How to Map Out Your Customer Journey
Understanding your customer and how they interact with your business, directly and indirectly, is important in driving value, repeat business, and increasing the longevity of relationships.
To deliver this interaction and communicate with your customers, it helps to visualize your customer journeys and the key touchpoints across different marketing channels.
What Is the Customer Journey?
The customer journey refers to the process a customer goes through with your brand from browsing and comparing similar products and services to making the purchase to the post-purchase activities.
For a marketer, the key is to identify the stage a customer is at, and successfully curating the content the customer receives based on the stage as if it were served manually and with great care.
With potentially thousands of customers on your website and products at the right stage including Do It Yourself, Done for You, and Done with You, we can start to understand how the “right product, right prospect, right time” comes into play.
Understanding the Customer Touch Points and Channels
When beginning to look at a customer journey, a good place to start is the various touchpoints a customer has with your business. Firstly, identify the current channels a customer purchases from your business and this could include areas such as:
- Mail Order
- Call Centre
You can begin to start thinking about other areas such as:
- Order Fulfilment (Delivery, Payment, Returns, etc);
- Marketing Channels (Email, Postal, Telephone, Facebook, Blogs, etc);
- Research Channels (Website, Customer Service, etc).
- Other ares to consider which are indirect may include:
- contact via social sites,
- word of mouth,
- customer reviews, etc;
which should also be considered to build a more complete picture of the various touchpoints:
Customer Journey Process and Activities / Actions
For each of the touchpoints, you have identified a prospect will complete a number of activities and actions, designed to turn them from a stranger into a raving fan. A customer will typically go through the following process to make a purchase
- Awareness/browsing solutions to their problem including what you offer and what your competitors offer
- Engagement, for example, content on your blog
- Sales Opportunity – they may subscribe to receive your free Do It Yourself product
- Purchasing the product
- Take delivery of the product purchased
- Post Purchase activities such as upgrading the product or service, referring friends and family and advocating your product or service
Your role as the business owner is to create a customer journey that facilitates the process from stranger to raving fan. The process should have specific objectives at each stage that align to KPIs (key performance indicators). For example, at the engagement stage, you might run a social media campaign to your latest offer and one of your KPIs might be: how many customers clicked through from the ad and visited your site
I’ll publish a process map that illustrates the customer journey shortly
Mapping the Customer Journey
Now you have an idea of the customer touchpoints and activities/actions completed, a simple table can be used to map the customer journey with activities listed across the top and the touchpoints down the left-hand side, for example:
This can then be used to look at typical customer personas to map their journey from initial awareness, through purchase to sharing their satisfaction.
Here’s an example of an email to a customer highlighting an available upgrade to a product they recently purchased:
This Customer Journey provides key points and identifies influence and decision points, such as:
- The opinions posted on the Facebook Group the customer review
- Case studies and blog posts reviewed
- Product purchased or not (if not why not)
- Express positive views
In the example I have mapped, an existing customer. A new customer would have a different path, as would other customer personas for example, a prospect who has not purchased and read specific blog posts.
The key is to understand the path and steps each type of customer/client takes, using actual customer/client feedback and research if available.
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