To begin your Journey Mapping starts by defining your business goals, then breaking down the moments of the customer journey pre-purchase, purchase, post-purchase. And learning how to make their shopping experience a positive one. Moreover, how you can use it to help your marketing.
Journey mapping is the progression of steps a customer takes to purchase your product(s). They view the product you are advertising, buy the product, followed by using the product. The progression seems simple in theory, but in essence, it takes finesse to guide the customer to the end step.
Imagine for a moment how you go about browsing for a product or service you need. You start by looking for information about the product. Visiting several websites and reading the reviews and analyzing the information about the product. And then discussing the information you’ve collected as you go along. And then when you are satisfied, you select the buy now button to complete the transaction.
In reality, your customer follows the same journey when they are buying a product. They type in the browser the product, they check out different websites, exploring each one, and then they review what other customers had to say about their buying experience.
Customer journey mapping strategy is to break down those moments. Looking at each step so you can guide your visitor to become a customer and make the transaction. The trick is to convince your customer to become a loyal customer and not move to a competitor’s site.
To give you a little background of a customers journey. “Reimaging Commerce Report” determined that 92 percent of customers browse brand sites for other reasons besides making a purchase. Only 45 percent look for a product or service, 25 percent compare prices or other variables.
Moreover, a customer will visit a site nine times before deciding to pull the trigger and buy. And one out of ten searches for store details.
To market your product successfully, you must consider all the points starting at the beginning, middle, and end. Consideration of each point is going to determine why a customer is going to choose your brand, do business with you, and buy your product(s).
So what does a customer’s journey encompass? It starts with hearing friends and family talk about a brand, browsing for the product online, viewing it at a store, and having a product repaired. The journey begins when a customer first engages with your brand or marketing, their shopping experience, how your business supports them after they make the purchase. Customer support could be in the form of educational tutorials, upgrades, repairs, and so on.
Taking the time to map out the entire journey will help you figure out a strategy. The plan will shed light on how a customer engages with your brand at each moment of their buying journey. You will learn how a customer first became aware of your brand, their attitude towards it, and how they went about investigating the product or services. Moreover, what they are saying to others about your product or service.
Journey mapping gives you a better understanding of how your customers are embracing your brand, how and why your product interacts with their lives, schedules, and dreams. Armed with this information helps provide you with a plan to give customers the right message at the right time and place.
Define Your Business Goals
Now with that said, I’m assuming that you have set your business goals. Your focus should be on those goals and delivering your marketing and messages to promote your brand. Take a close look at how you usually communicate with your customers the most. Is it through social media, email marketing? Grouping those times when your customers engage with your business and breaking them down into touchpoints. For example, is it during the pre-purchase or at the time of the transaction or is it after the sale.
Tracking those times of customer interaction and see where you are falling short. And how you can fix those lost opportunities at the pre-purchase, purchase, or after the transaction stages. You might discover that a customer visits your website they find the product they want, and they place it in their cart. At that point, you can suggest other products that relate to their product. The hardware store I buy from suggested a lawn sprinkler and a water hose when I purchased my four-step plan for my lawn.
Here I want to caution you not to over micromanage the touchpoints. Getting caught up into too many details can slow you down and hurt your customer’s experience as they go through the buying process. Remember to focus on the business goals you want to achieve. Prioritize the moments and keep to your course. Keep in mind your customers intent first. What I mean by that is your business goal is to sell 50,000 suits, and your customer goal is to find a designer suit for one occasion.
Visit Your Website
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes at the time of pre-purchase, purchase, and after the sale. Can you imagine the emotions of what the customer might be feeling at each stage? As they work to find the answers to the problems they are trying to remedy.
Take the time to go through the process. For instance, browse your website. Is it easy to navigate? Or is it confusing and creating frustration for the customer? If it is confusing for you, can you see how it might also be frustrating for the customer?
Learn what you can do to make your site more comfortable to navigate. Also, considering if your website is easy to use but at the time when customers decide to purchase the check-out is complicated. Try to head off those negative experiences touchpoints and correct them as soon as you can.
Make Sure Everyone Is On The Same Page
It is imperative that what you are saying in your online advertisement is consistent. Making sure the customer experience is uniform throughout the buying stages, no matter if they are communicating with an associated person, or they are looking at an advertisement or social media. Figure out what is said and how it is affecting the customer on his journey. From this interaction, you are going to find out if your sales strategy is working.
Your goal is to make your customer feel like he is the most important person in the world when they do business with you. Don’t sabotage yourself by long wait times on the phone, or your customer service representatives are impersonal. If that is happening, then you retrain your personnel and overhaul these points and improve the experience.
A Positive Customer Experience
Fine tuning these points will go along way for providing a positive experience for your customer. Be their guide for information and lead them to the answers they are searching. It is critical to refrain from trying to sell them. Customers already have an idea of what they want to buy. It is better to give them options for solving their problems. In the long run, your customers will appreciate you more for helping them rather than selling them.
Can you see the benefit of putting yourself in the customer’s shoes? You gain an intimate insight into your customer’s emotions as they go on their journey. You can apply these technics no matter if you sell online or have a brick and motor store to further your brand. After you visit each stage of the transaction process, you will discover the same pitfalls as your customer doing business with you. Ask yourself, do all the touchpoints flow well? Is there anything you need to add or eliminate to help the customer through each step? It is all about positive customer experience. Don’t you agree?
Become A Customer
Another great way to find out about your competition is to go through there customer journey. Assume the role you are their customer and go through their process of pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase stages. Learn from them what they are doing that is different from what you are doing. Taking the best points and applying them to your customer journey. You might be surprised at the ideas you might get from assuming the role.
OK, you by now you have defined your customer’s buying process. You’ve learned from breaking the customer’s sales journey and know what is working and what hasn’t. Now it is time to envision the journey mapping process. Don’t just write it down, use visuals to do the mapping.
Your whiteboard is full of sticky notes showing the flow of the different touchpoints of each step. Using a visual will help everyone involved in the customer’s journey to come up with new and innovative ideas. It also helps with brainstorming new ways to improve the customer experience.
Make sure you conceive a hypothesis about how you can improve your communication touchpoints. Then test and refine the touchpoints. It is a matter of discarding the strategies that aren’t working and implementing the ones that are working. And if you missed your hypotheses, go back to the whiteboard and tweak and improve your predictions.
Journey mapping isn’t a one time task. Putting together a journey map is intense and requires several visits. It takes time to develop a customer journey map. Your customer map will evolve as the customer buying process evolves.
1. Define your business goals.
2. Know what your customers’ goals are.
3. A good understanding of the three stages of a customer journey. ( pre-purchase, purchase, post-purchase)
4. Become a customer of your competitor and learn about their shopping experience.
5. Ask your customer about their shopping experience doing business with you.
6. Go back, reassess, tweak, refine, and improve.
For instance, what worked five years ago doesn’t work now — marketing changes as communication changes. New technology, social media, and customer’s tastes change as the times change. Moreover, your brand has to change with it, or you will be left behind.
To stay on top, you must revisit your journey mapping at least once a year if not more. You must return and evaluate what is working and what touchpoints need to change.
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