Work more effectively by mapping your customer's journey

It’s really important to know exactly what journey a customer will have with you, and this can vary within your own business as well as from business to business. It could be purchasing an item online, in person in a shop where your stock is on display, in person with you there, or discussing a commission. If it’s a service you sell, what format does their journey take? Is some of it online? Via phone? An in-person meeting?

If you’re service based and have multiple customers at any one time, it’s really useful to break this down and include some time estimates too. That way, you can keep track of exactly where they are on their journey and how long you have spent with them and have yet to spend. So, how do you make sure that you have thought of everything? It’s also a fab way to check that your customer journey is as efficient and hassle free as possible. If you hit a stumbling block or two while you’re mapping it, you can be sure that your customer will be hitting these too, so it’s the perfect opportunity to sort these out! [If you need a template to give you some inspiration, check out my free resources page.]

  1. Blitz it

    Grab a pack of post-it notes and write down every step that you can think of that a customer takes when purchasing from you.

  2. Map it

    Lay out the steps in sequence on the wall/floor/board/roll of paper (whichever you prefer)

  3. Try it

    Take a practice run at being your own customer and go through their journey, either on your website, in your shop, or however they do it. Have you covered all of the steps.

  4. Add to it

    Have you forgotten any of the steps? If you have, then add to your customer journey map as you go through it.

  5. Amend it

    If you find that there are some tricky steps while you’re running through your customer journey, then now is the time to change this. Remember, the journey needs to be as simple for them as you can possibly make it. Whether you’re selling a product or a service, it will be hard to get repeat business or referrals if your customer journey is complicated or has unnecessary steps.

  6. Try it

    Once you’re confident that you’ve included all of the steps, run through the process again and double check you’re happy with it.

  7. Time it

    Once you’re happy with the process, then really analyse each of the steps and assign a time frame to them. One step could be 5 minutes, 5 hours, or 5 days, it doesn’t matter which, as long as you assign a time to every step.

  8. Count it

    Once you’ve added in all of the times for each step, count up how long it would take for each customer to complete their journey with you. It could be as straightforward as a 5 minute purchase in a shop, or it could be as complicated as a 5 month service to completely redesign a new house from top to bottom.

  9. Use it

    Use this journey map for each customer (often more relevant if you have a service than a product, but if' it’s something like a commissioned artwork then this is hugely useful too), to make sure you constantly monitor where they are on the whole process. It can be used as a really important tool to assess your workload, including how much work you can take on, helping you to work more efficiently and effectively. If you can, I’d even suggest printing the journey out for each customer and colouring in the steps that they complete.

Example of a service based customer journey.