A customer journey map is a visualization of the customer’s journey. The map covers the five “A's” of building a customer journey map: aware, appeal, ask, act, and advocate. The journey starts with awareness, or the moment when new customers discover your brand. That’s when brands have the opportunity to appeal, or make their product pitch. The appeals are closely tied to the ask, when customers explore the brand and shop for the solution to their needs. They may also shop in a physical store, read reviews, or crowdsource to get recommendations. Next customers act, which is when they make their purchases. Finally, the brand has an opportunity to advocate, following up with buyers by emailing a thank you, asking them to leave feedback, or providing opportunities for reviews and ratings, for example.
Each brand will have their own custom journey map; it’s not one size fits all. To make a map, begin by thinking about how customers are introduced to your brand. Then, walk through the shopping and purchasing process, considering every possible interaction that customers may make with your brand’s website, ads, customer service, or social media.
Different types of journey maps can follow the trajectory of current customers or future customers. There are also variations that consider an in-depth look at a sample journey. Customer service offerings can also make their own journey map, to follow the path that may lead customers to making contact for assistance.