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The Best Customer Journey Mapping Tools for 2022

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So you’re ready to start working out your email marketing strategy to guide prospective clients down a path to purchasing. But first, you need to know where your clients come from and where they want to go. That’s where customer journey mapping comes in.

In this article, we’ll review the customer journey mapping process and things to consider when selecting a customer journey mapping tool. Then, we’ll turn to how to create your own tool and the best ready-made tools on the market to help improve user experience and customer engagement.

What is customer journey mapping?

Customer journey mapping is the process of creating a visual story of your customer’s interactions with your brand, from discovery to purchase. In other words, this process allows you to design the user experience from start to finish, including specific customer touchpoints at which your customer interacts with your business.

This way, you can identify and alleviate pain points based on customer data or customer feedback and create a frictionless path to guide a prospective client to make a purchase. In addition, mapping your customer’s journey can also lead to better customer retention and conversion rates. We believe that the customer journey mapping process is one of the most valuable exercises a marketing department and an entire company undertake. In fact, we’ve written a whole white paper on effective customer journey mapping to help you get started.

Why should email marketers care about customer journey mapping?

Email marketing and customer journey mapping go hand-in-hand, as emails are usually the key way to shuffle prospects down the path to purchase.

For instance, customer journey mapping simplifies your workflows, allowing your email marketing team to determine how and when to send out a welcome email, transactional emails, automated nurture tracks, newsletters, and other on-trend email marketing tactics.

Still not sure what this means for your email marketing campaigns? Check out our article on how to align email and customer journeys.

What are customer journey mapping tools?

Now that we know why customer journey maps are important, let’s see what tools are out there to help us visualize our map.

Customer journey mapping tools (also known as user journey mapping tools) help you collect and present customer data – that is, how your users interact with your product or website. This is crucial for understanding your buyer personas. You can use personas to understand customer needs and gauge customer satisfaction through customer behavior.

In addition, customer journey mapping tools help you visualize your map. Visualization is crucial to designing a customer journey map because you want to create a polished resource that teams within your organization can use as a reference.

There are three main types of customer journey mapping tools:

  • Customer journey mapping and visualization tools: These tools recreate your users’ actions from start to finish.
  • Collaborative customer journey mapping software: As the name suggests, collaboration tools let distributed teams share insights about your customer’s journey.
  • Customer experience software and Voice of Customer (VoC) software: This software incorporates collecting, sorting, and analyzing user feedback to the process of recreating and testing the customer journey.

Whether you want to do it yourself using in-house designers and resources, or you’re looking for software that makes visualization easy, we’ve compiled our recommendations for the best customer journey mapping tools below.

Things to consider in a customer journey mapping tool

Before we dive into our tool recommendations, let’s talk about some things to consider when selecting a customer journey mapping tool.

Here are some key features your customer journey mapping tool should have:

  • No-code design: Unless your entire team is highly technical, we recommend going with a no-code, template-based map solution to make the tool more usable for your team.
  • Shareability: Make it easy to share your maps across teams so that all stakeholders can easily access and reference up-to-date maps.
  • Customer feedback data collection and analytics: Your map needs to be built on quantitative and qualitative data. It’s crucial that your tool has an analytics feature that will make your map more accurate based on real metrics.
  • Customer action tracking: Track your user’s actions from start to finish, so you can better understand their journey and can optimize their user experience. 
  • Customer persona creation: Create personas based on customer data to help your teams understand the kind of people they will engage with on a day-to-day basis. 

How do I create a customer journey map?

Before we dive into customer journey mapping tools, let’s see how you can create a customer journey map with just the tools you have on hand.

Excel spreadsheets, slide presentations, and design software give you the flexibility to design journey maps as you see fit. A journey mapping application simplifies the process, but it could also limit your options.

To create a customer journey map, you need to:

  1. Determine your objectives for the map.
  2. Profile your customer’s personas and define their goals.
  3. Make a list of all the customer touchpoints from start to finish.
  4. Identify the story you want your map to tell.
  5. Determine the resources you have and the ones you’ll need.
  6. Test out the customer journey yourself.
  7. Test and iterate as needed.

Ready to get started? Here are a few DIY tools and templates you can use to build-your-own customer journey map:

  • Digital whiteboard options
  • Adobe’s customer journey mapping resources
  • Airtable’s customer journey mapping resources
  • Hubspot’s customer journey mapping resources
  • Salesforce’s customer journey mapping resources
  • Mailchimp’s customer journey mapping resources

We’ll go over these in more detail below.

Not quite ready to dive in on your own? Check out some templates we’ve compiled to help you get started:

Digital whiteboard options

With the rise of remote work, more marketing teams are trading in the office conference room’s whiteboard and sticky notes for an online tool. Even if you are still working in an office setting, a digital whiteboard lets you share projects and save them as long as you want. No more snapping photos of the whiteboard so you can erase it before the next meeting.

At Email on Acid, our product and marketing teams used Miro to map the customer lifecycle. We also use it for other types of remote collaboration, brainstorming, and planning. Here’s a customer journey map template from Miro you can use to get started.

Other online whiteboard options to explore:

If your company uses Microsoft products, the diagramming solution Microsoft Visio also works as a collaborative journey mapping tool.

Adobe’s customer journey mapping resources

If your company has in-house designers with time and talent, you can use Adobe products like InDesign to create a customer journey map from scratch. Check out Adobe’s recommendations for the process of outlining and visualizing customer journeys. It includes storyboarding, empathy maps, and more.

