For an entrepreneur, the customer is everything. Understanding and mapping the customer journey is the first step to bringing success in generating leads and taking the business to newer heights.
Learning about the customer, getting into their minds can be challenging. This is because the market demands change rapidly. Once you think you have got everything to make your customer happy, the change in trends and ever-evolving demands of customers may emerge as a hindrance. Yes, the demands of customers change in no time. To be able to take your customer to the last step of the marketing and sales funnel,
To keep track of the same, you require a deep understanding of your customer. If you do not learn about your customer’s behaviour, you may not be able to take your customer to the last step of the marketing and sales funnel.
Now let me show you what happens when you are unaware of the customer journey map.
Your customer spends a lot of time browsing your products and adds to the cart only to close the tab. The customer does not make a purchase and they become your potential customer. But, why does it happen? Why is your customer not being able to get from point A to point B.
The root cause is that you do not have a clear knowledge of the customer journey.
What Is A Customer Journey?
It is a process by which a customer interacts with a company. Today the manner of interaction has changed. A customer gains awareness of a brand through social media, receives a ‘Thank You’ through an email. In between there are number of other steps too which makes the process of lead generation successful.
In order to understand your customer, you do not have to assume or predict anything about them. The best way to understand the customer is to ask them and that is done by preparing a customer map.
What is a Customer Journey Map?
Just like geographical maps guide us about the countries and cities around the globe. This customer journey map guides the businesses in knowing the present and potential customers.
A customer journey map is the visual representation of the process that a customer goes through to achieve their goal. Their goal can be anything, a purchase, subscribing an email, signing up for a newsletter, or could be anything else.
Once you create a customer journey map, you will get to understand your customer in a better manner. You will be able to drive customer-centric ideas to motivate, and entrust the customers in your brand and services.
Mapping the Customer Journey
It is the process by which you visualize how a customer would interact with the business. The customer journey map helps in tracking the actions that a customer takes to achieve a certain goal. Through customer journey mapping, one gets to know about the areas of friction between the customer and the business, factors that motivate the customers, and so on. After gathering all this information, a comprehensive visual is created which is called the customer journey map.
With the help of customer journey map, you can structure the touchpoints and create an effective campaign that helps customers in attaining the goals. Not just this, the customer journey map also gives the track of where the customers have reached so far and if they haven’t met the desired goal, then it gives you a fair chance to alter the strategy.
The customer journey mapping is not a linear process. The buyers do not necessarily go in a single direction to buy the products and services. They take a back-and-forth route which makes the entire customer journey mapping difficult.
The businesses use different methods to represent the customer journey, such as spreadsheets, infographics, etc.
If you want to create a customer journey map, you will first have to collect the data. The availability of humungous data makes it an extensive yet valuable process.
Define Customer Journey Map Touchpoint
The touchpoint is the point from where the customers start forming an opinion about your brand. For instance, the reviews, feedback work as the touchpoints.
But just relying on the above two methods of touchpoints is not enough. As a business, you must consider different touchpoints to map the customer journey. Because more the data, more will be the opportunities to bring improvements in the process.
Here’s how you can do it!
Before diving right into creating the customer journey map, you need to set some goals and clear objectives. Ask yourself why you are making it? What goals will you be achieving through it? Who is your making this for? And so on.
Based on the above questions, you will be able to create a buyer persona. It is a hypothetical character which represents the basic characteristics of a buyer. To know more about it, please read a simplified guide to buyer’s journey.
Define your Goals As Per Your Personas Profile
Once you have gathered the information, next step is to conduct research. This can be done through user testing and questionnaires. For accurate and authentic results, you need to reach out to the actual customers and prospects. Interact with them and then create a customer journey plan.
Focus On Your Target Customers
Once you have learned about different customer personas, it is time to narrow your focus. Instead of creating a customer journey plan for a broader audience, it is better to create a plan for a one section. Remember the customer journey map helps in tracking the customer’s path, and their behaviour. If you will consider too many personas at a time, it will get difficult to map the actual journey. Moreover, the real customer experience will never be known.
If you are onto your first customer journey map, it is suggested to pick the most common persona and work on that. Engage with that one persona and collect as much information as you can because the gathered information will help you set clear goals and objectives.
Write All The Touchpoints
After gathering data, you should list all the touchpoints, the present ones and the ones that the customers might use. This step is important as it gives you a deep insight into the actions of the customers. If they are using few touchpoints, it probably means they are not very impressed by the approach. If they are taking more time, it means your website is complicated and needs several steps to attain the goal. Whatever the situation may be, it is important for you to understand the tool that helps you to understand the objectives. For instance, look into your website, social media channels, paid advertisements, email marketing, etc.
Track the Customer Actions
See all the actions that your customers perform. Keep a track of the actions like it can be anything from a Google search for your keywords or subscribing or even clicking on an email. Once you are done with the listing, rationalize and filter the information.
Understand your customer’s emotions and know what motivates them. Marketing is but the result of cause and effect. Every action that your customer takes is motivated by the emotion and this is important to know that at every stage of the customer journey, their emotions will change. Once you understand that, you will be able to create right content at the right time.
Another point that you must keep in mind are the roadblocks. Understand the problems and pain points of the customers. For instance, if your biggest obstacle is the price, highlight the same in your customer journey mapping and try to mitigate it.
Know Your Resources
nderstand what all it will take to create a better customer experience. The customer journey mapping will get tough with each step. Also, every step will show you the resources that goes in the making of customer journey process. Take note of the inventory you have and the one that you will need in future.
Analyse The Results
At his point you are very close to the goal. Just because you have designed the customer journey map, it does not mean that your work is done. The next step is to analyze the results. See how many people are clicking your website but not making a purchase and notice other patterns too.
If you do not try and test it yourself, the entire journey will just be a hypothetical process.
Do The Required Changes
Up until now, you will know the results. This is the time to make necessary changes. Your data analysis will let you know what changes are needed in your website, landing pages, or social media.
Whether the changes are big or small, their effect will always be significant. So, do not ignore even the slightest change, if required.
Your map should consistently be a work-in-progress because as said above it is a never-ending procedure. If you review it today, you might have to see it in a month or two again. Reviewing it will help in creating gaps and identifying opportunities.
Use data analytics and the customer feedback to remove any roadblocks. Consider all the above points and you will see how things change in favor of your business. Conducting meetings will also help in analyzing new products, and offerings, therefore creating new customer journey plan.