For any business, it would be easier to proactively act when you have all the data you need around your customers’ journey right at your fingertips. We are in an era of ever-evolving trends, technology, and buying preferences.
Today’s customers are demanding – and they expect their customer experience with the brands they patronise to be connected and seamless. They do expect brands to know them well and what they are looking for.
Successfully doing so, will drive more sales and help you in improving your business processes. But questions you might ask is, what is/are involved in creating a Consumer Journey? How do you create one?
All the interactions a customer goes through with a brand in the buying of a product or engaging a service is, by definition, a customer journey. More simply, it entails the complete interaction a customer has from the moment of brand discovery to purchasing and beyond.
The objective of a consumer journey is to measure and evaluate how you are taking care of your customers and delves on how the customer feels after every interaction with your brand. Providing a positive customer experience builds a loyal fan base and keeps customers coming back again and again.
Why is it Important?
Identifying your consumer journey gives you a better understanding how they buy to meet their needs and expectations, and what role your business play in this process.
Furthermore, being aware of all touchpoints or interactions customers have through any channel, such as emails or social networks, allows for designing a better shopping experience while delivering a consistent message across all communication channels.
To simplify, it is important since it helps for mapping out a strategic approach to better understand your customer’s expectations, and it is vital for you to be able to optimise the consumer experience.
How do you create one?
If there are 5 stages to a Consumer Journey, creating a Consumer Journey involves 5 steps, and they are:
- Step 1: Know your Audience.
- Step 2: Know your Offerings.
- Step 3: Stage Awareness.
- Step 4: Journey Optimisation.
- Step 5: The Future Stage.
Now that you know a bit more of what a Consumer Journey is and the steps you need to undertake to create one, let’s dive deeper by discussing each of the steps outlined above.
Step 1: Know Your Audience
The process in creating a successful Consumer Journey begins by understanding your consumer and learning everything you can about your audience. This is essential and is the key to creating a compelling consumer journey.
When mapping out your consumer journey, you must have a good understanding of their:
- Pain points / Challenges
Add to this, you must also take not on which social media platforms they are most active on. To better implement in knowing your audience, let’s break out some important questions:
- Who are you wanting to help with your business?
- Who do you work with?
- Who do you not work with?
The need to understand your customers at each intersection or checkpoint in their journey gives you better insights in developing content, products, and services that will meet their needs.
Step 2: Know Your Offerings
There is a common saying that you won’t be able to understand someone until you walked a mile in their shoes. This is exactly what a customer journey maps do and helps you understand your business from their perspective. You will be able to communicate with them to address and offer solutions to their problems.
It is vital to address the following questions:
- What issues do your consumers have?
- How will your consumers benefit from your offering?
- What solutions do you provide for your consumers?
Additionally, you must effectively communicate and relay to them why you are the best choice to work with:
- Why would they buy your products/services over your competition?
- What makes you different?
- What makes you better?
Stage 3: Awareness Stage
A consumer journey is broken down into three stages that are specific to your business. These stages help in moving your consumer along in their path to eventually purchasing from you. These stages are:
- Awareness Stage
- Consideration Stage
- Decision Stage
The awareness stage in a consumer journey can be considered as the “first base” at the very start of a relationship with a lead or prospect in their quest for solutions to their problem. Additionally, they may be looking for information and resources to better understand their issue.
You will be able to pique their interest more by providing FREE RESOURCES to help guide them through their specific pain point/s.
It is highly likely that consumers are conducting research online for solutions to keyword problems. You can reinforce their information search and supply resources for solutions and encounter multiple brands, products, or services through any of the following sales techniques or tactics:
- Lead Magnets
- Blog Articles
- Free Trainings/Webinars/Master Classes
- Video Resources, or
- Facebook Groups (just to name a few).
PRO TIP: This is your moment to shine if you want to make a good impression.
At the consideration stage, the consumer is now looking for products or services that they can use to solve their problem. Instead of asking questions such as asking what or why at this point, the questions they are more concerned of are:
- How to fix…
- How to treat…
- How to improve…
Brands usually focus on promotion during this stage of the journey and begin to look for alternatives. Businesses at this stage strive to convince potential buyers to include you in the list of available options.
Customers will review available providers that best suits their needs and ultimately make the final purchasing decision. Make sure every impression you make count.
PRO TIP: You must value the importance of the user experience. Continuously optimise the user experience across all your touchpoints, this includes e-commerce transactions and description pages.
Relay what makes you different, better, and more appealing to your consumer than your competitors:
- What makes your offering special?
- What price points are they looking at?
- How will they receive the solution to their problem?
To be better prepared for this stage, you must be able to answer the following questions:
- What is your consumer thinking or feeling?
- What action does your consumer need to take?
- What or where is the consumer researching?
- How will you help your consumer to migrate to your business?
At the decision or conversion stage, prompts visitors to take particular action. It is imperative that you particularly understand your stages and action. Pay close attention to:
- What is/are the consumer touchpoint to your business?
- How can you make this touchpoint optimised for conversion?
This stage where you can make or break a sale, consumers at this point are weighing:
- Price vs. value
- Customer service responsiveness
- Company values
PRO TIP: Consumers will support a brand they can trust to provide a quality solution to their problems. Improve your resources, processes, and optimisations to streamline it.
This stage includes sales techniques such as:
- Lead Magnets
- Opt-in Resources
- Social Media Marketing
- Video Marketing, etc.
Planning for the future of your consumer helps you better understand the thoughts, actions, and emotions your customers will experience when interacting with your business in the future. This will help you understand the ideal journey you’d like your consumers to take on as they interact with your brand in the long term.
Here are some more reasons why you should consider designing future-state journey maps:
- Keeps the Focus on Consumer
- Drives Ongoing Strategy
- Uncover Future Pain Points
- Optimise Processes
Being aware of all the interactions (touchpoints) of your customers have through any channels, allows for designing a better shopping experience while delivering a consistent message across all communications channels.
The Growth Manager can help you in mapping out a solid Consumer Sales Journey for your customers. Our powerful guide will help you create a streamlined and optimised consumer sales journey that will not only be in line with your business goals, but your target customers as well.