the customer journey such as poor website navigation, missing product information or a complex purchase process can help businesses to improve the interactions that a prospective customer has with its brand. By making changes based on quantitative and qualitative insights such as Google Analytics and heatmaps, social media metrics and customer feedback surveys gathered during the customer journey mapping process, customers experience fewer pain points, leading to increased brand loyalty. Good news as 33% of customers will consider switching brands after just one poor experience

    2. Improve your marketing strategy

    By mapping the customer journey from the point they become aware of their need for a solution to a problem, to post-purchase, a company will gain valuable insight into what communications and marketing activity will positively impact on conversions and retention. By developing a customer journey map, businesses will be able to understand whether they need to amend their messaging, positioning, channels and/or content to improve the customer journey. 

    3. Increase conversions and reduce acquisition costs

    Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that aren’t. Businesses that focus on customer service are often more profitable because a robust customer service approach can be used to acquire and retain customers. The cost of acquiring customers is higher than retention as it relies on paid activity such as advertising, staff wages, software and more. Not only is it more profitable to retain customers than find new ones but nurturing relationships with customers can also help a company to attract more customers through positive perceptions of the brand. After all, we all trust recommendations from satisfied customers, which is why websites such as TripAdvisor, TrustPilot and Which? are so popular. 

    With 81% of consumers needing to trust a brand to consider buying, brand loyalty is an impactful way to stand out from competitors. Building brand loyalty helps convert customers into brand advocates; a powerful marketing tool and word-of-mouth marketing will improve brand perception and drive brand awareness with lower costs than many other marketing channels. 

    Just like a treasure map reveals the ultimate reward, so does a customer journey map. It might not be a linear process but follow the clues and unearth the treasure: valuable customer insights that can be used to improve every interaction and increase sales.