You surely do not want prospects to get lost on their way towards making a purchase and take their money to your competition instead. This happens more often than you think. Businesses are often unaware of the individual steps prospects take to become paying customers. The customer journey concept brings clarity. In today's issue, we explain how it works. The customer journey is comprised of all touch points a client has with a brand. It is a central concept in customer-oriented marketing and focuses on positive experiences. The customer journey begins as soon as a user becomes aware of an offer and ideally ends when a purchase decision was made. The 'first click wins'-idea has proven to be wrong. This means even if users discover your offer first, they can still take their business elsewhere when your touch points were unable to make an impression on them. Prospects take their time before they make an informed decision. This includes visiting brand-controlled touch points (website, ads or call center), but also indirect touch points (social networks, peers and review sites). In order to keep prospects interested, brands should understand and optimize the customer journey.
Customer Journey Map
The customer journey can be divided into 5 phases:
In order to make the journey as pleasant and efficient as possible through these 5 phases, you should visualize it. The map serves as the interpretation of an individual's relationship with a brand across the various touch points. Important items that should be part of this map are the different personas of your customers as well as all touch points and communication channels.
Since marketing and sales can be in charge of various touch points, the map should be created in cooperation between both departments. The following 7 steps will guide you:
- Define goals: What is the desired result of the customer journey?
- Do research: What do you know about your clients? What are their personas? Use customer surveys, social media and online analysis tools to get insights!
- List touch points: Identify all touch points and the channels on which they take place. Users might contact a brand via phone call, email or social media.
- Do empathy mapping: Try to look at your touch points from the different personas' perspectives. What kind of experience do they have at individual touch points? Here, you will probably encounter a few problems. Do some brainstorming to come up with new ideas!
- Create affinity diagram: You have listed all touch points and personas. You also came up with some exiting new ideas during empathy mapping. Now it is time to impose order on your ideas and see which touch points belong to which channels.
- Visualize map: It is finally time to visualize the customer journey. Be as creative as you like. You may want to get an illustrator or designer to help you with this.
- Share map: Make sure all of your employees have access to the map!
We have created an exemplary customer journey map for you. Click on the preview to download the infographic.
From Start to Finish
Creating the customer journey map is something that has to be done manually. However, marketing technology can help you with everything else, such as identifying and optimizing the customer journey.
You need data to map out the customer journey. What are your most frequented touch points? Which touch points bring the most conversions? These are essential questions if you want to optimize the customer journey and to increase the return on investment of your marketing. In order to do this, you will require analysis tools that track the online behavior of your customers.
Some software can also assist you in anticipating and personalizing the customer journey for individual personas so they reach the desired destination much faster. Sitecore is such a tool. It is an all-in-one solution consisting of content management, product information management and marketing automation features. Based on accumulated user data, Sitecore delivers dynamic content to the right people at the right time. Prospects only see what they need to make a buying decision. The customer journey becomes a positive experience crowned with the purchase of a product or service.
That is why you should optimize the customer journey:
✓ Foster the cooperation between marketing and sales
✓ Improve the customer experience
✓ Use your marketing budget where it really matters
✓ Increase the conversion rate
We gladly assist you in creating a customer journey map and optimizing your touch points. Get in touch!