Define your customer journey
Did you know? In urban planning, desire paths are paths that have been gradually eroded by the repeated passage of pedestrians or cyclists. This soil erosion is a sign of inadequate spatial planning.
What does this have to do with your B2B marketing strategy? If you don’t correctly map out your customer experience, your prospects’ path to a sale may be fraught with obstacles or overly complicated. Mapping out a path that meets their needs can be an excellent shortcut to optimizing the cost of your conversions: a simple study but a necessary one for a healthy business!
What is a customer journey map: acquaintance, reflection, decision, and loyalty
Also known as the customer journey, the customer path is the route customers take toward a specific goal (a purchase or any other conversion). For your marketing strategy, knowing this journey helps you anticipate your prospects’ needs and target what motivates or hinders their actions.
During this journey, your business prospects may make several stops: customer touchpoints, where they get a feel for your brand; each interaction impacts the customer experience. Your web ads, interactions with your representatives, your 404 error page, the content of your social networks, your offices, your newsletter, your white papers, billboards or other printed marketing, are all factors that influence their decisions.
From awareness to loyalty, there’s more than one stop. Knowing them can help boost the customer experience and, in turn, your conversions.
Just as a memorable getaway isn’t just about the miles you cover – but also the scenery and the change of scenery – your customer journey touches on multiple aspects and multiple emotions.
What are the 7 steps to map the customer journey? Example of a client journey
Awareness phase: Consumers become aware of a need or a problem (pain point) they’re experiencing. They may discover your brand through various channels, such as social media, search engines or word-of-mouth.
Research phase: The customer starts looking for potential solutions to his problem. They explore different options, compare features and prices, read reviews from customer feedback and ask for recommendations. At this stage, informative content is essential to highlight your brand’s value and answer the customer’s problems for a seamless experience.
The consideration stage: Customers narrow their options and evaluate specific brands or products. They dig deeper into details, compare key differentiators, and consider customer care and credibility. Detailed product information, case studies and testimonials can help build trust and encourage people to choose your brand.
Decision stage: The customer is ready to purchase or commit to a solution to their pain point. At this stage, they may seek additional guarantees, such as product demonstrations, free trials or price negotiations. Clear and transparent communication on prices, conditions and warranties is essential to help them decide.
Purchase phase: The customer finalizes the purchase or signs a contract, thus becoming an official customer. This is the opportunity to offer a transparent and convenient buying experience, ensuring smooth transaction processes and rapid customer support.
The post-purchase stage: The customer evaluates their experience with your brand after the purchase. They can give feedback, share their experience on review platforms or ask your customer service department for help. It’s important to proactively engage with customers during this stage, responding quickly to any concerns or issues to foster a positive relationship with your business.
Loyalty and advocacy stage: If the customer has had a positive experience through each customer touchpoint, they may become loyal and advocate for your brand. This can include repeat purchases, recommendations to friends and colleagues, or positive reviews and testimonials. Cultivating customer loyalty through personalized offers, exclusive benefits, and exceptional customer service can help maximize their lifetime value and drive growth.
Remember that customer experiences and journeys can vary from one sector to another and from one type of customer to another. So, it’s essential to analyze your target audience and adapt your customer journey accordingly.
How to design a customer journey: 5 key elements for your journey map template
As you can see, a detailed customer journey is essential for the customer experience and for the company to maximize sales over time! So here are five steps to help you navigate your mapping process.
1. The buying process – what are the stages?
What are the most important steps in your sales journey? In what order do all your customer touchpoints – your social media, Google My Business page or telephone and e-mail exchanges – come into play with the consumer?
Imagine the ideal path for your prospects to reach a goal. List each step, even if you need to modify them later, with the help of further qualitative research with your current or past customers. Also, identify the teams or departments involved in each touchpoint.
2. Your prospects’ actions
For each stage of the customer journey, detail the actions your prospects could take. Inquire about your offer by e-mail. Make an appointment to learn more by phone. Request a demo? Explore all possible ways for your prospects to access different touch points.
In B2B marketing, your targets maybe organizations, but they’re still people! Their emotions come into play in the buying process: consider their needs and the state of mind they’re in by adding to your customer journey, mapping how your organization, your sales material or your content pieces respond to them and play on their emotions.
4. Detours – pain points
Do your targets wait (a little too) long for feedback on their demo request? Do they lose interest once on your website? Do they need a more reassuring experience with your sales teams? You need to work on these things to ensure a loyal customer base!
Now’s the time to optimize your customer journey to reduce friction points and make life easier for your prospects.
Mapping a customer journey
You must step outside your internal perspective and put yourself in different shoes to do this. Remember that your prospects’ trajectory is not necessarily linear, hence the importance of a multi-channel marketing strategy.
Pro tip: interview your current or past customers to understand their buying journey. Ask your customer service representatives or staff what questions they receive most frequently.
Marketing strategy: optimize your efforts and maximize ROI
With a map of your customer journey, you gain a visual representation to facilitate sales or improve customer service. In addition to equipping your teams, you’ll easily be able to identify which facets of the customer experience need improvement. For example, which tools should be developed to improve communication and sales, or which processes should be reviewed to streamline the customer journey? Remember: a shared vision within the company will enable a certain fluidity at a high level, which can only benefit the existing customer journey.
With an overview of the entire journey, you can ensure that your prospects’ needs are met at every stage of their buying journey. Take the fast track with our tips to reach your targets in the right place at the right time. Ask us your questions!