As marketers, it can be frustrating when you can’t figure out why your customers prefer your competitors over your business. Especially when you feel like you have offered them everything they could possibly want.
But the question is, did you? Have you taken the time to walk in your customer’s shoes and get into their mindset before deciding on what they want?
If you’re suddenly feeling unsure, then it’s time for you to go on a journey — a customer journey.
What is a customer journey?
A customer journey is a story about the customer’s experiences and how they behave when interacting with your brand throughout different touchpoints. The journey starts when they become aware of your brand, interact with your product, to the ultimate goal of brand loyalty.
Whether your customers interact with you via your website, in-store, or other channels, mapping the customer journey out visually helps ensure that no customer will slip through the cracks.
Why is it important?
The purpose of identifying and mapping out the touchpoints of a customer journey is to gain an in-depth understanding of their experiences and common pain points.
This allows brands to improve on and tailor the customer experience to suit their needs. Increasing the chance of turning them into loyal customers for your business. Furthermore, it also has other benefits including:
- Identifying the desired customer experience vs. what they actually receive
- Understanding different buyer personas and how they move from awareness and interest to purchase and loyalty
- Identifying a logical order for the buyer journey
- Identifying the emotions that a customer goes through with each touchpoint
Creating a customer journey map
Step 1: Step into your customer’s shoes
The first and most important step before creating a customer journey map is to step into your customer’s shoes. And this requires empathy. Being empathetic allows you to share your customer’s pain points, allowing you to fully understand their experiences.
Step 2: Identify customer touchpoints
Whenever your customer interacts with your brand, whether it’s through an ad, throughout their visit to your store or website, or after purchase, it is considered as touchpoints.
By identifying each touchpoint, you can identify different obstacles and pain points that your customers experience. This will help you create a seamless sales process that satisfies your customer’s needs — turning them into loyal customers for your business.
Step 3: Visualize the journey
To help you visualize and analyze the customer journey easier, you should map it out based on each touchpoint. There are various customer journey map templates available for use, so you can simply choose a template or create your own from scratch.
Step 4: Identifying pain points
In order to successfully identify your customer’s pain points, you can start by asking these questions:
- Actions: What is the customer doing at this touchpoint? (Ex: Browsing product options, providing shipping information, leaving feedback)
- Motivation: What will encourage (or discourage) your customers from moving on to the next touchpoint?
- Feelings: What does your customer feel when experiencing this stage? (Ex: overwhelmed, satisfied, confused)
- Questions: What kind of questions will they ask? Can they find the answers easily? Are there many uncertainties surrounding your product or brand?
- Obstacles: What kind of barriers do customers face in each of the stages? Is it the pricing? Unclear product explanation? Try to figure out what discourages the customer to complete the sales cycle.
Step 5: Discussion and improvements
After mapping out the customer journey, it’s time for you to discuss what improvements can be done to fulfill customer needs and increase customer satisfaction. Don’t forget to keep track of each change and how your customers react to them so that you can measure the effectiveness of your improvements.
If you need help in understanding your customer’s problems, pain points, and desires, our brand story handbook is the perfect tool for you.
Reach out to us if you’re interested in learning more.