When your audience engages with you as a brand, they are experiencing several ‘touch points’, which make up the customer journey. Each step during the process will make the difference as to whether they complete the journey to becoming a customer, or better yet, an advocate. As such, your customer journey is a vital element of your business that needs careful consideration. Below, we will list things you can do to help your customer along each stage of their journey.
Your customers are your biggest asset, which is why your business needs to ensure it offers an unbeatable customer experience. In an increasingly competitive business environment, business owners need to create a flawless customer journey, supported by the marketing function.
So, how can you do this effectively?
What steps map out a customer journey?
Let’s explore the steps you can use to map out your customer journey.
Step One: Targets
Identify what it is you want to achieve. This journey isn’t just the customer’s, it’s yours too. Having a clear idea of your objectives will enable you to create a customer experience that has this destination in mind.
Step Two: Who is your ideal client?
Before you begin to communicate to your audience, consider your ideal customer or buying persona. This will help you to speak directly to them through your marketing channels. If you are conscious of their job title, seniority, and persona when communicating, your message is more likely to resonate with that audience.
Your digital marketing strategy needs to cater to the needs of your target demographic and you can discover more about who this would be by analysing your current customer base.
Step Three: What motivates your audience? What are their pain points?
Think about what your audience’s pain points are, what are they struggling with? What would motivate them to make a change? When developing your content or interacting with your audience along their customer journey, you should always keep their pain points in mind. This will help you communicate far more effectively, showing your audience that ‘you get them’.
You know your target demographic best, so make sure you are putting yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself: How can my brand help them? What keeps them going? Demonstrate to your audience how you will change their life in a positive way.
Step Four: Map out their journey
Now you understand your objectives, who your audience is, and what their pain points are. The next step is to map out the customer journey and write down ALL the touchpoints you will have with your customer.
From the very first time they encounter your brand, be it via social media, in person, or even print marketing, to when they make that decision to purchase. Having all these interactions documented will make it easier for you to develop the customer journey.
Understanding how your audience interacts and engages with your online content will give you a good indication of what your business needs to do to help them along the way.
Are your customers who are buying your products/service also following you on LinkedIn? Are they subscribed to your email? Knowing exactly what movements each customer takes will allow you to create a journey that suits them.
Step Five: Improving your touchpoints
Is your customer journey lacking in touchpoints? Do you need to improve areas of contact for your audience? Try these ideas:
- Ensure your audience have multiple ways to contact you. Some people prefer telephone, whereas others like a quick and simple contact box/ email option or even social media.
- Make sure someone is ready to respond to messages and enquiries. You don’t want to keep your audience waiting around for a response. Don’t forget to follow up enquiries promptly too.
- Consider your onboarding strategy. Do you thank your new clients for their business? Do you send branded merchandise for new clients? How can your onboarding process be improved?
- Get your audience excited to be engaging with you. Make their experience unlike any other they’ve had.
- Gain their trust. Ensure that you are guiding your customers towards meaningful interactions with your business and your brand is represented authentically throughout the engagement.
- Use emotive, persuasive copy to encourage your prospects to choose your business.
- Create a sense of urgency. Use expiry dates and limited time options to encourage your audience not to procrastinate.
Step Six: Focus on retention
After the first purchase or experience, do you check to see if your customer is satisfied? Checking in gives you the opportunity to gather valuable feedback and shows your customers that you truly care about them.
The cost of gaining a new customer is between five to 25 times more than retaining a customer you already have. That’s why reviewing your customer journey regularly is always a good idea. Surveys and reviews sent out after a certain length of time can measure customer satisfaction and retention. Customer surveys offer an inside perspective of what your audience goes through and what you can improve on.
Just remember, that final purchase doesn’t mean that their journey is over. The customer journey is a cycle that repeats itself. Once they buy that product or service, the process starts from the beginning once again and businesses should not be complacent.
If you still feel like you need a little help to create an outstanding customer journey, get in touch with Octima today!