Mapping the Client Journey

Mapping the customer journey is an increasingly popular way for businesses to understand a customer's experience with their brand. While large enterprises most commonly use mapping, advisory firms of all sizes can find it to be a valuable exercise as well.

Today we will look at what is accomplished by this process (which we will instead call client journey mapping) and why you might want to implement this tool in your business.

What Is a Client Journey Map?

A client journey map is a visual tool that illustrates the steps, thoughts, and emotions that your clients experience in engaging your company's services. Told from a client's point of view, the map can encompass the entire life cycle, from the moment a prospective client identifies that they have a need, to the point they engage your services, through the long-term relationship they establish with your firm. Alternatively, the map can comprise just one segment of the journey, such as the steps a client takes from initial contact to deciding to engage your services.

It is not uncommon to have many variations of client journey maps illustrating each of your client types and channels of interaction. For example, you may have a map for a client who learns of your firm through a friend and one for a client who finds you through a Google search.

What Should You Expect?

By mapping the client journey, you will better understand the process a client embarks on before choosing your services. You will identify the motivations, expectations, thoughts, and emotions of a client at each step, pinpointing opportunities for meaningful touchpoints from your firm along the journey. By mapping the client journey, you can expect to:

  • Map the emotions, thought process, and actions of a client throughout the journey, allowing you to empathize with their situation and provide resources and messages that will resonate with them

  • Plan a comprehensive, multi-channel strategy that offers touchpoints along the journey, allowing you to stay connected throughout the decision-making process

  • Identify prospects' decision-making moments that present opportunities for your firm to convert them to a client

  • Develop stage-appropriate campaigns and communication materials that address solutions for their pain points

Why Should You Consider Client Journey Mapping?

Client journey maps can be a powerful tool for your business from both marketing and client service standpoints. You should consider client journey maps since the exercise will help you:

  • Put the client front and center in sales and marketing

  • Identify which messages to use in communicating with a prospective client, and when

  • Identify marketing inefficiencies that could result in prospects falling through the cracks

  • Understand the information sources that prospects are using to make decisions (e.g., friends, web search, social media, COIs) so you can determine where to concentrate your efforts

How to Create a Client Journey Map?

There is so much more to know about client journey mapping than there is room for in this article, so for next steps, I suggest you search the web for "customer journey mapping." You will find numerous sources of information. A couple of useful resources I found are:

I wish you success in mapping your client journey, and I invite you to send me an email sharing your experience.