Realistically, the sales path a customer is embarked on is never straight on. Although there is always a starting point and a finishing line, customers often go back and forth numerous times between the different stages of their customer journey. Especially if the sale process is a complex one, or if the product/service suite is an exhaustive one. Hence the importance of mapping out your customers' journey maps.
With different customers come different behaviour patterns, different preferences for means of communication and different interactions with your brand in general. The assessment of these elements would eventually construct the general picture of the customer journey map. In order for the latter to be as accurate as possible, it’s mandatory for your assessment to be data-driven and to be comprehensive of all channels.
Therefore, we introduce you below to the different steps you need to include in your strategy when constructing your customer journey map:
1. Set your goal
The first step to take is to try and answer the following questions:
Why do you need digital customer journey mapping?
How can you evaluate the efficiency of your customer journey map?
How can you relate to customers' experiences within your customer journey strategy?
Answering these questions, will not only help you frame your strategy but also struct and define your approach according to a goa, which should always be the main vector for your actions.
2. Identify your buyer personas
You can’t create a customer journey map without a thorough understanding of your customers. Hence, the importance of detecting and categorising the different buyer personas that may (or may not) go through your sales funnel.
In order to profile your buyer personas you can use various sources of data such as:
You can also use software solutions that are able to connect to your sales or customer service solutions, to better understand your existing customers.
Note: most businesses have 3–5 buyer personas.
3. Determine your buying process
Determining the different steps and actions that will lead your customers eventually to take the plunge and conclude a purchase is a key element in constructing an accurate customer journey map.
What does your buying process look like? How do people go from hearing about your company to ordering your products or engaging your services?
That’s exactly the kind of questions you need to come up with answers to. In a nutshell, it will allow you to define how every customer touch point ultimately (and hopefully) leads to brand advocacy. To do so, you have to list all potential customer touchpoints and customer actions.
Your company must be able to evaluate, search for information, pre and post-purchasing decision, to create a well-defined buying process for your consumers. Take into consideration all the different buyer personas you have identified before, and the different scenarios of buying processes each results in.
4. Set your touchpoints
Touchpoints are where & how customers and prospects interact with your business. These are pivotal to the customer experience they end up having with your company.
By setting your touchpoints with consumers you’ll have a clearer buying process which will lead to accurate customer journey mapping. The best way to keep track of these touchpoints is by noting all interactions. It can be as big as filling out a contact form or as small as scrolling past your posts on Instagram.
Here are some customer touch point examples:
A physical store
Search engine results
Word of mouth
If you aren’t sure where to start, use your website analytics tool first to identify where most of your leads come from. This will help you see which touchpoints lead to the most customer interactions. Keep in mind that touchpoints differ from one business to another depending on your product or service. But they also differ from one buyer persona to another, depending on their typical customer journey map.
5. Identify customers' actions
After you’ve identified all of your potential touchpoints, it’s time to list the actions that your customers may take at each one of these touchpoints. This will give you a high-level idea of how customers ultimately move from the awareness stage to advocacy via different channels:
Your website: Customers can subscribe to your email list, read your blogs, or request a demo.
Social media: Customers can interact with your content, follow you, message you, or share your content with their friends and network.
Advertising: Customers can view your ads passively or click on them to learn more about your products and services.
This can take some time, but try to list all of the potential ways people could interact with you at every touchpoint to make sure that you leave no gaps behind that can generate an interesting opportunity for your company.
A software solution such as Actito can be of great use when it comes to tracking behaviour and providing insights and analytics regarding every customer’s action across multiple communication channels.
6. Find buyer’s pain points
Once you define the buying process and create a framework for your customer journey map, you need to add the buyer’s pain points at every stage. Pain points are a customer’s immediate problems that need to be solved.
When you know a customer’s pain point, you have a direct window of communication to tackle the challenge they’re facing and answer their need. Which can help you create just-in-time content to satisfy their needs.
Pain points change according to the customers' touch points and the stage they’re at in the buying process. For example, Awareness-stage consumers might present pain points such as a lack of knowledge and lack of time.
7. Align customer pain points with your solution
The key step of digital customer journey mapping is to match customers' pain points with your solution.
For example, if their pain point is that they can’t find high-quality accounting services within their budget, you can match that customer with a lower-cost service.
You’ll need to offer a different solution for each pain point.
8. Update and improve
One of the key steps is adapting and constantly improving your customer journey map.
Customer journey mapping isn’t just a marketing tool. You should also use it to improve every aspect of your business, including customer service, sales, product design, billing, and more importantly, customer experience.
You can always rely on your customer journey analytics to see where buyers fall out of the buying process to figure out what solutions would help them the most and anticipate their movements.
9. Experience the customer journey yourself
It’s necessary for you to go through your already set customer journey map in order to understand and relate to what potential clients would feel.
Therefore, experiencing the customer journey map is very valuable to test what you’ve drafted in terms of essential steps and the accuracy of your mapping.
To give you a competitive edge, we have put together a customer journey map canvas for you to help you map out the different stages whilst keeping a comprehensive overview of the different components and entities!