Knowing your customer is one of the most important steps a business should take. However, as surprising as this may be, not many brands understand their audience well. They may have a rough idea of who the market is but come up short when asked about details like their interests, motivations, purchasing habits, and others.
Knowing your target customers is a complex process consisting of many layers. Beyond the basic profile, you want to understand how customers go from learning about your business to making a purchase. So this is where customer journey mapping comes in.
A customer journey map is, as its name suggests, a map that lays out the customer journey by highlighting all interactions with your brand. It usually starts with identifying different touch-points like websites, social media, email, and other possible channels. Then, you map out the user journey, which generally includes the following stages:
There are many ways to do customer journey mapping, but the goal remains the same. Ultimately, you want to flesh out all their actions to convert them into customers. Then, you can identify opportunities to improve the customer experience or innovate your products to better match their needs.
Customer journey mapping essentially allows you to put yourself in your customer’s shoes, which helps you gain insights into their pain points and think of ways to solve them. By using such an approach, you can make more informed decisions on how to provide value to customers.
Businesses have long used the inside-out approach, which entails developing internal capabilities and systems to build valuable products or services. However, times have shifted, and customer expectations are changing. Now, the power lies in the customer’s hands because they have so many options in the online space.
With that, you need to shift gears and adopt a customer-oriented perspective. With a customer journey map, you can take an outside-in approach, which consists of first identifying customers’ needs, then building solutions that cater to them.
It can be easy to get carried away with different plans in the pipeline, but in the end, these will not matter if they have no impact on the customer. By mapping the user journey, you can identify your customers’ main problems and prioritize the relevant activities to address them. This way, you focus on the ideas and initiatives that help you achieve your key performance indicators (KPIs).
Mapping out the customer journey is critical to getting an in-depth view of your target audience and their underlying needs, motivations, and frustrations. Doing this helps you understand your customers more, allowing you to develop the right products and create a better experience for them.