Do you consider your business to be customer-centric?
After all, solving customers’ problems and responding to their needs is what drives good business. Yet, in a recent poll of our clients, a staggering 60% of them admitted to not having a customer journey. Or, at least, not one that was up-to-date.
The reason for this is simple – In the hustle and bustle of everyday work, mapping our customer journey often gets relegated to the “important but not urgent” pile of things to do. Which, as our data suggests, either doesn’t get done at all, or isn’t regularly updated.
At SBR, we believe that if clients are at the heart of your business, then you should have a strong understanding of their needs at every stage of the customer journey. In this blog, we simplify this sometimes-daunting task by breaking down the what, why, who and how of customer journey mapping.
There are so many ways to define a customer journey and here are a few examples:
Your customer journey is a way to carefully track your customers’ needs, thoughts and actions, through the different stages of their experience with your organisation. From awareness through to consideration, acquisition, service, and ultimately loyalty and advocation.
On your side, it’s a tool that should guide the plans and actions of your teams from Marketing to Sales and to Customer Success. What are the different touchpoints along the way?
Think of it as the journey from online dating to the altar. You don’t suddenly go from swiping right to saying ‘I do’ to a perfect stranger. You go through a series of experiences and emotions that shape your perception of that person, and allow you to make a deeper and deeper commitment to them over time.
While your buyer may have once been satisfied with the basics like quality and fair pricing, the modern buyer expects much more from your business. In fact, 80% of customers now think that the experience they get from a company is as important as the products or services they provide.
Your buyer wants to be wooed.
And to do so, you must be able to understand their needs, anticipate possible roadblocks and alleviate pain points. This is where your customer journey map is invaluable. Because with every touchpoint, your map highlights opportunities for you to create moments of value for your customer.
Moments when your brand can shine and shape your customer’s perception of your business in a positive way.
There will be key times in your buyer journey when they are likely to fall through the net. And that’s often linked to a lack of effective communication between silos, whether that’s between Marketing and Sales or between Sales and Customer Success. Defining everybody’s role and responsibility, as well as processes for sharing vital information between services, allows a more seamless transition between stages.
As already mentioned, the customer journey stretches across different departments. So, it’s important for key people from each team to take part in the mapping process. Each should be able to bring their unique perspective on their portion of your buyer’s experience.
The customer, of course, should be part of that process too.
The best way to get an accurate picture of the buyer’s experience is to collate feedback from them at each stage of the journey. From “how did you hear from us?” at the awareness stage to “would you recommend us to friends and family?” at the service stage.
Asking the right questions at the right time will help you understand where you can improve on their experience.
You should also take that journey yourself. Click on that ad, examine that landing page. Is your site easy to navigate? Can you quickly and easily find answers to your questions? And when you first speak to a member of staff, do you feel listened to, or do you feel like you’re speaking to a robot?
At first, you want to include as much detail as you possibly can.
When we work with different organisations, we often start with something that looks like an A1-size document with pt 6 writing. Only then, when we’ve included everything we could think of, we can start to whittle it down to a more accessible and digestible document for everyone to refer back to.
Every customer journey map should start with your customer persona. Depending on your business, you may have different-tier customers and a variety of typical buyers. So, you’ll need to define those and ideally create a customer journey map for each of them.
Then, your map should typically include:
(Awareness, Consideration, Acquisition…)
These could include email blasts, webinars, blog posts or sponsored ads. They could also be, in later stages, regular phone calls and emails. Face-to-face meetings…
What are your customers’ needs, expectations and emotions at each point, and how do you cater for them? What are your clients’ pain points, views and actions as they move through the journey?
Make sure to define roles and responsibilities for each key moment of the customer journey.
What and how will you measure success? What are your KPIs?
The customer journey should be at the heart of any customer-centric business. It is the ultimate tool to identify opportunities to shape your customer’s perception of your brand, and to ensure that you meet or even exceed their expectations at every touchpoint.
It should also be the hymn sheet that people across your teams sing from to ensure effective alignment with your customer’s needs.
But if done correctly, customer journey mapping can be challenging and time-consuming. So, it’s worth considering calling on the help of experts to guide your team through this process.
For more on defining and mapping your customer journey, take a look at our webinar.
And for support with creating your customer journey map, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +44 (0) 207 653 3740.
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