To make an impact on your customer, you need to make sure each interaction they have with you means something. If you want each interaction to mean something, you need to be strategic about when and how these interactions will take place.
This is why you need to map your customer experience journey before diving into the moving parts and pieces. When you can visualize a customer’s journey with your business, it’s easier to determine when and where important these touch points will occur.
Mapping out the customer journey also allows you to determine where the customer might hit roadblocks and give you the opportunity to ease their fears or help them along their path to purchase when this happens. Your goal? To find and address the pain points of your customers.
Step 1 — Set your objectives
Determine what you want to accomplish with this specific customer journey map. Is this for a certain customer? Are you directing it towards a certain end goal?
Use the information you determined in the first chapter (what your values are, who your customer is) to flesh out your objectives and learn more about where your customer is coming from.
You’ll want to take into consideration where your customer is before they find you. How are they currently solving their problems?
Step 2 — Define your customers goals and stages
Again, you’re building on the steps you took in Chapter 1. Refer back to your customers key problems (and how you’re planning to solve them). You can use these to further understand your customer’s journey and how you’ll help them along the way. Where are they trying to go?
You can map out the customer journey by stages:
- Awareness Stage — When your customer is first learning about you and your product or service.
- Consideration Stage — When your customer is thinking about buying your product or service.
- Decision Stage — When your customer chooses to move forward with making their purchase.
- Nurture Stage — When your customer has already made a purchase and may return to make another.
A typical customer lifecycle looks something like this:
Discover » Explore » Compare » Evaluate » Purchase » Become Loyal » Refer Others
Look at what it takes, from discovery to consideration, for a customer to make a purchase. Then look at what it will take for them to be satisfied with their purchase (so that they come back to purchase more and tell their friends about you).
Step 3 — List out the touch points
Write out where your customer will encounter you in their journey. Are they on Facebook? Will they find you through a Google search? There can be several different touch points, including but not limited to:
- Social media channels
- Blog articles
- Website landing pages
- Third-party mentions
- Paid Ads
A touch point is technically any point of contact between your customer and your business, and can be digital (like social media) or traditional (like a radio ad). Where are you planning to reach your customers?
At every stage of your customer’s journey, try to identify:
- What their goals were
- Steps and touch points they’ll use to get to the next phase.
- How they felt emotionally at each touchpoint and why.
- How long this stage took to complete.
Step 4 — Determine hurdles (and solve them)
Once you’ve laid out your customer’s goals, their different stages, and every touch point they’ll encounter, you’ll gain a better understanding of their overall customer experience. You can use this to identify parts of the process that causes problems for your customers.
- Are they abandoning their cart because something took too long to process?
- Do they need more information about your product in order to take action?
- Is there a way for customers to reach you directly when they have an issue?
Take this information and use it to make your customer experience journey map as easy to follow as possible. You want to eliminate any roadblocks there might be, and make sure that all stops along the CX journey are green lights that lead your customer to making a purchase, being satisfied, and telling others about how awesome your product is.
Step 5 — Think about customers post-sale
The sale is never the end of the customer journey. In all honesty, in the marketing flywheel, it’s just the beginning. You need to create a fantastic experience that will turn your customers into repeat sales and raving fans. There are several ways to do this, starting with your strategic plan.
- Establish a 100-day customer experience that reassures your customers they made the right choice. First impressions matter, and the first 100 days are pivotal to creating loyal customers and raving fans. Strategically create an awesome post-sale experience.
- Make sure you’re interacting with you customers at regular touchpoints, like email or quarterly feedback surveys. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your fans!
- Surprise your customers by letting them know you’re thinking of them on special occasions like their birthday or anniversary of their first purchase.
- Develop a thoughtful nurturing program that continues to foster the relationship you have with your customer after they make a sale. This could look like a free event, webinar, or e-book that provides value to your customers.