What Is Customer Journey Mapping? A Detailed Guide

Are you a business owner trying to improve the customer experience for your clients? If so, then you need to spend some time learning about the customer journey.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure what that is or anything about customer journey mapping, we’ve got you covered.

What Is Customer Journey Mapping?

When you embark on a road trip, you likely take a roadmap with you to follow towards your final destination. Your customer journey is the map your customers take towards purchasing your product.

Some might consider this map a straight line from point A to point B. While others picture it as more of a loop or winding road. However you picture it, the customer journey is imperative to understand how you find and convert your potential customers.

Your potential customer has a problem they need to solve. If they have a toilet that continues to run they might search in Google what to do about that. And if you’re a plumber and you have a blog with the answer to their question, they will find you and your business.

Suppose you answer their questions sufficiently but they would still like a professional opinion. More than likely they will come to you for help thanks to your helpful article. This is how you can guide your potential customer from unaware of your services, to aware, to purchasing your product or service.

How Can Understanding the Customer Journey Help You?

Succeeding in today’s online business environment isn’t easy. You need to stand out from the crowd and ensure your voice is heard above the noise. To do this, you need to understand what your future clients are searching for and how you can help them solve their problems.

It’s easy for any company to succeed when the economy is great. However, for your company to withstand the test of time and succeed regardless of the economic state, you need to understand your customer. And you can do this by successfully understanding the customer journey.

Stages to Implement When Mapping the Customer Journey

Each customer goes through a process before purchasing any product or service. Whether they purchase online or in person, the journey is the same. However, how you guide them through the journey online can be daunting for many.

Let’s map out the four stages your customers will follow as they find and purchase from you.

1. Awareness

Before they have any idea about your product or service your future client is blissfully unaware that your business exists or that you can help them. What you must answer is how will your potential customers or clients find your business or products?

Will they find you by typing (or saying) their question into a search engine? Will they find you through targeted behavior advertising? Regardless of how they find you, you need to have a strategy in place to ensure your company is brought to the attention of your future customer.

2. Consideration

Once they are aware of you and what you have to offer, you need to get them to consider your offer. Basically, you need to answer the question: What is the problem your product or service is solving?

When potential customers are considering your product they’re usually comparing you to others. They will do this on several levels namely price and features. So, to meet your customers in this stage your website needs to clearly identify your price points and the benefits of your product or service.

3. Decision

Once your customers have considered their choices they will eventually make a decision. Once they do make their decision your website needs to make it incredibly easy for them to act on that decision. In general, people are busy and don’t have time to figure out how to contact you or fill in several extraneous fields.

So, how easy is it for your customer to choose your product and pay you for it? Do you have your payment process clearly outlined with steps identified on each page? Don’t make them guess how many pages they need to fill out before they can purchase.

The key in this stage is to ensure your site makes it easy for your client to make their decision and then purchase your product or service.

4. After-Sale Service

It is easier and less expensive to keep your current clients happy than to continually find new clients. What is your customer service policy and how can you use this vital step to keep them coming back? You need to answer this question so you can scale your business and grow your sales base deep as well as wide.

With stellar customer service, you can build loyal repeat customers who can become vital ambassadors for your brand and business. These are the two final pieces in our puzzle.

5. Loyalty and Brand Ambassadors

How can you entice your customers to return? And how will you encourage your happy and repeat customers to tell everyone they know about your product or service? Loyalty programs enable you to reach out to previous customers and encourage repeat business.

Brand ambassadors spread positive messages about your business on social media and customer reviews. These are invaluable sources for great exposure to an audience who might otherwise never hear of you.

These two fundamentals to the customer journey build credibility and bring attention to your brand and business. Don’t stop at the sale or you will miss this vital stage in the customer journey map.

Your Guide to a Successful Launch

As you can see the customer journey can be broken down into distinct stages of the buying process. And as a marketer, you need to focus on customer journey mapping in order to capitalize on this blueprint.

So, take notes on the customer’s buyer’s journey, or bookmark this site for future reference. You will want to visit this guide again each time you launch a new product.

For more great information on this and other topics, check out the rest of our blog.