Customer Journey might be an unfamiliar term even for those directly involved with customer relationship management. Some businesses still base their marketing and customer relations based on what they have learned from old adages of doing business, while some adapt to the needs and tastes of their users. The one belonging to the latter category are implementing what is known as the customer journey. In simpler terms, you create a story that helps you understand the experience of your customers.
Let’s take the example of an e-commerce platform. While you may still need to stay true to the techniques of SEO and other algorithm-based marketing strategies, the idea is not to only show your product but to help target customers relate to it. For that purpose, you will create a story mapping out different behaviors expected from your clients. You will create a template that will lead your marketing team step by step through the thought process of a user coming to your website. From the color of your logo to the design of your interface and from the presentation of your product to the sales offers attached with different deals, everything impacts the mind of the customers and a customer journey diagram helps you understand just that. Now let’s discuss some ways in which you can improve this customer journey and help your customers as well as your business.
Create a persona of your customers
You will be better off by making over one of these personas and then tailoring your marketing to suit most of them at the same time. To create such a virtual customer, you will need extensive research, ranging from basic demographic details to the most prevalent online behaviors of your target market. Consider the age, gender, geographical location, and even jobs of your customers. You will also need to learn about the problems that your customers face and what they will expect from your product that can help them in resolving those problems.
Build a roadmap of customer journey and their respective attitudes
Consider the stage of information that your customers possess and map their behaviors at every stage. From a company’s perspective, there are four steps involved in the process from the point where your target customers first become familiar with your product or service to the point where they actually make a purchase. These phases are Awareness, Interest, Decision, and Action. Wordstream explains these four steps as “a funnel”, as the Awareness makes up for the biggest factor while Action is the final and quickest of all four phases. Remember that your clients will behave differently at every step. For instance, those who are unfamiliar with the product might only click a link or ignore it altogether, while those actively looking for such a product are most likely to reach the action phase.
Tailor your outreach according to behavioral differences
In some cases, you also need to map out the difference in buying behaviors. For example, one customer might purchase a car after due diligence spanning months while another might do the same impulsively when receiving a bonus. These factors are also known as touchpoints, which are beneficial for you while choosing the mode of communication with current and potential customers. You can account for their searches into specific keywords, reading a particular article or visiting a specific page on your website, concerning most with price list than product list, subscribing to notifications, or directly sending you an email of inquiry, etc. You can use these behaviors to understand that a particular consumer is at which stage of the customer journey and then incorporate this information into your initial persona.
Find the right platform
Once you have identified touchpoints, incorporated them into a roadmap and also established one or more personas, the next step to improve customer journey is to find out the most lucrative platform for reaching out to them. You have a variety of options available from the direct and sober emails and text messages, to more vibrant and interactive social media advertisements or influencer marketing.
Decide on the right message on the right platform
The right platform alone would only do half the job. For example, if you make a five-minute video explaining your product and publish it on social media, no matter how Facebook or Snapchat savvy your clients may be, they are unlikely to sit through the whole five minutes unless they are already interested in buying your product. Here again, the identification of problems faced by your customers becomes important. Likewise, you also need to map out whether the repetition of the same advertisement will be better or should you be coming up with newer ways to send the same or similar message for better effectiveness.
Involve stakeholders directly
With all your research from internet search engines and direct communication with prospective clients, all you have is a persona. While this is highly important for the customer journey, an ideal addition to the entire process will be to involve current and potential customers directly, along with your team responsible for all the above processes. With feedback from customers, your designed personas will improve significantly, while a direct involvement of your team members will give them a first-hand idea of what they need to include or exclude from marketing and advertisements to reach more customers and impact them in a deeper way.