Creating a customer journey tailored to your target persona is essential to understanding how your customer progresses through the buyers process from beginning to end. Putting in the effort to understand your customer and the process they go through will help you outline a communication and content strategy to increase engagement, leads, and sales.
What is a Customer Journey Map?
A customer journey map is a guide created with the purpose of understanding the route a customer takes once they realize they have a specific pain point that needs to be addressed. Pain points are problems the customer becomes aware of that need to be resolved. The customer journey map is designed to address how the customer is feeling, thinking and operating throughout each stage of their self-education and decision-making process.
The more specific and detailed your map is for each buyer persona, the better. A buyer persona is a fictional ideal profile making up one segment of your overall customers, created with the purpose to understand who you are targeting and to explore how they think and act. While it might seem time-consuming to create focused maps for each buyer persona you have, it can contribute to more conversions.
The customer journey map also acts as a visual representation which can be a useful tool to relay consistent information to your team, improve strategy and impress clients.
Stages of a Customer Journey
The stages may vary based on the type of business. In general, the below represents the major stages that move your customers to a decision. Following are the different stages of a customer journey.
When the customer realizes they have a need or pain point that needs to be addressed and resolved. This phase is the first touchpoint your potential customer has with you and their first impression of your solution.
The customer searches for solutions to their problem. Your customer is met with their second touchpoint through live chat, email, or digital marketing.
The customer has narrowed down their potential solutions through research and filtering those solutions through specific criteria such as a video, meeting, call, or webinar. Their consideration is built upon the touchpoints in the awareness and research stages.
The customer is ready to make an informed decision and buy what you have to offer.
Steps to Create a Customer Journey Map
Identify Your Targeted Audience and Create a Buyer’s Persona
It’s important to narrow down who your customer is by creating a buyer persona for each type of customer you want to attract. Buyer personas should be industry-specific and in depth. Defining your customer is a vital part of the customer journey creation process to ensure it is relevant and applicable. What is the customer’s goal? The map should be created from the perspective of the customer.
Identify Different Touchpoints at Each Stage
Anyway, a customer comes into contact with your company is a touchpoint. This can be through a phone call, email, contact form, white paper, webinar, trade show, live chat, digital and physical advertising, social media and your company’s website just to name a few. There are many potential touchpoints and it is wise to identify them so you may use them for your benefit. The goal is to have the customer engage with multiple touchpoints and have those interactions lead to conversions. Meaningful customer interactions are crucial to the success of your brand.
Identify the Pain Points of the Persona
What are the pain points that are going to drive the persona towards your brand? How can you address those pain points? Assessing what the pain points are for each persona can assist you in strategizing how to address the pain points of the persona, which channels are the most appropriate to use and give your team valuable knowledge on what drives the customer. Discover what questions your customer has and address them before they even have to ask.
Creating a customer journey map can aid your team in visualizing the start point of each persona and what actions, emotions, and thoughts occur throughout the entire process as well as what the end goal is. Exploring what emotions the customer experiences throughout the customer journey is vital to understanding the customer better, why they take action and help you strategize how to meet them where they are so they feel understood and well informed through your provision. This understanding will increase the likelihood of conversions from each customer as well as customer satisfaction with your service or product and the experience.
If you are building a customer journey map for your client, it can provide a visual way to explain what you are doing, why, increase their understanding of their own customer base, further satisfy your client with the services you are providing them and improve their opinion of your customer service. Once you have created your customer journey, your organization should analyze data to see if each persona’s map was useful in targeting individual personas, what you could have done differently, what worked well and explore investment options. Investing in the proper touchpoints to reach your target clientele is crucial to your success.
Customer Journey Map Templates
If you are overwhelmed by all the information mentioned above, there are other options that can help you create and customize your customer journeys in a more efficient way. Using a customer journey template would be much easier compared to creating it from scratch. Luckily, there are many resources that provide customizable buyer’s journey templates. We compiled a list of useful resources that you can refer to.
We also developed our own customer journey map template (with an example). You can download it for free: Sting Marketing’s Customer Journey Map Template with an Example.
Whether your company provides an experience, product or service, you should consider creating a customer journey map to better understand your customer. We believe customer journey maps increase successful interactions with customers, provide a space to visualize and conceptualize as well as ease the buyers process and increase conversions. Our firm can work with you to create customer journey maps and buyer personas that correlate with your client base and your desires for your company with the purpose of increasing conversions. Schedule a consultation with us today.