Customer Journey definition:
Customer Journey is the sum of experiences that a customer goes through while interacting with your brand.
The process is, you create a product, build your physical or digital presence, the customers visit you, purchases your product, and you earn money.
Sounds simple? Well, it is.
It is just that there are hundreds of other companies in the market that sell similar products or services.
The market is competitive, and you knew that before starting your business, didn’t you? This is like a race. There are already established athletes in the competition, but you still have the chance to win. However, you have to work way harder and you require different strategies. If you have the dedication and the will, you’ll pass the number one competitor and conquer the medal.
- What can you do differently that makes your brand a hashtag in your customer’s social media post?
- What can you do differently that makes you a topic of discussion in a social gathering?
- What can you do differently that makes your customer visit you again and again?
The answer is simple: Customer Journey Map
Q- What is the Customer Journey Map?
A- A Customer Journey Map is the visual representation of every experience your customer has with you.
From showing that you exist to building raving fans, the map covers it all. It looks something like this:
I’m sure you have a slight idea of what the customer journey map is by now. Let’s break it down together step by step:
Assign this task the foremost priority, i.e., Awareness-
Do people know how amazing you are? Do they know how you can help them? Do they know that you exist?
Many small businesses tend to neglect the strategy of marketing their business. They may think that they’re not big enough for marketing.
Marketing doesn’t always mean hiring ten smart people who discuss advertisement ideas in a think tank. In this digital era, you have several options using which you can build your brand awareness. You can create advertisements on Social Media platforms, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Yelp Ads, YouTube Ads, etc. Advertising platforms like these use customer’s daily activity to target ads. They’ve robust algorithms that show your advertisement only to the people that are already interested in the kind of products or services you sell.
If you can’t create the advertisements by yourself, you can also hire a freelancer from platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer.com. Freelancers in these platforms will provide you high-quality service at a lesser cost.
You may also read about building your brand awareness on our blog: How small businesses can increase their brand awareness? Complete guide 2020
Advertisement ≠ Selling or this is at least what your intention should be while advertising. You’re advertising to make your brand visible. Besides, you’re too early in this relationship to generate sales and earn profits.
A prospect comes across your advert and clicks on it. Now you have to build, Engagement –
The customer finds your advertisement attractive, and they even click on it. However, they’re not likely to buy from you yet, as they don’t trust you. Now you thank your customer for clicking on the advertisement by giving them something informative and entertaining. Do not forget to include a strong but not too pushy CTA (call to action).
Here are some examples-
You give a downloadable PDF guidebook on how to get rid of your financial stress.
You create a YouTube video with exercise techniques that helps burn fat quickly.
You write a blog on how noise-canceling headphones are good for mental focus.
In this stage, you have to do everything that builds your audience’s engagement. It is far more likely that your audience will move to the next step if they feel your product will add value to their life.
Your audience likes your content, and they want more of it. So they, Subscribe:
Now they know that you exist, and you have something valuable to offer. You’ve got a subscriber.
This is crucial, and I cannot stress this enough, “YOU HAVE TO GET THEIR CONTACT INFORMATION.” Someone read your blog or watched your video. Once they are done and they close the tab and your relationship, closes with that tab. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the reader will keep you in mind and come back once they engage with your content.
To prevent this from happening, you have to apply a strong call to action. Actions like Subscribing to your newsletter, Subscribing to your weekly blog, Subscribing to your YouTube Channel, will take this relationship to the next stage.
Example of subscription commitment:
- An aspiring SDR reads about the best tactics to make a cold call and later signs up for a sales webinar
- A caring dog owner signs up to a weekly newsletter for information on how to keep your dog healthy.
- A concerned team leader signs up for weekly blogs for tips on keeping his team productive.
This is small, but it is a commitment. Now it’s time to Convert:
No, you’re not selling a high-value product and earning a fat profit when I say convert. This is more like a microtransaction. You may even lose your profits in this transaction. You offer them something so compelling at a lesser price they simply cannot resist. However, when you are losing profits at this stage, you’re investing in your future relationship. This microtransaction builds a small bridge of trust between you and your customer. You’re still in an early stage of this relationship, but you are far ahead than the first stage.
Examples of building trust with Micro-Transactions:
- Godaddy offers a .com domain for just $2.95 in the first purchase.
- VistaPrint sells 500 visiting cards for $9.00
- Amazon offers huge cashback to first time purchasers.
You’ve successfully managed to convert an audience to a paying customer — Pat yourself on your back.
Now you have a customer, but the relationship can go cold anytime. This is time for some, Excitement:
You’re not done yet. This is just the initial phase of your relationship. You have to put all your efforts to excite your customers, so they come back.
No matter how good your marketing strategies are, your product is the real hero at this stage. If your product shows the value your customer signed up for, you get to go on the second date stage.
You’ll have to give the Ah-Ha! Moment. Ah = Ok, this is good Ha= Wow! I didn’t see that coming.
Have you ever been to a restaurant where they click a picture of you and post it in their socials? You act professional, but rejoice in your heart? Your customer also jumps in joy if they get free stuff. Now, when I say free stuff, I don’t mean giving away freebies. I am saying, just put some thoughts in your product.
- A customer gets his protein supplement, and the first thing he sees is a pamphlet with instructions on how to gain lean muscle.
- A customer gets their iPhone, and when they open the box, it makes a squishing sound which generates a feeling of care while packaging the product.
- A customer purchases CRM software, and his plan includes two video calls with Experience engineers who’ll show them how to set up and use the product correctly.
Sometimes small things can fill a person with joy and have the Ah-Ha moment.
You’ve done everything correctly and left no reasons why not to, Ascend:
Remember conversion, when the prospect only made a microtransaction, and you didn’t gain profit? Now is your time to shine.
Psychologists say that there is guilt in compulsive shoppers whenever they purchase a high-value product. They’ll feel like it is a waste of money and regret their decision. But yours is a different case. You’ve built the relationship and your customer knows that you care for this relationship. They understand you and “YOU ARE TRUSTWORTHY.”
Your customers will not hesitate to buy a high-value product from you, and most importantly, they’ll not regret the decision.
Now you are gradually escalating to a stage where you create raving fans.
Your customers like you, and can’t hear anything wrong about you. So they are your, Advocates:
Your customers are not referring you to others at this stage, but if someone asks them, they’ll say beautiful things about you.
The customers are loyal to your brand, and they’ll not think about other options. At this stage, you may also ask them for feedback on your product, and they will happily write a five-star review. These will attract more customers which will increase your profit.
Your product is excellent, your customer service is excellent, and you have a great relationship. Congratulations, you’ve got a Promoter:
You can also call them “Raving Fans.” These are the customers who will not only write good things about you, but they’ll actively promote your brand. This is the stage where your brand will be “My Brand” to your customers.
You’re now a hashtag in their social media, the topic of discussions in their social gatherings, and a trustworthy brand. This is when you get word of mouth marketing.
Facebook’s CEO – Mark Zuckerberg once said:
“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the holy grail of advertising.”
Everyone wants to succeed fast, and there is nothing wrong with it. However, sometimes the idea of succeeding fast will make you quit early. So, you need to Focus, Commit and have the patience to escalate your business following the correct steps that will eventually make you “GREAT.”
Build your own customer journey map and apply these strategies to your business. This may not bring you fans on day one, but trust the process, it will be fruitful.
Note: You don’t necessarily have to start with step one. Build this map, discuss it with your team, and figure out where you stand. Once you know, start from there.