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January 4, 2022

What is a Customer Journey Map?

When developing a mobile application, the product owner strives to make people like it and become an indispensable tool for them. Unfortunately, this is more difficult than it sounds. Up-to-date interface design, functionality, performance - this is not all that is needed, and, leaving out the little things, good, promising ideas fail. 

What do you need to focus on?

To be liked by people, an application must meet their needs and solve their problems. It is impossible to come up with needs for your users - you need to know exactly what worries them. If we are talking about a finished product, then you need to know what they don't like and what in your product is a barrier, an obstacle in solving user problems. One way to find out is to apply the Customer Journey Map (CJM) methodology.

What is a Customer Journey Map? 

Customer Journey Map is a methodology that helps to understand the path that a user goes through interacting with your product: what they like, what annoys them and what can help them. Thanks to CJM, you can come up with new ideas for product development and dramatically improve user satisfaction. In the case of a new product launch, using this methodology, you will be able to foresee problem areas and exclude them in advance so as not to be mistaken.

А simple CJM example of buying wireless headphones:

Awareness. A man needs new headphones. The old one is broken.

Study. They go online and start looking for a suitable model. They know the brand that they like, so they read about its new products, examine the closest competitors and read reviews. Then they examine offers from different retailers and compare prices.

Purchase. After researching, they finally buy headphones.

Usage. The customer connects the headphones and starts using the device. Over time, a problem arises - the sound sometimes disappears.

Support. With this question, a person turns to support. Perhaps a customer writes about his problem on social media with a mention of the brand to speed up the receipt of feedback.

Word of mouth. If the user is ultimately satisfied with his "journey" - he tells his friends about the brand and the product, and recommends it. If not, then it discourages them from buying.

All these actions - from realizing the need to interact  with the brand after the purchase - this is the customer journey. And the visualization of this path is a user Customer Journey Map.

CJMs for the same process can look different - in the form of tables or diagrams that serve the same purpose - describing user motivations, goals, feelings and actions at each stage of the interaction.

The CJM methodology allows you to find out the following points:

- How different audience segments work with the product;

- At what points (web interface, mobile app, email, push notification, office, brochure) the audience interacts with the product;

- What steps the user takes on the way to his goal;

- How they feel at every step;

- Where wow moments arise - points of the highest satisfaction with the product;

- Where people face barriers that prevent them from achieving their goals;

- How well users move from one stage to another.

It is very important here that the Customer Journey Map is the foundation for generating new ideas that will make the experience of people interacting with your product better.

Who can the Customer Journey Map help?

CJM can be used by different types of companies - both those whose digital product generates additional revenue, and app-based companies for which the digital product is the backbone of their business.

Also, this methodology can help at different stages of a product's existence:

Start of the project
You have decided to create a new product. There is a strong idea, but the level of uncertainty is very high, and you fear a low return on investment. You want to anticipate potential problems and mitigate risks.

Something went wrong with an existing project
The churn of users from the application is growing, overtaking the influx of new users. You don't know what the reason is and you have no idea how to fix it. The product gets a lot of negative feedback from the audience, but you are not sure if they are drawing your attention to real issues.

Successful product stopped developing
The product has exhausted itself and reached its ceiling, and now an idea is needed that will strengthen the connection with the old audience, attract new users and show the way for further development.

Where can I get the data for building CJM?

Existing product:

-Connecting analytical systems to the product

-For mobile products: Appmetrica, Localytics, Firebase, and others.

Product in development:

- Competitor analysis.

- Study of open sources, sociological research, queries in the services Google Trends, WordStat, Statista.

- Consultation with experts.

- Interview with the target audience.

- Marketing experiments.

- Forecasting based on theoretical models. This includes the well-known Pareto principle, which, when applied to a digital product, can mean that 80% of the audience will use 20% of the functionality.

How to create CJM? 

Step 1. Audience segmentation.

Even the most basic mobile apps cannot have a completely homogeneous audience. Therefore, as part of the first step, we propose to use a classic marketing technique - segmentation.

Step 2. Finding Wow - moments.

When the user finds what he needs, he says "wow, this is it!" and experiences strong positive emotion. This is the wow moment, the point of satisfaction of the need, to which a person will return again and again. The indicator of retention rate is an important guideline in the search for wow moments.

Step 3. Defining User Flows.

At this stage, we already know about the existence of the main audience segments and their wow moments, and now we can try to establish exactly how users go to these moments.

The main tools here are analytics systems that allow you to determine the order of user actions in the application - Localytics, Appmetrica, and many others.

Step 4. Creating a CJM.

It's time to combine the collected data into one map, which may look like a table that contains:

- A list of steps that the user takes;

- Success criteria - what counts as reaching a user step;

- Retention rate, i.e. the rate of refunds provided that a specific step is achieved;

- Conversion when moving from one step to another;

- Point of contact - mobile app, website, email, push notification;

- Audience size at every step;

- Description of the emotional state ("I seem to be confused", "Isn't it possible to give up everything?", "I'm close to the goal", "That’s what I need!"

- The degree of criticality of the point;

- Barriers;

- Ways to lower barriers to different points of contact - these are your ideas for development.

The ways to lower the barriers found in the previous step are a developer's guide to action. Now you know what needs to be finalized in the near future.

But the list of barriers and methods for their elimination can be very long, so it is very important to prioritize them in order to implement the most demanded functions in the first place.

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