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Every brand needs a specific map that guides them on how to get their target audience and how they can give their best for them, right? Or we can say a traveler needs a map to reach out to his particular destination exactly like that brand needs a customer journey map to understand the customer’s mind.
A customer journey map gives you crucial insights into how your buyers interact with your brand. Playing a crucial role in marketing strategy is a way to keep people engaged in it. It supports and guides you towards meeting your customer’s needs and assuring that they stay loyal to your brand.
Customer loyalty is now becoming more open than ever before in today’s post -COVID world. Consumers are now trying new brands, experimenting with new trends and channels for shopping, and adopting new products and services that they might not have considered before. Consumers and B2B buyers are trying new strategies which have been forced by circumstances to break their old shopping habits, traditions and they haven’t yet settled into new ones.
This is both good and bad news, good because you have opportunities to extend your customers base and bad because if you’re not careful you could watch your loyal customers march off elsewhere.
For the past few years due to the pandemic situation, people are more aware than ever. Brand enterprises aim to fulfill customer expectations by providing the best services. Brands want a smooth, facilitated customer journey that slides naturally from one step to the next one. You can’t force customer journey as it flows naturally. They need to create a map to understand the customer journey and remove all hindrances between them.
In the recent past, the customer journey has become more complicated than ever. Customers are crossing different channels, using different touchpoints, even using various information sources, and checking out another brand’s online store while standing in a different physical store.
What Is Customer Journey?
Customer journey helps you to tell a story about the customer’s experience with your brand or it is an overall experience of the customer while communicating with your brand.
What Is Customer Journey Mapping?
A customer journey map is a visual representation of the storyline of every engagement your customer has with your brand and this directly places your brand in the consumer’s mind without letting them know that you are tracking their records as to where you can make improvements, where you are going wrong or right, where you may be missing the path in the consumer life cycle.
How To Create Customer Journey Mapping?
- Set your target
- Create buyer personas
- Eye on motivational and pain points
- Track the buyer’s journey
- Maximize touchpoints
- Find your moments of Truth
- Revise points
Set Your Targets
It’s easier to find the way when you know the exact destination you’re headed to. Identifying the goals and making plans to execute is the most essential part of learning how to create a customer journey map.
It’s important to set a target for what you are planning to achieve before you even begin. Planning will help you to achieve effective results faster. Having a fixed goal in mind will always help you stay on track.
Consider these questions while creating a customer journey map: Why are you preparing this map? What customer experience will you consider? Who is your target audience?
Create Buyer Personas
A buyer persona signifies the traits of a buyer that depicts a specific customer segment for your brand. Whenever you make a persona, always remember to ask more ‘why’ questions. It will provide you with more insight into customer behavior. Since you are creating a customer journey map around a buyer persona, you have to be as accurate as possible because small mistakes can cause greater risks.
You have to collect as much data as you can through analysis because this information will help you place yourself in the shoes of customers. When you create buyer personas you have to consider the following characteristics: behavior, nature, lifestyle, personality, information sources, and shopping preferences.
Keep An Eye On The Pain Points
Always remember to consider the smallest details about the customer pain points just like you consider the positives.
For this, you have to question yourself: What makes them unable to buy something? What keeps them going? What are their fears about brands?
If you catch all their points, you will understand the improvisations to be done to your strategy. Understanding customer pain points will give you a deeper insight into making the buyer’s journey pleasant.
Track The Buyer Journey
There are different stages to a buyer’s journey to be able to provide a more personalized experience that will help you as well as them.
There are mainly three stages of a buyer’s journey: Awareness, consideration, and decision.
In the first stage, buyers can specify the challenges that they are facing. Consider the following questions: What are the challenges buyers are dealing with? Is dealing with these challenges the topmost priority for them?
In the consideration stage, buyers are actively looking for effective solutions for their challenges. If you can answer the following question you may be able to figure out this stage easily: What options are available for buyers? How will they search for the information? How will they analyze the pros and cons of the options?
In the decision stage, buyers got their solutions and now they are searching for suitable products or services( it will be your brand!). Consider these questions: What criteria would the buyer use to determine if the product or service is good for them or not? Who is the stakeholder in this decision?
Maximize The Touchpoints
Touchpoints are the avenues through which customers can interact with you. You have to list all the touchpoints that your customers are currently using and find out the most effective one which they should be using.
Some touchpoints may have more impact than others but you have to understand all the touchpoints with the following consideration: Which are the effective ones? How can your brand highlight them?
Understanding touchpoints is the main step for creating a customer journey map so you have to be careful with them. And also note that your website is not the only option for customers to come across you, it can be email marketing, paid ads, social channels, third-party review sites so you have to be aware of all of them and optimize your presence on them.
Find Your Moments Of Truth
As you follow all the above steps this one is the most important step which will take you close to the customer’s mind and every brand has to do this: earning customer trust.
Customers expect brands to interact with them and this is the case where customers’ opinions about your brand are formed based on their experience. So you have to ask yourself these questions: How do you stand out? How will you earn their trust?
Everything related to your customers, right from your website to your blog to your customer care department, everything should be focused on gaining customer trust.
Importance Of Customer Journey Map
This is not a one-time process so don’t get overwhelmed by creating a customer journey map. Continue refining your process. As the customer journey can change over time and your brand must be ready to adapt.
Customer journey is important for all small to medium industries, brands as well as startups. It is an asset of any company. It is a strategic approach to understand customer expectations and is essential to give them a better service experience.
With the help of customer journey mapping small to medium enterprises can create personalized experiences for stakeholders.
A customer journey map provides many benefits such as simplifies the customer’s setup process, understanding differences in buyer personas when switching from potential consumers to converted clients, and helps you to understand customer expectations.
If you approach a new customer’s journey from the customer’s point of view, it will help to understand their needs, the opportunity for solving the problems. Thus, it is important to create an effective customer journey map.
A customer journey map not only provides you with a visual representation of customer behavior but also shows you how to redesign a product or service that will help your brand, specifically benefiting the customer. The customer journey map gives you both generic and specific images of customer satisfaction. As a result, all these steps of creating effective customer journey maps are important to create value for you and your customers.