Table of Contents
Step 1: Set Your Targets
Step 2: Create Buyer Personas
Step 3: Identify Motivations And Pain Points
Step 4: Map Out The Buyer’s Journey
Step 5: Maximize Your Touchpoints
Step 6: Find Your Moments of Truth
Step 7: Revise
Do you actively speak at industry conferences? Is your business listed on vendor comparison websites? Is your website visible in Google search?
If you answered ‘No’ to any of the questions above, then chances are that your potential customers simply won’t find you.
Said another way… If you don’t base your strategy on the customer journey, you will lose out on new business.
This week we are diving into creating a profitable customer journey. One thing about journeys is that you need to focus on identifying who your audience is to know what to sell to them.
Invest in them, know your audience, and make sure you segment them properly. Once you know who these people are and what makes them “tick,” you’ll be able to sell to them.
Our comprehensive guide introduces basic concepts that you can incorporate into your larger business strategy.
What Is A Customer Journey Map?
In the late ’90s and early 2000s, digital marketers’ understanding of the consumer buying process was heavily based on the traditional, linear customer funnel – which is now obsolete.
Today, marketers understand that the path to purchase is not as linear as the funnel model would have us believe.
The customer journey map is almost a mythical creature. There is no one map. There is not even a single map for any given business.
The customer journey is too complicated to allow that. It might be more accurate to say that a business owner needs a map to find a way through the maze of customer journey mapping.
A customer journey consists of all of the steps that a customer takes when interacting with a company to achieve a particular goal.
It should be a visual representation of all the interactions, touchpoints, and success milestones the customer has with your company and product, from the point of purchase through renewal.
It includes interactions through various devices, channels, and touchpoints that your brand uses across each stage of the customer lifecycle — from awareness to loyalty.
It focuses on the customers’ experiences and priorities, step-by-step, instead of looking at the customer journey from your company’s perspective.
You’re dealing with two types of people in the awareness stage — those who are aware they have a problem but don’t know the solution or people who don’t even know they have a problem.
During this stage, it’s not advisable to tell your audiences to take out their wallets to make a purchase. Hard selling is better suited for the next stages.
The customer journey gives you a roadmap of how your audiences see your business, leading you through every customer point of contact.
When you’re mapping out your customer success journey, the most important thing to remember is that you’re mapping your customer’s journey to success, so you need to look at the milestones, goals, and steps from your customer’s perspective.
If your map seems overly complex or you’re overwhelmed at the idea of having to revisit it, review these tips for simplifying your customer journey map.
Customer journeys have become more elaborate, making journey maps more vital than ever.
Unlike many business trends, customer journey maps will remain valuable no matter how the times change.
Regardless of technology advancements or industry shifts, a journey map can always adapt to provide the customer experience that will convert.
Share the map with your entire organization. The map you create will likely touch on every part of your business.
That’s why you should share it with different departments. Customer service, sales, and marketing should be the first departments on your list.
The information that customer journey maps provide can help them determine the resources required to create a better customer experience.
Mapping out the customer journey is important in establishing your success strategy.
Use the six steps we shared in this article to create your customer success journey map.
While steps one through five are essential for creating a customer journey map, step six is where you can take your customer support to the next level.
The most important thing to remember when mapping out the customer journey is to look at each step from your customers’ perspective, and keep their goals and priorities in mind.
How To Create A Customer Journey Map
Provide seamless customer-centric experiences with your brand with these proven tips on mapping a customer journey.
Predict Customer Behavior
Not having a customer journey map is akin to leaving a horse out on a grassy field — it can aimlessly run amok.
However, plotting a journey map is like putting a horse on a racetrack. The only viable direction is forward.
You wouldn’t want your customers to run amok aimlessly, would you?
Be extra mindful of stages where your leads fall off, or your customers click away. Chances are they didn’t leave your marketing funnel for no reason.
Something triggered them to leave, and your job is to find that something and address it.
Identify Customer Pain Points
Customer journey maps help product designers understand customers ‘ needs and wants and identify pain points they face.
Most organizations have a high-level understanding of the customer journey, but mapping it can help to go beyond the surface level and identify customers’ hidden motivations and areas of friction.
In this case, you should take the most common customer persona and consider the route this persona would typically take when interacting with your product for the first time.
At this stage, you have to gather both quantitative and qualitative data to identify the biggest problems and pain points that might occur during this journey.
Journey mapping will do a little more than confirm the mindset inside your company. Now is the time to get customer feedback.
Learn about your customer’s decision-making process and the ones who go to your competitors.
Below are several ways to uncover your customers’ objectives and pain points:
It can be helpful if you note what you are doing right, or find ways of improving things. You can ask questions or interview customers.
