Maps are an integral part of our lives. From stashing thick copies of street directory maps under the dashboard compartment of your car, to today’s more prominent and lightweight Google Maps app at your fingertips, mapping our journey from one destination to another has always been essential to prevent us from losing our way in between.
Mapping your customer journey is the same. With your business in mind, clients embark on a journey to discovering and interacting with your brand. Your role, as a business, is to understand this journey and guide them along the way to reach the eventual (but not final) destination of hiring you. Especially in this digital age where consumers are highly discerning, well-informed and have an array of options to pick from, it is easy for them to get “lost” and wander off on another journey.
Thus, it is important to understand your customers’ journey and keep clients on track. In this article, we’ll walk you through five tips to get you started on mapping your customer journey!
Visualising the journey
The customer journey is essentially a way to visualise their experience, from their first exposure to your business through to their final purchase and post-purchase experience.
If you’re not sure where to start, here’s how a typical customer journey could look like:
- The customer starts on their journey with your business when they consider you (and other brands) as potential purchasing options, based on brand perceptions and exposure to touch points.
- They then undergo active evaluation where they gather information and figure out if your brand fits their needs and wants.
- Once they decide on a brand, they purchase.
- After purchase, the customer enters the post-purchase experience, and if they feel bonded to the brand, they will enter the loyalty loop, bypassing the initial consideration and evaluation of various brands during their next repurchase.
Identify communication touch points
Especially with the Internet, there is a growing number of communication touch points for businesses to reach out to clients. These touch points could affect each stage of the customer journey, and influence their decision to move on to the next stage. Some examples of touch points are your Instagram and Facebook pages, your vendor profile listing on Delegate, reviews, word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family, sponsorships, and your website.
Consider which channels would be useful in affecting the various stages of a customer’s journey. This would give you a clearer picture of which areas you could modify or improve the availability of touch points to clients. For example, you could provide sufficient information and details about your business in your website and Delegate vendor profile, to aid clients in the evaluation stage. To drive reviews, which are also an important avenue through which customers evaluate your brand, you could reach out to past customers and incentivise them to write some.
For a business in an events industry, repeat purchases may be few and far between. Nevertheless, your customers shouldn’t be treated as one-off! If they love your service, they’ll recommend you to their friends and write compelling reviews about you, which could positively influence the consideration and evaluation stages of potential clients.
Recognise emotions along path
While on the journey, consumers can have shifting emotional states. For example, the process of searching for information may be tedious, and induce frustration. Or the purchasing process was efficient and smooth, and could induce happiness. Where you have identified communication touch points, also recognise what kind of emotions your customers could be going through. With this information, you can try to alleviate pain points in the customer journey.
Experiencing it for yourself
When you’re evaluating your customer journey, don’t forget to put yourself in their shoes! Imagine being a customer, and go through the stages, noting down possible areas of improvement. Consider experiencing your competitors’ customer journey too, to gain insights into areas you might be missing out on.
Mapping your customer journey is not a one-time event. As their taste and preference shift, and new trends and technology come to light, your brand may opt to evolve and change up your client journey. Keep revisiting your journey mapping and evaluate what communication touch points need to be revamped.