7 steps to understanding your customer journey

Introduction

Unless you understand your customers’ journey, your venture won’t last very long in the current competitive world of business. Some may ask what is a customer journey? To put it simply, the journey defines customer behavior and how they interact with your brand at various touchpoints. The best way to understand the customer journey is to create a visual presentation of the entire process. This technique is also known as customer mapping. The following are some of the steps that you can use in knowing more about customer journey.

  1. Create a Set of Objectives

Before you begin the mapping process, you have to figure what exactly you want to know about the customers’ journey? Are you interested in identifying the big or small touchpoints or both? A touchpoint is the point of contact between the customer and your business. An example of a minor touchpoint is a customer entering your store and looking around. A major touchpoint happens when the client becomes interested in buying one of your products and starts negotiating.

Another objective could be to find out how the store set up and employee behavior affects the customer’s journey at both the minor and major touchpoints? Setting objectives is good because it gives you a sense of direction.

  1. Define the Extent of your Research

You have to know how you are going to achieve the customer journey objectives. You can do this by defining the kind of research that needs to be done. Are you going to monitor your customers quietly or are you going to actively engage them by asking them a few questions related to the touchpoints.

If you decide to engage the customer directly, be careful about how you approach them – you don’t want to come off strong and give the impression of being too needy. You may decide that you want to examine the online touchpoints. In that case, decide on the tools and software that you’re going to use to analyze the data.

  1. Consider the Secondary Sources

As you define the extent of your research, you should be aware of the fact that you are not the first business to try to understand the customer’s journey. This means that your research should also cover secondary sources.

Look into previous research conducted by other businesses on understanding the customers’ journey. In most cases, you are likely to discover the same things. Therefore, it’s better if you familiarize yourself with what you are likely to encounter.

  1. Involve Everyone in the Organization

This is the step where you tell everyone what you expect from them as you try to understand your customers’ journey. You can assign different roles to each employee. For example, the sales attendants could try to gauge the customers that walk into the store. They will be helpful as usual. However, this time around they will be more interested in what the customer has to say. When they do that, the customer will be more open to answering questions on touchpoints.

The IT department could be tasked with collecting online data on the website’s touchpoints. You have to know that your employees are your number one asset, and you need to involve them in any project that affects them if you want the undertaking to be successful.

  1. Create the Customer Journey Map

After you’re done collecting and analyzing the data, it’s time that you create a visually appealing customer journey map that explains your findings in the simplest form. You can use simple graphics to show the customer’s journey from the moment they begin to gain an interest in your product to researching online to know more about your business to making inquiries through your firm’s social media platforms to making the actual purchase. Of course there are some touchpoints in between, but you get the picture.

Give your customers different personas in the journey map. That way, your employees can differentiate the different types of customers and their journeys.

  1. Share the Journey Map with Other Stakeholders

Not all members of the board will be available for your live presentation of the customer journey map in the office. You have to take responsibility and see how they can get such information. If your organization has a customer experience software platform, you can post the journey map there for everyone to see.

However, there are other stakeholders that may not be on that platform. In that case, you may have to send them the journey map through email. The reason why it’s so important to involve stakeholders is because they are the ones that will approve any new tactics meant to improve the overall customer experience.

  1. Make Improvements

The final step in understanding the customer’s journey is to make improvements. If you discover that some customers leave your store because they can’t clearly see the price tags, take the necessary steps to make sure that the price tags are clear. Perhaps some customers have never seen your website in the search results, and that’s why they don’t make online purchases. You can hire Joel House Brisbane SEO to help you improve your sites content for greater visibility.

When you do your best to improve the customer’s journey by acting on the pain points, you increase loyalty. The customers will appreciate your efforts by making more visits and buying more from you.

Conclusion

The customer journey is what the customer does before actually deciding to buy your products. It includes online research, asking friends about you, and even visiting your store. Use the above steps to understand how different touchpoints influence purchase decisions and work on improving the pain points.