Brick-and-mortar businesses can survey visitors in their shops, healthcare clinics, beauty spas, and other stores. Look at your social media analytics and your website’s usage metrics.
Perform a Google Analytics goal flow report and behavior flow report, and run user testing with your product.
You need the answers to questions like this:
- What problems are they trying to solve?
- How did they find your website or company?
- How long do they typically spend on your website?
- Was the site or app easy to navigate?
- Did they ever need customer support? How helpful was it?
- What competitors did they look at?
- What sets your brand apart from others?
- Why did they choose (or reject) your product?
Often people are unsure what they should look for in a customer journey map.
Not sure what to ask your customers? Here are some sample questions that we’ve used during our customer journey process:
- What happened inside the company caused you to search for a new product?
- What is your research process for finding a new product?
- How did you find your current company?
- How important is a free trial during your buying process?
Nail Down Your Buyer Persona
A persona is a fictional profile that represents your average customer.
A good start to developing a customer map is knowing how they want to connect to you. To understand a customer, the business needs persona.
Get in their shoes, so you know why you can see their behavior. Despite everyone having different characteristics, these customer profiles guide the journeys.
And while many different tools allow us to get into the customer’s mindset, the most effective one we can use is a customer journey map.
You may have multiple personas based on your audience segments or where they are in the buying journey.
If not, start building buyer personas. You must remember that there can not be just one persona for buyers when doing the job.
Give them names and attach photos to these blends of demographics (like gender, income, age, and occupation) and behavioral profiles (including shopping habits and motivations).
If you are a B2B company, compile similar profiles on the businesses that matter most to your sales. Each buyer persona will have a different type of customer journey.
It’s recommended that you focus on the one or two personas that impact your business most.
Understand Your Buyer’s Goals
Once a persona has been built for a buyer, the following steps are necessary. Think about what your client’s end goal is in all stages.
At this step, you need to create a diagram that visually represents how a customer interacts with your business.
You must map out every step the customer takes from initial action to the post-purchase experience. To achieve this, you need to state the goal driving the customer’s journey.
This could mean identifying the path your visitors may take to your website and then deciding.
Map Buyer Touchpoints
Customers expect to have consistent experiences at each of these touchpoints. They want personalization, a trend that continues to grow.
Tools like customer journey analytics software give brands the ability to gain insights from their audience and act on them
Figure out what the customer wants to achieve by using the product and list out all the touchpoints, the physical or digital places where your customers interact with your business.
Hubspot, a leading developer, and marketer of software for marketing, sales, and customer service, lists an eight-point process for journey mapping.
Hubspot has created a detailed step-by-step customer journey mapping plan that analyzes all customer touchpoints.
A “touchpoint” is when someone contacts your brand before purchasing your goods or services.
These include offline – online, personally, telephone, and other marketing efforts. It’s not always easy to pinpoint the right contact point.
Another way of accomplishing this task would be to ask customers directly about their experience with your brand – or put the above questions into a survey.
Some touchpoints, like referrals and online research, are not even under your control and occur before the consumer directly contacts you.
All possible interactions between your customer and your organization should be considered.
It means your customers can listen and learn about your services for them, so they feel satisfied.
If your visitor is a member or pre-existing customer, the first thing that they might do is to log in.
Other activities include browsing, searching for products, comparing products, and more.
Once you’ve nailed down a full list of these activities, you’ll be able to identify all your touchpoints and the goals associated with each touchpoint.
If you can’t access real customers, you can even work with customer service representatives who interact daily with them and their troubles.
You may want to do research at the beginning to determine a goal or define a persona, in the middle to uncover user flows and feelings, or at the end to reassess your map.
After a purchase – customers will come into direct contact with training material, follow-up inquiries, and future customer marketing communication
Update And Improve
Your customer journey map should not stay untouched after completion. Consider it an ongoing document that continues to grow.
Keeping the map alive as a work in progress will help you find ways to improve results and be good for morale.
No one likes going through a painstaking process like customer journey mapping only to see it fall by the wayside.
After all, everything you do should be about solving customer problems and helping them achieve long-term success with your product or service.
Test and upgrade customer journey maps once every six months. Similarly, customers should adjust customer journey plans as needed when introducing significant new products.
Customer journey mapping can be as rewarding as it is difficult. In the digital age, the path from consumer interest to a sale is too complex to manage by the seat of your pants.
The mapping process is a powerful tool to help anyone in e-commerce build a more successful business.
These stats make sense because the point of customer journey mapping or customer experience mapping is to understand what your customers want, where you aren’t delivering, and how to bridge the gap.
For instance, your journey map could highlight flaws in your customer service, such as slow response times.
