Proven Tips for Customer Journey Mapping Success
How does your business gain customers? And more importantly, are you keeping those customer? Outlining the path of your potential buyers is perhaps one of the most important marketing tasks you can do.
It takes the guesswork out of customer interaction and guarantees better alignment for sales & marketing in your business.
Let’s dive deeper into the strategies that really make customer journey mapping work, starting with defining the customer journey itself…
What is the Customer Journey?
The customer journey is the path or process all prospective customers go through before, during, and after making a purchase. It covers everything. From the discovery of a business, to purchase of a product or service, and beyond.
Think of the customer journey as a long, winding, road.
Prospects, unfamiliar with the terrain, may drive cautiously – getting lost, or worse yet, turning around completely if the road isn’t clear.
Your goal as a brand is to be the navigation – gently guiding potential buyers in the right direction towards their ultimate destination.
Mapping Strategies for Success
Customer journey mapping is the strategy to keep your customers on track during their buyer’s journey. Every interaction, from the time a customer discovers your brand, is an opportunity to guide clients or customers further down the sales funnel.
Start by imagining each of the steps a new customer must take to find your brand, engage with your offer, convert with a sale or connection, and what happens after they become a paying customer.
The goal here is to define the moments that matter.
Once this is complete, it’s easy to determine when & how to reach out to customers. You can add to this journey map. You can improve key moments to increase sales or improve their customer experience. And, you can make sure every customer has a consistent and cohesive experience with your brand.
These moments will shape your strategy.
There are three core components of a customer journey map:
Each piece represents the top, middle, and bottom of a sales funnel respectively.
Generating awareness of your business is at the very top of your funnel. After all, you can’t make a sale if no one knows who you are!
Social media, advertising, blogging, and good old word-of-mouth are a few ways to get your business out there & into the consciousness of potential buyers.
The awareness stage of your customer journey is usually focused on driving qualified traffic to your website, physical location, or a phone call. This is how your customers are finding you.
The engagement stage of your customer journey extends beyond a simple “Like” on Facebook. Engagement is about attracting your target audience to a deeper interaction with your brand.
So, your social media posts have gotten a few likes, or maybe you’ve created an ad in your local newspaper and received a call or two…what next?
Next, you need to foster engagement. You need to do it at EVERY. SINGLE. CUSTOMER. TOUCHPOINT.
This isn’t just about getting a prospective buyer to read your blog or follow you on social media.
Engagement with potential customers is really about going deeper & building a relationship across all channels where prospects interact with your brand. That’s why it’s so important to define the moments that matter in your business.
What Are the Moments that Matter?
Let’s look at engagement opportunities along your customer journey. These moments are any opportunities where you can nurture your relationships and convert strangers into buyers and buyers into raving fans.
Let’s imagine you’re a financial advisor who has just placed an ad in the newspaper. Some common opportunities for deeper engagement would be:
- After a potential client has called to schedule a consultation.
- Deepen engagement by prompting them to subscribe to your email newsletter. Even if you do not decide to work with each other, newsletters keep your business at the forefront of their minds.
- Once a prospect’s financial records have been reviewed.
- At this point, you’ve turned a prospect into a buyer. Now, engage further by inviting them to join your financial group on social media, build your digital community with buyers.
- Shortly after a financial strategy has been mapped out for a current client.
- This is the moment to push buyers into advocates. Ask for a review, offer incentives if you can. Be sure you’re doing everything in your power to increase retention & word-of-mouth.
The most critical part of the customer journey. This is where you make the sale. Or close the deal. Or sign the contract.
A conversion is the ultimate goal of any customer journey.
But converting prospects, even when they’ve been engaging with your brand, can be difficult. Most buyers don’t like to be explicitly “sold” to, so moving them through this part of the process has to be delicate.
So, you may have micro-conversion points along your customer journey. A micro-conversion may be someone signing up for your lead magnet that they became aware of through your Facebook ad. They engaged with your ad. They landed on your landing page. And they converted by filling out the form.
This micro-conversion example doesn’t generate revenue immediately, but know this person who is interested in your lead magnet content can now be nurtured for deeper engagement opportunities – watch a short introduction video from you, book a call, or buy your product.
Ultimately, from that micro-conversion you are creating a customer conversation that encourages your potential customer to take the next logical step for becoming a paying customer.
Here is another examples of simple Aware, Engage, Convert customer journey for ecommerce:
- Create a Google Ad campaign for your primary product.
- Build a landing page for the product with a “Buy Now” button.
- After they buy your product, send a thank you email and fulfill their order.
- If they don’t buy, use Google Ads remarketing to show your product ads across the web to bring them back to make the purchase.
What comes after the sale…
Your customer journey shouldn’t stop once you’ve made a sale. You need to think long term at solutions that bridge the gap between average buyers, repeat buyers, and raving fans.
How can you encourage repeat buying? There are several ways to increase retention but following up is key. Reach out via phone, email, even thank-you cards.
There’s no limit here. Think outside the box to craft retention campaigns for your customers. Take it a step further by automating the process. Automated customer retention campaigns can deliver delight in their mailboxes as well as their inbox.
A client or customer that will advocate for your brand, even without being prompted, is one of the best assets a business can have. Who better to share your content, review your services, and inform others about you than someone who genuinely loves your business?
But creating a strategy to generate Raving Fan reviews can be a daunting task. From monitoring your brand online to proactively seeking feedback, it requires a comprehensive plan. Once laid out, the pieces of the customer journey puzzle come together creating a holistic, full-circle customer experience.
Getting Started with Your Customer Journey
As you can see, mapping your customer’s journey has many steps and having a team or strategic partner to help you build, modify, optimize, and expand your customer journeys across all platforms is a critical step for business leaders.
The right partner is going to help you see the strategic customer journeys and break it down into creative campaigns that deliver measurable results and create efficient marketing systems to keep the revenue coming in.
If you’d like some Smart Girl help with where to get started, let’s chat. Schedule a free Digital Discovery Session with our Lead Smart Girl, Katie Childers. She can discuss a current project or help you get started in making that digital transformation for your business.