As a business owner, there are two things you are continually trying to do: generate more sales and improve your brand’s image. Now I’m guessing in order to do these two things, you think you have to think like a business owner. But that’s not the right way to think at all.
You’ve got to instead think like your customer. Because unless you’re keeping your customer in mind every step along that sales funnel, you’re most likely making marketing decisions that are losing them along the way.
That’s why mapping out your entire customer journey is so incredibly important.
All too often, marketers become obsessed with that final transaction – the sale. But you will never get to the sale without taking your customer on a journey. And, you could have the greatest product or service in the world, great customer service, a beautiful website and free shipping, and none of that will matter if the overall journey (AKA, the overall customer experience with your brand) is lacking in some way.
What is a customer journey map?
Think of every experience, interaction or touchpoint a prospect has with you and put that into a visual representation and you’ve got a customer journey map. Looking at this map gives you a bird’s eye view of your customers’ experience with you, from their first introduction to what hopefully becomes a long-term relationship.
Now you may be thinking, “Why do I need to create this map? I know what my customers experience…” but do you really? Are you keeping complete track of your marketing campaigns and all of the various channels your customers can find you on? Think of all the different ways someone may first come into contact with your brand: search, social media, print marketing, referrals, community outreach, etc.
While you may think you have their journey all figured out in your head, it is far too easy for an experience to slip through the cracks, which means the customer experience may not be as good as it should be.
Mapping allows you to see your business from your customer’s point of view. You get to step into their shoes and experience your brand yourself. This is powerful because you can gain some really valuable insights and learn about your customer’s pain points.
What Does the Customer Want?
In our experience, there are certain things all customers want. They want:
- Their entire experience with you to be seamless
- You to understand their needs
- To be heard
- Solutions to their problems
- A cohesive brand story and recognizable voice
- Real value
- A Real connection
A tall order? For sure. And that’s why it’s so important to have a clear roadmap to deliver the goods!
Here are 5 specific reasons to begin mapping your customer’s journey:
- Recognizable Touch Points
Each customer journey with you will be unique, and in order to know where they all begin, you’ve got to see where and how customers are interacting with your business.
- Relevant Messaging
It’s important that the right message get in front of the right person at the right time. Mapping can help you craft messages for particular customer needs at particular stages in the sales funnel.
- A Logical Customer Journey
Does your customers’ end-to-end experience of your company happen in a logical order? Do you even know? You will once you map it all out.
- Uncover Areas for Improvement
You can design your dream home in your head, but when it lives in there, you can’t quite tell whether the layout will actually work. Once you sit down with an architect and sketch your idea out on paper, you may realize the bathroom right next to the kitchen is not the best idea or there isn’t enough room upstairs for an office like you imagined. In the same way, a customer’s journey map will reveal potential gaps between desired customer experience and the one actually received by them.
- Improve Your ROI
Mapping shows you exactly what is working for you, so you can maximize efforts and spend money where it will give the biggest return.
This is the WHY of mapping your customer journey. In next week’s blog post, we’ll cover the HOW so you can begin gaining insights and optimizing your campaigns.