Big and small companies make one big mistake – they wrongly believe that the customer journey is just a buzzword. In fact, a deep understanding of the customer journey is crucial in a modern, highly competitive marketplace.
Read this article, and you will learn more about the customer journey map. Also, you will find tips and tools on how to create an effective map for your company.
What is a customer journey?
First of all, let’s figure out what the customer journey is all about. By definition, the customer journey is the process by which a customer interacts with a company to achieve a specific goal. This process consists of a set of steps that customers make to get what he wants.
For instance, if you provide a hotel booking service, a “perfect” customer journey may look like this:
- The customer sees your ad on social media and decides to click it
- He gets to your home page and then checks out “special deals” section
- The customer chooses a hotel he likes and completes the checkout process
As you know, nothing is perfect in this world, and the customer journey is not an exception. In real life, the customer journey doesn’t look that simple as in the example above.
What is a customer journey map?
The customer journey map is a visual representation of the steps customer should take to reach the goal. The map shows the process from the first touchpoint to the last one and helps companies to understand the motivation behind the customers’ actions.
It’s important to understand that the customer journey is not a linear journey from A point to B point. In real life, companies deal with a back and forth, cyclical, multi-channel journey. And for this reason, they use customer journey mapping to analyze the process in detail and find the problems that must be fixed.
Define your buyer personas
If you want to create a customer journey map, you should research your target audience first. You should define your buyer personas and get a clear understanding of who exactly has the intention to buy your products. Here are the key aspects to consider:
- Age – How old your customers are?
- Location – Where do they live?
- Language – What languages do your buyers speak?
- Education Level – What is the education level of your buyers?
- Income Level – How much money does your customer persona earn?
- Job Title and Role – Is your buyer persona responsible for managerial decisions at his company?
- Interests – What interests related (and not related) to your product/niche does your customer persona have?
- Favorite Websites – What websites are popular among your buyers?
- Buying Motivation – Why do people buy your product? What specific need your product can satisfy?
- Buying Concerns – Do your customers have any concerns about buying your products?
Profile your buyer persona
Now you need to walk the extra mile and learn a little bit more about your buyer persona. You should find out what people think about using your website and your product. Also, you should try to understand what goals your customers are trying to achieve.
To get the necessary information, you should run a survey or a short questionnaire. Here are a few examples of the closed- and open-ended questions you may ask to collect the feedback you need:
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how easy is it for you to find the information you need at our website?
- Have you faced any issues during checkout?
- Have you contacted our support team? How can you describe your experience: excellent, good, terrible?
Define key customer touchpoints
A “touchpoint” is an interaction of your customer with your brand before, during, or after making a purchase. Touchpoints refer to literally every moment that happens through marketing, in person, or over the phone. Here are a few examples of such moments:
- Customer clicks a Facebook ad
- Comments on your social media post
- Leaves a review about your product on the forum
- Gets an email from your company
- Receives a discount coupon
- Contacts customer support
- Hears about you on the news
- Gets an invoice
- Joins loyalty program
- Talks to a sale person
Some touchpoints are more important than others. But it doesn’t mean that you should focus on the key points only. When it comes to the customer journey, every small detail matters,” says Nicole Norton, a marketer and editor at TopEssayWriting.
Identify customer pain points
The next step you should take to improve the customer experience is to define pain points. You should analyze all the data you have collected to find out what problems customers face using your website. You should define those specific issues and moments that make your buyers “unhappy”.
For instance, you may find out that users leave your website after visiting the “testimonials page”. After analyzing the situation in detail, you will understand that it happens because customer reviews sound salesy.
Take advantage of online tools and services
Customer journey mapping is a rather time-consuming and sophisticated process. But luckily, there are many tools and services that can simplify your work.
If you need writing help, you can use such online services as ClassyEssay and BeGraded. If you have no idea how to visualize the data, you can utilize ready-to-use customer journey map templates. Or, you can hire a freelance expert in data visualization at Upwork or Fiverr.
Write a customer journey map
Since the competition is getting fiercer, today, every customer matters. To achieve the goals you set in 2020, you should analyze the behavior of your target audience in detail and write a customer journey map. You should fix the mistakes that scare your prospective buyers away and smooth the work of your website.
BIO: Angela Baker is an editor at Subjecto. She is an expert in an expert on the customer journey and a passionate blogger. She writes for her own blog LiveInspiredMagazine and reputable publications in the niche.