This could prompt you to look for alternative customer service software that allows your team to reply promptly and manage customer demand more quickly.
Zendesk lets you connect your messaging channels or add a chat option on your website, giving your team the ability to talk and respond to customers quickly and in real-time.
Offer live chat options to deliver instant responses and improve the customer journey experience.
A Case Against Customer Journey Mapping
Despite the roadblocks, here are some things to consider: Generally, customer journey maps are business-centric.
They look at contact points based on companies’ perceptions of their customers’ wants.
In this light, it seems appropriate to move from the old, traditional style of mapping to focusing on a customer journey map as an educational tool to educate customers.
The key here is to develop the content and inbound marketing strategies that will draw in your audience to engage with them and know your product and brand.
A clear customer journey map also improves your internal team collaboration, leading to higher employee satisfaction.
You can improve your customer retention rate. When you have a complete view of the customer journey, it’s easier to pick out areas where you can stand to improve it.
When you do, customers experience fewer pain points, leading to fewer people leaving your brand for competitors.
It gives your staff a clearer direction about turning passive audiences and site visitors into paying and loyal customers.
The solution is rolled out company-wide, and when needed, the customer has access to phone and email customer service teams, live chat on the website, self-service support, and a knowledge base.
It’s, of course, a simplified version of the customer journey and its key touchpoints.
But it shows how important it is for a company to be actively present where its potential and existing customers are.
When Should You Create A Customer Journey Map?
Making a journey map will depend a lot on your company and the complexity of your journey.
A good standard to aim for is to revisit and update your map every six months
There are instances, though, where changes or events may move that timeline up or spur the creation of a new map.
Types Of Customer Journey Maps
Customer-centric customer journeys don’t always go linear, so there are several customer journeys.
There are different forms of customer journey maps that can assist you in improving your customer experience – however, you must choose the customer journey that is compatible with your purpose.
Day In The Life Journey Maps
Sometimes, the pain point is necessary to understand how customers live and what they need from them.
Use these maps to discover customer pain points in your audiences’ life so that you can address unmet customer needs before they ask. It can be a great way to realize new products.
It is easier to understand your audience’s behavior when looking beyond your brand interactions in some instances.
These could involve seeking feedback from customers or mapping the days of life. Day in life mapping enables the customer to visually represent his life-long journey.
These types of route mapping are different from the above ones in a few different areas – in particular, insight discovery and optimization.
Also, the tool can assist you in identifying customers’ ideal contact points beyond the product, service, or brand identity.
Current State Mapping
How can one better understand how customers experience your product/service right now?
It is an interactive map of the customer interactions with a brand that visualizes their emotions and actions.
Current state maps analyze what your audience currently experiences while interacting with your business. Use this form of customer journey analysis to improve the journey.
You may see many visitors in the Chrome browser that visit a web page without any conversion.
The traveler map demonstrates how the same customers are using Safari or Mozilla Firefox browsers when making purchases.
Future State Journey Maps
Future state maps help you see what your customers may feel as they interact with you. They can help visualize the best journeys for clients to follow when interacting with your brand.
The future state is an effective customer journey map which is ideal for teams who want to close the gap between the current customer’s experience and where it should be.
One important thing to note here is that there’s no future state customer journey design without mapping the current state first.
Behavior Flow Report
The report shows how customers navigate the web pages, interaction after interaction. The program can be instrumental in helping you understand what people do on websites.
Similarly, it helps identify the areas of difficulty on your website.
Create A Customer Journey Map
Here’s the hard truth: You can use the best and most expensive sales tools and still fail to win new customers or clients. It all boils down to how you engage with people.
Your offers need to be relevant, and your marketing materials need to resonate with their circumstances. That’s why you need to build a customer journey map.
It helps you understand your customers better and increases the likelihood of a customer interaction turning into a sale.
It’s time to take everything you’ve learned through the entire customer journey mapping process, and use the insights and opportunities to make meaningful business changes.
You’ll also want to share this information with others so that your entire organization can reap the benefits.
At the end of the day, you want to be getting more conversions. So everything you tweak in each customer touchpoint should contribute to that one goal.
Our Journey Has Led To You
Our motto “relationships over revenue” has that customer-focused mentality at the forefront of every major decision we make.
While we can’t address every single one of a customer’s pain points, we can address a major one — lead generation.
Through our experience and ingenuity, we’ve come to find it’s one of the greatest problems professionals face today despite the modern technology we have.
With each customer experience being our main priority, we put experienced customer success members in direct contact with customers.
Our revolutionary product Cloud Kennect uses automation to build connections for you so you don’t have to.
Sign up for a demo today.