It's a well-known fact that companies must understand how their customers think. This also applies to understanding the customer journey because a company should always strive to provide exemplary service. This can be achieved when a company can understand its customers' behavior and decision-making process.

However, the business landscape isn't the same as it was before. The sales channel is now more complex, and the customers are far more sophisticated than they were in the past. Using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform is recommended, but it's not enough because you also need to know how to use it. This means you also need to think carefully about collecting, analyzing, and using the information that this software provides.

To help you understand, here are some ways you can use CRM for building customer journeys:

1 - Defining Your Customers' Ideal Customer Profiles

An ideal customer profile (ICP) is a set of characteristics that define your ideal customers. It also describes your customers' details, like your typical customer's demographic characteristics, social status, education, and income.

One of the most effective ways of understanding your customers is by placing the ICP in your CRM. This way, you can keep track of potential customers in the sales funnel and use this information to create more personalized sales messages. For instance, if you know that a particular market segment is more likely to respond to a specific type of offer, you can use this information to help you create a more effective marketing campaign.

For example, a coffee shop business customizes the message for different market segments. The coffee shop can use this information to decide what products to offer. To ensure that they're reaching their target audience, they can create a message that speaks directly to specific market segments by providing promotions on what they like most.

2 - Analyze CRM Data to Identify Trends

Identifying trends is crucial because it helps you understand how your customers behave. This can help you determine the best strategies for improving your overall customer experience.

For example, a company can identify the most relevant trends by using a word cloud and analyzing the text of CRM messages to determine what kept recurring. A word cloud is a visual representation of the most frequently used words and phrases in a document in a size that reflects their relative frequency. The goal is to make as much information as possible fit into a limited space.

3 - Building the Customer Journey Map

At this point, you can gather all the information that you've collected so far and use it to build a customer journey map. A customer journey map visual represents the customer's experience with your company. It can identify problems in your existing strategy, determine opportunities for improvement, and even create improvement plans.

To create your customer journey map, start by creating a map that contains essential touchpoints in the customer's journey. As you gather more information, you can update the map to track the customer's journey from the initial inquiry to their problem resolution.

best ways to map the customer journey

To help you understand better, here are some of the best ways to map the customer journey:

Grid Layout

The grid layout is one of the most common and effective ways of mapping customer journeys. It consists of a series of squares stacked vertically, with each square representing a touchpoint in the customer's journey.

One of the benefits of using this layout is the ease of quickly seeing where the problems are. For example, if the squares on one part are much bigger than those on another part, you know that customers are experiencing issues in that area.

The number of squares you use depends on how many touchpoints you need to capture. If you have no problem showing all the touchpoints on a single grid, you can make it as big as possible. If you prefer a more compact layout, you can create grids with only relevant touchpoints.

Mind Map

A mind map can also create a visual representation of the customer journey. It is a diagram used to connect related ideas visually. The most significant advantage of using this type of diagram is that it allows you to capture the overall picture of the customer journey and the details of each touchpoint.

To create a mind map, you must first decide on your customer journey's main idea or goal. Then, you can use branches to represent each touchpoint in the journey.

Horizontal Axis

A horizontal axis is another effective way of mapping the customer journey because it allows you to visualize your entire customer journey and the touchpoints in it quickly. To create a horizontal axis, you can lay a piece of paper horizontally on a table. The horizontal axis will be the page itself.

Create a node for each touchpoint at the bottom left of the page. After that, draw a line that starts at this node and ends at the one representing the next.

Vertical Axis

Contrary to the horizontal axis, the vertical axis will help you visualize the touchpoints in the journey on a vertical axis. This is particularly effective when you want to see the number of touchpoints or the time spent on each touchpoint.

A vertical axis is created by drawing lines vertically. These lines will represent the touchpoints in the journey. You can then describe the time spent at each touchpoint by drawing different shapes on each line. This will help you visualize the time spent at each touchpoint and decide where to focus your efforts.


Remember that your customer journey map will likely change over time as you gather more information about your customers. As you collect more information about your customers, you can use it to update your existing map. This helps you identify new trends, create new tactics to attract new customers, and improve the overall customer experience.

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