How to Use Customer Journey Mapping When Building an App

You can create an app with incredible features, that looks beautiful, and does amazing things. But if it doesn’t do what your customers want it to do, it can be a failure. Customer journey mapping helps keep you on track by focusing on the design and features that make your app a success.

If customers like your app, they’ll use it again. If not, it doesn’t matter how much work has gone into developing it. And, the competition is fierce. There are more than 6.5 million apps available in various app stores and even if you can convince somebody to try it out, only 25% of apps ever get used more than once.

Customer journey mapping can increase the odds your app will get downloaded and used.

The Importance of Customer Journey Mapping

Building a customer journey map for your mobile app is an important part of your planning strategy for several reasons:

  • Helps build a better product: The better you understand how customers will engage with your app, the better app you can build. The journey map can help as you design navigations, features, and flow to intuitively meet user desires and expectations.
  • Helps put customers first: Customer journey mapping is the center of your customer-first strategy so you stay focused on what is important to your users. This makes your app user-friendly, which is essential to attracting and retaining customers.
  • Helps shape your marketing strategy: As you develop your product and marketing strategy, the customer journey map helps you make smarter decisions about how and where to spend your marketing dollars.

When you are hiring developers, training your team, or planning your app, customer journey mapping is fundamental.

Steps to Build a Customer Journey Map for Your App

Your customer journey map details how customers will interact with your app and how they reach their goals. This starts with step one, defining who your users will be.

1. Develop User Personas

Before you can build, you need to think about who you’re building an app for. User personas are descriptions of the expected users and why they would be coming to your app. You may need to develop multiple personas based on your app, but each should address goals and motivations.

2. Do Your Research

Next, it’s time to do some research to make sure you really do understand your target customer. This may mean interviews, questionnaires, surveys, or industry data to make sure you accurately represent customers and use cases. You should also do competitive research to help define what will make your app different.

3. Identify User Behavior and Goals

From the research, you should have an idea of how customers will use the app. You can identify common behaviors and goals.

4.  Identify Users Touchpoints

Touchpoints are the different ways users will interact with your app. You need to make sure each touchpoint provides a quality experience and meets the needs of your target customers. As you design the flow of your app, each touchpoint should have a goal to enhance customer behavior and drive them towards conversions.

5. Find Bottlenecks and Obstacles

Identify anything that prevents users from easily and intuitively doing what they want. If the navigation is inefficient or customers have to search for how to do something, you run the risk of having your app deleted.

Often, what you leave out of an app is just as important as what you leave in, too. To serve your customers, think simple. The easier it is for them to accomplish their goals, the better they will rate your app.

6. Do More Research

In this step, you will want to examine your journey map and see what data is missing. There will likely be data gaps that you need to fill before it’s time to start the development process.

In today’s app development environments, most apps are built as MVPs (minimum viable product) as part of a DevOps strategy for continuous integration and continuous deployment. By rolling out an MVP quickly, you can continue to research user interactions with small groups and early adopters to make sure your customer journey map assumptions are correct.

As you see how users in the real-world interact with your app, you can then adjust your journey map and iterate to improve the quality of your app before a full-scale launch.

Once you do launch, however, the research phase doesn’t end. The best app developers are constantly analyzing the data to find ways to improve each touchpoint.


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