As a business owner, your top priority is providing the best experience for every customer. Many businesses are adopting a technique known as customer journey mapping to plan and perfect their customer-experience skills. Customer journey mapping is essentially the process of plotting out the journey your customers take through their interactions with your business.
Journey mapping helps you design a step-by-step process for attracting and retaining customers. By tailoring each step to your business’s needs you can create a customer journey that optimizes your profits and performance. With all the benefits of customer journey mapping, it is sure to become an important aspect of your marketing strategy.
The Customer Journey in Eight Steps
A customer’s journey with your company can be broken down into eight distinct steps:
The customer journey mapping process consists of creating a marketing strategy that will guide customers through each distinct step. While some customers may traverse this eight-step journey by their own account, a detailed strategy will lead a greater percentage into the final step. The use of a personalized journey map combines multiple marketing tactics into one focused campaign—thus improving the efficiency of your digital marketing.
The first step in a customer’s journey consists of simply developing an awareness of your business. There are countless ways for new customers to learn who you are and what you can do for them. Techniques such as blogging, word-of-mouth advertising, and posting on social media can be used to grow awareness of your brand. Whatever content you choose to create should be entertaining, informative, and—above all—attention-grabbing. Eye-catching content is more likely to garner clicks or shares, which are essential for the next step in the customer’s journey.
A customer’s engagement with your brand begins at their first interaction with your content and continues for as long as you maintain a relationship with them. This ongoing conversation with your customers can be conducted via multiple channels; including social media posts, online community discussions, and even emails with customer support. By making sure your customers have positive experiences with each channel of engagement, you are increasing the chance that they remember your brand and choose to return to it. Any engagement also serves to offer chances of moving into stage three of the customer journey.
Once a customer chooses to engage with your business, you can begin asking them for a small commitment. This commitment usually takes the form of subscribing to a newsletter or promotional updates using an email address. The key to securing this commitment from your customer is by offering something valuable in return. There is no limit to what your business can offer as their part, but some common content includes webinars, free samples, demos, guides, or discount codes. By offering something of value to your customer, they will not hesitate to subscribe; leaving them likely to be converted into an official client during the next step.
To convert a prospective customer into a paying one, utilize their new subscription to present an irresistible entry-point offer that will allow them to sample your product or services. An entry-point offer is high in value and low in risk, meaning that it is designed not to make a profit but to create a smooth transition from subscriber to paying customer. The commitment you ask from your customer should be small—just enough to cover costs. This way, your business will not suffer a loss and the new customer will feel confident they are getting a good deal on your services.
Scientists have proven that making a purchase causes the buyer to experience a rush of dopamine; giving them a psychological and emotional boost. Once your new customer makes their first purchase, you will need to capitalize on this boost to ensure the transaction becomes a memorable experience. This can be done by offering add-ons such as bonus features, special discount codes, or even a quick-start guide. Whatever you choose, be sure it is something that will excite the customer and further improve their opinion of your brand.
Your next goal is to turn this new customer into a frequent multi-buyer. These repeat purchases are what will generate profit for your brand in the long run, and lead the way for the customer to transition to the final stages of their customer journey. Offer the customer the chance to accept an add-on or simple upsell while they are propelled by the excitement they gained in the previous step.
Encourage your happy customers to share their positive experiences with others to increase their loyalty and spread awareness to those who are unfamiliar with your brand. Ask your customers to write a review or share a post, and consider offering a discount code in exchange for the feedback.
The final step in the customer journey is complete when your customer actively spreads the word about your brand via stories, recommendations, or shared offers. This demonstration of loyalty to your brand may lead to an affiliate or commission relationship; a win-win for both parties.
The Importance of the Customer Journey Map
Creating a customer journey map is crucial for optimizing the customer experience. A personalized journey map increases the efficiency of your digital advertising strategy, as it is focused on guiding customers through each detailed step. The journey map also provides the perfect outline for you to build the rest of your marketing strategy around. Most importantly, following a customer journey map increases the percentage of customers who reach the final step; thus spreading awareness of your brand and initiating the process once more.
Optimize your overall marketing strategy by creating a customer journey map that’s tailored to your business. For a free assessment of your current customer journey map, visit Pivotal New Media and grow your business the right way today.