Why You Need To Map Out Your Customer Journey

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When you set out on a journey these days, chances are you’ll have picked up your sat nav, checked your route beforehand, maybe even printed out a Google Route planner or programmed your smartphone app.

Let’s face it, if you know where you’re going you’ll get there quicker, easier and without an argument!

But do you show YOUR customers and prospective customers the best route to making a purchase or doing business with you?

How can you help them to quickly get to the end of the journey making the sale, quicker, easier and without arguments!

The key is to have a system in place.  A system mapping their route, providing clear directions and knowing what you’ll give them at every stage to make sure they buy.

This week, I want to share a few tips to help you get such a system off the ground …

Firstly, make the system real. Write down your system or map it out.  What you’re really aiming for is a flow chart.  You could use an Excel spreadsheet, a Word document or just grab a few coloured pens and a big piece of paper or a whiteboard.

First map where the customer’s journey starts. Do they phone you, email you, find your website, do they see you on social media or do they respond to an advert or flyer?

Whatever it is, this is their starting point and you have to lead them through to where you want them to be at the end…buying from you.

But before they get there, they may make a stop off on the journey to make further enquiries.

And what do you do at this point?  What’s your response? Do you phone them, send them a brochure, give them free information via downloads, infographics, videos? Does your email auto-responder series kick in (do you even have one of those yet) or perhaps you just add them to your regular e-newsletter list?   Whatever you do, map it out on your plan.

And then, with your brochure, information or video in hand, your prospective customer sets off on the next stage of their journey, this time, hopefully, towards the sale.

So how do you help them to reach their destination?  It’s important that you tell them clearly what direction they should go in and what they should do next.  Don’t just give them the information and hope they’ll find their way.  You need to give them clear instructions again, clear Call To Actions, and, if needed, keep in contact with them to show them that you’re there for them, helping them along the way.

And then what happens when they buy or don’t they buy?  You need to plan a route for both outcomes.

If they buy, where do you take them now and how do you do it?

If they don’t, how do you keep in touch? Remember, no is never really a no, all it can ever be is “no, not right at the moment”, because none of us know what we’ll want in the future.

So once you’ve planned out the customer buying journey, now look and see is there any way you can shorten their route and make it easier for them?   Take a long hard look at your plan and see what you could do without or what you could add that will make the journey easier; remember this is all about giving them the shortest, easiest, most stress free route possible!

And remember, don’t leave them stranded once they’ve made the purchase or booked with you! Have a route mapped out which will develop and cement your relationship further.  Keep in regular contact, let them know what will happen during their experience, let them know that you’re there to help.

The secret to a great system is to standardise as much as possible. If you find there are a variety of starting points in your customer’s journey (you may be adding them with every new marketing pillar you introduce), try to route people to just one “place” early on in the process, then send them off down the appropriate standard path; it’s so much easier to manage than a new or different route every time, but please remember to make it feel personal to them… they’re still an individual, not part of a herd.

Until next time, remember ….

It will take some time to get your customer journey optimised, but when you do your customers will arrive relaxed and happy at the end of their buying journey having bought – and let’s face it, if all our journeys were like that we’d be much more likely to buy every time!

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