To truly understand your customer’s experience interacting with your business, you need to take a step back. Increasingly, small companies are turning to maps of customer interactions, known as customer journey maps.
It’s vital to fully understand why someone decides to buy…or not to buy. Why does someone return as a customer…or move on to a new company? What makes a positive vs. negative experience? These are the core components of an effective Customer Journey Map. Let’s take a closer look at how to build out and reap the benefits of a better understanding of your target audience’s interactions with your company.
Who is the Customer?
To start, create a buyer persona/profile whose demographics and psychographics represents your average customer. This helps you train every aspect of your Customer Journey Map on the customer.
This requires an investment in research. Questionnaires have proven useful in gaining valuable customer feedback. Reach out only to actual customers and/or prospects. Talk to your sales team. Review customer feedback scores. Learn what works and what doesn’t, and more importantly, what language your personas use to describe these things.
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How Do Your Customers Interact?
The touchpoints your customers and prospects use should be listed, along with touchpoints you believe they should be using, but are not.
This list provides clear, actionable insights. For example, if you’re getting significant traffic to the pricing page of your website, but no one is completing the form to learn more, are your prices turning them off? Is there not enough detail on the page to justify for them not giving you a call? Alternatively, what does it mean if your customers use touchpoints more than you expected? Is it a symptom of an unnecessarily complicated site that requires too many steps for the customer to achieve their goal? How someone interacts with your marketing and sales funnels will ultimately determine what they want.
Touchpoints go beyond your website, which includes social media channels, paid advertising, email marketing, third-party review sites, and mentions.
Follow-up by listing everything a customer does while interacting with your business. You may see opportunities to reduce the number of customer actions, which often results in more conversions. You might need to implement additional steps in the middle of the buyer’s journey, connecting the top and bottom of the funnel with more information about your product.
One of the primary goals of the Customer Journey Map is to understand the emotional drivers surrounding their actions. Quite often, this is a pain point caused by a problem that you now have the opportunity to correct.
The 4 Types of Customer Journey
As you build your map, consider the following unique views of the customer journey:
- The current state map: what your customers are currently experiencing.
- The day-in-the-life map: what your customers do in their daily activities, whether connected with your business or not.
- The future state map: what you want your customers to experience in the future (it’s ideal for establishing goals).
- The service map: where you document how to provide the best possible customer experience.
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Building a clear Customer Journey Map is only the first step. Analyzing the results of the changes that the map helps implement is the most crucial part. How can you improve the user experience on your website? How can you improve customer support? These are examples of the things that can be determined with your completed map. It can show you where customer needs are not being met.
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