How often do we step into the shoes of our customers? Many managers find it difficult to really understand the needs of their customers. Customer Journey Mapping allows you to illustrate the experience a customer goes through as they engage with your company. There’s no right or wrong way to look at your customer’s journey but here are a few steps that can get you started.
Identifying Your Customer
In order to effectively help your customers, you have to understand who they are. The goal here is to create what many refer to as “Customer Persona”. This is a detailed outline of who your customer is, what their day-to-day looks like, and how they might engage with your product. The
key to having strong personas is to have strong data backing up who you’re targeting. Since the goal is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your customer’s experience it is crucial to have accurate data to represent who those customers are.
Customer Touch Points
This is where we look at the different points in time during the customer experience where you engage with the customer or they engage with you. This process can show both the current touchpoints customers are having as well as the touchpoints they should be having. Identifying these points allow you to examine the actions and experiences your customers are currently having and needing your product.
Let’s look at an example. Say you operate an e-commerce website and you want to look at the customer journey your customers go through. You would want to look at things such as how they find your website, how easy is it to navigate and find the product they’re looking to buy, how user-friendly is the checkout, and how you currently interact and follow-up with them after purchasing.
By looking at these different steps you can start to understand the process your customers go through to engage with you and your product. The overall goal of this exercise is to better understand what’s working well and what might be hindering you from closing more sales.
Bottlenecks and Barriers
While looking at customer touchpoints, you’ll begin to see different areas where your customers may run into roadblocks. Meaning, that something is stopping them from completing their desired action. You may notice that customers navigate your website well but then abandon their cart before checking out. Identifying these bottlenecks and barriers is the first step to identifying why your conversion is lower than you want or projected.
Where to Improve
Once you’ve identified the different barriers that customers may experience the next question should come naturally: How can we remove these barriers? This step is what the Customer Journey Map is all about. We want to go through what are customers experience to better understand their pain points.
Let’s look at the example we used above. As you look at the different data you’ve collected you notice that customers navigate your website well but then abandon their cart before checking out. Why? You realize that customers are shocked by how long the shipping takes. They don’t want to purchase anymore because they don’t want to wait fourteen days to receive their item. In this step, you can start identifying ways to solve this problem.
Learning how to create your first Customer Journey Map can be extremely helpful in growing your business. By better understanding the step-by-step process your customers go through, you can identify what works well with your customers and what may be preventing them from converting to a sale.
For a template of how to create your first Customer Journey Map, click on the download button below!
By: Ashely Adams and Daniel Douglas
Learn about the Sales Funnel: Leading Customers to Action here.