You will never know what your customers want if you don’t understand them.
And if you don’t understand how they found your business in particular – what we call the “customer journey”, then you’ll never be able to fully take advantage of today’s digital marketing tech.
That’s why your customer’s journey is an important thing to map out. It tells you everything about your customer’s experience with your company and services.
Without an accurate map, you may end up doing the wrong things as you try to win more customers in your area.
This blog post will discuss how to map customer journeys in order to better understand customer needs, pain points, feelings, and actions!
Step One: Understand What Your Buying Process Is
Mapping your customer journey requires that you first understand your customer needs. It may be they just need clean laundry – but it can also be so much more.
For instance, working parents may need a place where they can get the laundry done while their kids do homework.
Or – maybe a college student needs a laundry service that sends them notifications when pickup is ready so they can plan their day better.
Whatever the ultimate reason, each situation potentially approaches your business with a different process. The parents may rely on word of mouth or reviews, while the college student checks their university portal and skims for deals.
So what is the buying process?
At a deeper level, the buying process is understanding what steps each of these unique customers need to take to find your business. The macro understanding of these steps helps you see a rough path to your business.
And putting them into a flow chart (like below) helps you see the process.
From there, you can start breaking things down further to understand where to improve your marketing.
Step Two: Break Your Process Into Actions
Your customer journey is made up of many steps, and breaking the process into smaller pieces will help you better identify where customer pain points exist.
For example, a clothing brand may create the following list of actions:
Research > Find Product Online > Purchase Products Via Website > Try On In Store/Online > Ordering Returns/Exchanges > Contact customer service
Once you have this list of actions (which can apply to any aspect of your business), you get to the fun part where you can start to ask questions like:
- How do I ensure customers find my brand online?
- What are the best methods to encourage a sale?
- What causes returns from online sales?
- How can we prevent returns?
The list can go on forever — and that’s where the beauty of this process is. Because once you start to generate a list of questions that touch on all the parts of your buyer’s journey, you can really start to look hard at solutions that fit your business.
Step Three: Develop Solutions
This is where you get to innovate.
Identifying customer purchasing behaviors and mapping your customer journey gives you “markers” that pin down crucial steps toward selling your service.
And as you attempt to answer the questions that come up, you’ll start to find that you’re in uncharted territory.
Which is the ultimate “why” to creating a customer journey in the first place. It gives you the opportunity to spin your services, processes, and ideas into a unique approach that fits your unique business.
The questions you ask (and the answers you come to) can look different depending on where you are, who you sell to, what you sell, and much more.
My hope is that I’ve inspired you to start exploring your own customer journey, and that it has illuminating results for your business.