“The customer journey is complicated. It’s full of competitors and distractions and barriers, and sometimes your customers don’t even know they’re
on a journey.”
Customer Journey Mapping
Conversations about the customer journey are becoming more and more frequent, and by now you’ve probably been involved in a least one conversation about customer journeys around your business. If that phrase doesn’t sound familiar, don’t worry—these aren’t coded conversations you’re missing out on. Maybe you know all customer journeys. Maybe you’re kind of familiar. Maybe, you’re interested but not sure if you should ask.
It’s okay. We got you.
At its most basic, the customer journey is how a person gets from not having your product to having your product. But like most things in life, it almost never exists in its most basic state. So while it might be nice to think that a customer journey looks like this:
. . .the truth is, it’s almost never this simple. That’s why you need a map.
The customer journey is complicated. It’s full of competitors and distractions and barriers, and sometimes your customers don’t even know they’re on a journey. Contractors and specialists know they need tile cutters, but how many would-be DIYers and tile artists in the making are unknowingly waiting to wind up at the hardware store and discover their perfect hobby? And they could do that with your product!
Considering the many variables and touchpoints these journeys encompass, it’s important to figure out which customers are the most something—the most frequent, most direct, most profitable. Whatever it is that makes them the most significant to you and your business. Knowing who those customers are is the first step to determining what their journey looks like, and that means you’re better equipped to help them move from being not customers to being customers. Destination: Your Product.
Once your customers have been identified, the real work fun of customer journey mapping begins: the big questions. Where do your potential customers spend their time? Who do they listen to when they make purchase decisions? What are they doing when they realize your product is the solution to their problem? How many of these questions are there? How do you answer them all?
Well, you can start by considering your personal experience on both the customer and provider sides, but don’t stop there. We like to fortify that personal experience and gut instinct with hard numbers and consumer research to find the best possible answers to all of those questions. Because better inputs make for better outputs—in this case, better customer journey maps to inform the rest of your marketing strategy and make the most out of your advertising budget, as well as a better customer experience.