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  • Writer's pictureNat Sharp

How to map your customer journey

Updated: Oct 15, 2021

An open road surrounded by autumnal trees

Ensuring your business is on the right path

Do you know how your target audience and existing customers research, consider, show interest and finally buy from you? If not, mapping out their steps they go through, the customer journey is an extremely useful and fundamental exercise to do so you can maximise the opportunity to repeat purchase or choose you for the first time.

Spending time outlining them enables you to:

  • Understand how your customers' research and purchase

  • Identify where you can contact or engage with them

  • Highlight any gaps where you’re not communicating

  • Develop customer support processes across the business

  • Develop messaging which resonates with them at specific points in their decision making

So how do you start?

Well, while it may sound complex and a bit daunting, the key is to be very thorough and put yourself in their shoes, and combine that with the physical places they might see or interact with you. Here are my 7 steps to building a journey and improving your marketing and overall perception with the customer.

1. Create ‘pen portraits’ of your customers

Paint a picture or two of your typical customer(s), depending on how different all of them are. If you have a wide range group them together and describe them, give them names, general demographics, interests, where they live, sports, TV, daily life, think, feel and do. They may take different steps in the journey so it’s important to recognise this before going any further.

2. List all the places they would go to find and engage with you through to purchasing.

Where would a potential customer start to think right through to buying from you? Think about places online or on the high street. How about emails or social media, a leaflet or website. List all of them and place in a horizontal line, starting from the first place on the left to further on the right.

3. Identify all points your business would be seen and engaging with them.

Across your line, place points at which you could or are communicating with them. When do you traditionally communicate or engage with customers? Advertising in the press, on Google or on LinkedIn. Make a list of these moments and map them onto during the journey. You could split them by pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase or by attention, interest, desire and action.

4. Find the gaps and plug the holes.

Now find communication opportunities you have missed. Have you not responded to a general enquiry or followed up on a telephone call or website visit? Track interactions between you and them.

5. Are you saying the right thing at the right time?

What messages are you conveying at each communication point? Overlay all your current messages at each point and assess them. Are you saying the right things, too much repetition or not enough benefit led copy at the right time? Identify where you can change and improve them.

6. Where can you delight the customer with a great experience?

How might your customers feel at a certain stage as they attempt to meet their needs? Find a moment where delighting them with something they aren’t expecting may convince them to choose you over your competitors.

7. Eat. Sleep. Test. Repeat.

It’s vital to take all the steps, in person or online, yourself to see and experience what they go through. You’ll uncover more insight and minor things doing this. Did they work well? Did they help you complete your journey? You should review it at least twice a year to ensure there are no gaps and you have the right processes and communication in place.

For help on developing your customer journey, then please contact me for a 30 minute consultation.

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