Marketo from Adobe offers Advanced Journey Analytics, which provides a drag and drop mobled building as well as templates. Adobe Campaign and Adobe’s customer journey analytics are also useful tools that can help email marketers parse data to better understand subscribers.

Airtable’s customer journey mapping resources

You may also be able to use project management software as a customer journey mapping tool. For example, Airtable has templates for various roadmaps, Gannt charts, customer success management, and user story mapping that could be customized to help email marketers layout campaigns along the timeline of a typical customer journey.

HubSpot’s customer journey mapping resources

HubSpot is always good for a free template or two. The popular CRM offers a download with seven customer journey templates you can use to get started. These follow a basic grid format, which isn’t extremely visual, but it is a great way to organize everything logically.

HubSpot Academy also offers a free lesson on customer journey mapping. Plus, you can read about how HubSpot created its own customer journey maps. Tip: they suggest thinking about design last.

Salesforce’s customer journey mapping resources

Larger organizations may be more likely to use a CRM like Salesforce, which also has some solid customer journey mapping resources, including a template.

Email marketers may be interested in the blueprint for creating email moments, which aligns well with customer journeys. Salesforce also published a series of infographics on journey mapping and a customer journey worksheet.

Mailchimp’s customer journey builder

Mailchimp is one of the leading email service providers in the world. It offers a Customer Journey Builder that lets email marketers build automations for individual contacts, creating unique journeys triggered by specific interactions. If Mailchimp is your chosen ESP, this option is worth exploring.

Get more info from Mailchimp on defining the customer journey and check out the video below to see how their tool works.

The best customer journey mapping software

The best customer journey mapping tools for an email marketing team depend on a variety of factors, such as:

  • What’s the size of your organization?
  • What type of journey mapping solution fits your budget?
  • How much control do you want?
  • Do you need to integrate with other platforms?
  • What other departments will provide input and use these resources?
  • How often do you plan to update your customer journey maps?

Depending on your time, resources, and the number of journey maps you’re creating, customer journey mapping software could be a big help. These tools typically offer drag and drop templates that give teams a fast and flexible way to build journey maps.

Here’s a collection of tools we think are among the best:

  • UXpressia
  • Mapovate
  • Smaply
  • Lucidchart
  • Touchpoint Dashboard

Let’s go over each of these in more detail below.

UXpressia

UXpressia describes its solution as a central place for creating customer experience assets. Besides customer journey maps, it offers persona-building tools, impact maps, and paid courses. Like many of the whiteboard tools, UXpressia lets you work on digital projects collaboratively.

You can get one project and one user for free, and Professional plans start at $24 a month per user.

Mapovate

Mapovate bills itself as the first journey mapping software with dynamic real-time VoC analytics. That means you can use this service to take customer surveys that feed into the software. Paid Mapovate plans include a subscription to KnowledgeTRAK, its customer experience measurement solution. But Mapovate also says it can integrate with existing systems.

Try it with a free two-week trial. Paid plans start at $99 a month, which includes three journey maps.

Smaply

Smaply is an intuitive online solution for journey mapping, personas, and stakeholder maps. It boasts quite a few different recognizable brands as its customers. The drag-and-drop functionality makes it easy to build maps with a set of common elements.

This brand recently introduced a free plan, which gives you three journey maps and three personas within one project. With any paid plan, you get unlimited projects, journey maps, and personas as well as other features such as commenting and the ability to export PDFs and spreadsheets. Those start at around $21 USD per month.

Lucidchart

Lucidchart is an advanced diagramming tool marketing teams can use to build journey maps. It’s not exclusively used for journey mapping. Lucidchart is also a tool for designing software, organizational flowcharts, and more.

A free plan gets you three documents and 100 templates. Paid plans start at just $7.95 a month for individuals. Team plans are $9 per month per user and include real-time commenting for collaboration and integrations with a wide variety of other applications.

Touchpoint Dashboard

Touchpoint Dashboard offers drag-and-drop functionality that allows you to visualize journey maps without a designer. It also lets users add data and multimedia to specific touchpoints in the customer lifecycle. There are collaboration and reporting features as well as the ability to analyze maps with charts and graphs. Plus, there’s a feature for presenting Touchpoint Dashboard journey maps.

Touchpoint Dashboard does not provide pricing information on its website.

What’s the best customer journey mapping tool for you?

And that’s it! We’ve provided you with some direction on starting your customer journey mapping process.

If you’re just starting the process of mapping your customer journeys, we know it can seem a bit daunting. To help you nail down the right approach, check out our report on effective customer journey mapping. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out. At Email on Acid, we’re happy to help you optimize your email strategy today.

woman maps customer journey with markers on glass
Avatar for Trevor Rawls
Author: Trevor Rawls

Trevor is Email on Acid's Digital Marketing Manager. Before joining Email on Acid, he developed marketing strategies for companies in technology, education, and eCommerce. Trevor owns two cats that he walks on leashes around the greater Denver area.

Avatar for Trevor Rawls
Author: Trevor Rawls

Trevor is Email on Acid's Digital Marketing Manager. Before joining Email on Acid, he developed marketing strategies for companies in technology, education, and eCommerce. Trevor owns two cats that he walks on leashes around the greater Denver area.

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