Katerina Kondrenko

How to Use Customer Journey Mapping to Boost Your Website's Conversion Rates

People complete a car journey much quicker when there's a map to follow—and the same is true for your website.

You can create all the call-to-action buttons, popups, landing pages, and notifications in the world. But, to get the highest conversion rates possible, your CTAs need to be taking people on a clear journey from A to B.

Enter: Customer journey mapping.

This helps you deliver the online experience that each of your buyer segments expects, demands, and deserves. All helping you convert more website visitors into leads and customers.

So in this post, we discuss customer journey mapping in detail—covering what exactly a journey map is as well as how to create and use one for your different buyer personas.

Let's go 👇

What is customer journey mapping?

Customer journey maps are the visualization of what your customers go through while interacting with your product or service. A customer journey can be an end-to-end path, starting with awareness and ending with further usage, or a particular part of a journey you want to zoom in with a journey mapping lens and analyze.

Why bother at all? The barrel of customer journey mapping benefits is bottomless.

Here are just a few of them:

1. Understand your customers deeper

You can use journey maps to understand customers better by identifying their:

  • Goals
  • Pains
  • Expectations
  • Channels they like to use
  • Touchpoints they consider fantastic or hate
  • People they interact with
  • Etc.

For example, say you have an online gaming store. You spent lots of money and team effort to develop a new eye-catching website design with 3D animation to blow buyers’ minds.

But, as soon as you added a new design, users inundated you with negative messages demanding to restore the old design. People were fine with the previous design; they valued its simplicity. They only wanted to remove the embed chat that appears every 30 seconds with an irritating sound and can’t be closed for good.

A customer journey map (CJM) could have brought awareness to this right away, before you went ahead with the whole re-design.

2. Generate product ideas

You may come up with actionable ideas for product or service improvement and thus also enhance customer experience by giving your audience the very thing they are looking for.

For example:

you have an online portal, like Listmaker, where people can create lists of their favorite movies. After collecting, analyzing users’ feedback, and turning it into a customer journey map, you learned that many of them love to share their thoughts on movies with others.

At the same time, some don’t know what to watch next and look for catchy titles in other users’ lists.

So, you developed the reviewing functionality and added to your email chain product recommendation emails, thus providing desired features and making your emails more engaging. As a result, the product evolved along with increasing customers’ satisfaction.

3. Improved decision making

You can make better decisions without wasting your time, money, and effort on large-scale experiments based on pure assumptions.

For example, you have an online clothing store with lots of visitors and too few purchases.

You decided it’s the wrong advertising channels’ fault and it would be wise to invest money in a new ad campaign. But the launched campaign changed nothing. Okay, maybe the pricing was too high? You bought cheaper materials and lowered your pricing. No new customers while the old ones got very angry.

Then, you built a customer journey map, analyzed every step your customers take, and suddenly realized that product pictures lacked details on how big the people modeling were. Visitors were reaching out to your support agents and asking how tall a person is in a picture, but the agents had no idea.

5 steps to creating a customer journey map

Customer journey mapping goes smoothly when you know what steps to take and have an intuitive journey map builder to ease the process. There are lots of professional online CJM tools, and you won’t have any trouble finding the one that’s best for you.

As for the steps, they all are here:

Step 1: Do research

Take this step very seriously. The more reliable, complete, and precise data you gather, the more accurate insights you get.

It doesn’t mean that you have to visit each of your customers personally and give them the third degree.

Yet, be sure to:

  • Conduct interviews and polls
  • Involve your customer-facing staff and marketers
  • Check out related research and white papers.

Pay attention to what information you have to collect. Age, sex, and occupation in most cases aren’t the best soils for future insights. Instead, you’d better focus on the behavior of your customers—what, how, who, and why!

Step 2: Define personas

Divide your customers into personas based on specific attributes you choose (e.g., behavioral ones) and create their profiles. Each persona represents a certain segment of your target audience with similar pains, goals, motivations, frustrations, and backgrounds.

Here's what one might look like:

Buyer persona example
E-store customer persona built in UXPressia

Step 3: Prioritize 

In an ideal world, you would build a journey for each defined persona. But in reality, if your team is rather small, stakeholders are skeptical, or you’re limited in time, there’s no chance to cover all personas, no matter how willed.

Instead, think about those who matter most for your business and focus on them.

It's probably best to focus on prioritizing from two angles:

  1. Profitability and total addressable market (TAM)
  2. Those who you have best product-market fit with

Of course, you need to make sure there's a market there to go after. But there's no point chasing buyer personas simply because they're more prevalent and profitable if your product or service doesn't really serve them best.

Step 4: Create a CJM

You can map a separate journey for each persona or put them all on the same map—e.g. to compare different personas’ journeys or trace interactions between your personas.

Yet remember that no two customer journeys are the same, as each customer group has its specifics.

For example, say you run an online shop for individual and wholesale purchases. The journey of a person who buys for themselves will differ from the journey of a person who comes for a bulk purchase.

The former visits your site, chooses goods, signs up as a natural person, pays, and gets their order delivered just in time. The latter has to fill in lots of data before making a purchase, and their further steps will be different too.

As we stated above, you can visualize these two journeys on the same map, but you have to consider them separately.

When it comes to map creation, no person is an island. Invite colleagues from other departments to participate. If you are struggling with determining stakeholders or their roles, try stakeholder mapping as well.

Once you’ve done, you will have a customer journey map that may look something like this:

Customer journey map example
Ecommerce customer journey map built in UXPressia

Step 5: Ideate

Even if you’ve been building a customer journey map alone or with colleagues from your department, it’s time to invite others for a fresh perspective’s sake.

People from other departments can also generate more relevant ideas, especially regarding their areas of responsibility. To engage those who still have concerns about your journey mapping initiative, explain why customer journey mapping is essential and what benefits their departments can reap. 

Make your journey maps work

Ironically, customer journey mapping is a journey. To make it work, you have to keep going and update your map over time, not to find yourself implementing plans that won’t improve the current customer experience. 

What’s next?

We've come to what you can do based on the customer journey map and its insights. Some ideas are below.

  • Create target advertising based not on simple demographics but your personas’ tasks. Such ads will attract a more relevant audience and show that you actually know your customer even before you meet. 
  • Differentiate your landing pages and personalize your website. Change content, color scheme, font, and other stuff to fit persona’s needs. Use the vocab of your personas to speak their language and smooth your communication. Address their specific pains. Highlight how you can help achieve their goals, and offer to contact you via channels persona’s used to. Use trust markers your personas consider valid (some need certificates and awards while some want to see real users’ reviews).
  • Learn what content can help your website visitors complete their goals at different stages of their journey on your website and provide it to them via website messages or popups.
  • Look closer at the touchpoints in your customers’ journey. Which are needed to be optimized, improved, or even removed? What new touchpoints would be great to introduce? 
  • Tailor your email campaigns to different personas. In each email chain, include triggers, motivations, and calls to action that match a particular persona.  
  • Pay attention to the channels. You may have an online chat while some of your customers prefer to solve their problems via phone. Or you find out that many of your users have the same messenger, and it will be faster to chat with them right there.  

To sum it up

Now you know that the key to any business success is a customer experience that satisfies your clients throughout their journey with your product or service. And one of the best ways to identify what has to be addressed, fixed, or enhanced is customer journey mapping.

Tips from this article will guide you throughout the process, so don’t hesitate to build your own CJM and make the best of it for your conversions.

About the author
Katerina Kondrenko
Content Writer, UXPressia
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Katerina is an experienced content creator for UXPressia with a passion for research, French bulldogs, and British cats. She has an economics degree but prefers letters to numbers.