Identify how your ideal customer knows about your product or service and decides to buy from you is the key of success.
The buyer's journey is the active research process that somebody takes in order to purchase something. It's pivotal to understand where your persona or prospect is in his/her journey, so that you can provide them a content that fits with their needs.
The typical buyer's journey consists of 3 steps:
- Awareness stage
- Consideration stage
- Decision stage
Everyone who wants to buy a product or a service take this trip, but the way to go through it changes from person to person.
What's a buyer's journey map?
It is an illustration or diagram of all the touch points (both online and offline) with which your customers come into contact. More detailed customer journey maps can even include your customers' thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
The aim of the map is to understand what your customers are going through from their point of view, finding a way to help them in a human and personalized way. For example, the customer journey maps can help you identify specific events or times to trigger automated emails, to encourage leads to become paying customers, to encourage repeat purchases, and improve the customer's experience.
(Source: Adaptive Path)
How to create the map, step by step.
The marketing team is usually responsible for creating the customer journey maps, even if the exercise will impact the entire organization, focusing on serving (not just selling to) the customer.
There is no single way to design your map, 'cause each map is different, but the procedure behind it could be summarise in 5 steps. At the end of the day, you just need a blackboard with some post-it notes or an Excel worksheet. This is the scheme to follow:
- Write down each step of the buyer's journey on a single Excel line or sticky note. For example, if you sell make up products, maybe your persona looks for them through a research on Google, then she lands on your website and starts to bounce from a page to another in order to gather all the information needed. Later she buys something and waits for the parcel to arrive. She doesn't fit with the lipstick she ordered (perhaps because she changes her mind about the colour), so your persona comes back to your site, contacts your customer service, orders a new product, waits for it to be delivered, receives the second parcel and finally gets satisfied. All these are different steps where a persona could come into contact with you.
- Establish for each point if everything usually goes well or not. This way you can focus on fixing the problems your customer may have.
- Fill each step out with the description of your persona's thoughts and feelings, so that you could really be in his/her shoes.
- Add columns for the touch points. For every step you mentioned before, find how the persona reaches out to you (i.e. through the customer service, through Google or directly your website etc.).
- Determine who is responsible for each touch point in your organization. It allows you to fix a problem in the most effective way.
A tip to create a successful map: involve all your staff.
If the creation of the scheme is usually up to the marketing team, involving all the other departments could be a bonus. Customer journey maps will help your entire organization focus on developing a strategy that is built around serving the customer, rather than selfishly focusing on your own products or services.
That's it! Now you can grow your business helping your customers in buying from you!
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