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Defining Your Customer Journey

Oct 1, 2021 | Brand Strategy, Business Strategy

This post walks through the five steps on how to map your customer journey so you can better communicate with the right people at the right time.


Today, we’re chatting about a tool that you can utilize to better communicate with your audience members. Because here’s the thing. If you’ve been in business for any length of time, there’s a high likelihood that you have audience members who just entered into your sphere of influence and people who have been consuming your content for months or years.

So the question then becomes, how do you serve both types of people well?

Enter: The Customer Journey.

In this article

>> What is the customer journey?
>> How do you map your own business’ customer journey?
>> How can you use that journey in your business?

 

What is the customer journey?

Here at Witt and Company, I define the customer journey as a four-step flow a customer goes through, from the first point of contact to the transformation, and beyond.

Those four steps are:

  1. Attract your ideal customer.
  2. Buy into your message.
  3. Make a purchase.
  4. Retain your business.

If you want an in-depth explanation of each phase, click here.

 

How to map your own customer journey

We love a good brain dump and that’s exactly how we’ll start the customer journey mapping process. You’re not worrying about any rhyme or reason to what you write—it’s about getting everything from your brain onto paper.

Step 01: What are the possible brand touch points?

Let’s start with the attraction phase. Simply write down all the various touch points that a potential customer may have with your business. From networking events to seeing a post on Instagram, what possible places can someone connect with you and learn about your brand?

Step 02: From there, how do they buy into your brand?

Now that they’ve had an initial connection with your brand, what’s next? Look at each of the touch points and write down the person’s next move. For example, if I am at a networking event and hand someone my business card (phase one), their next step is to either check out my website and opt into my email or send me an email directly (phase two).

You’re writing down all the connection points that get them from casually double-tapping on your Instagram post to giving permission for two-way communication. An Instagram DM means they’re buying into your message. Subscribing to your email list means they’re buying into your message. Sending you a private message on Facebook means they’re buying into your message. You’re no longer just talking at the person—they’re giving you permission to communicate directly with them.

Step 03: What does a purchase look like?

Once that permission is given, write down all the “steps” that a potential client will take to get from exchanging contact information to paying customer.

Do you send them an email sequence if they opt in to your freebie? Do you have a contact form that someone fills out when they send you over a private message on Facebook? Or do you offer a free consultation call?

Step 04: How can you bring even more delight to a paying customer?

When a potential client becomes a paying customer, you may think that the journey is over—they’re invested (literally), so your work is done, right?

Absolutely not.

The last phase of the customer journey, and in my opinion the most important step, is providing excellent customer service and retaining your client’s business. Write down all the ways that you delight your customer. From the moment they sign the contract and make it official to wrapping up the project and beyond, what are you doing to make their experience as best as possible?

Do you have a welcome series you send each new client through? Offer a referral bonus for anyone they send your way? Send a client gift to everyone you work with? Follow up a month after completing the project just to check in on them and see how things are going? While these small things may seem insignificant, I promise they’re worth the effort and can really set your brand apart from the competition.

Step 05: Organize and clarify.

Now that you’ve written everything down, it’s time to organize.

I’d recommend some sort of flow chart, which you can physically draw out, or create something simple in Excel. You can make this as high level or detailed as you want—the idea is that it makes sense to you.

Perhaps, collecting everything on paper is all you need and just having a list of what happens at each phase is enough to keep you organized.

If you’re wanting something more detailed, start with phase one and map out each option. Remember those “choose your own adventure” books you read in elementary school? This process is like that—start with the first touch point and create a map for each option, until you reach your Retention stage.

 

How can you use the customer journey in your own business?

Okay, so you have the customer journey all mapped out, great! But, how can you actually utilize it as a tool and put it to work for your own business?

At a high level, when you understand your customer’s journey, you gain a better insight into the experience that your brand provides. And from an action-step perspective, clarity on the customer journey will show you where things are going well and where you can improve.

For example, if your lead generation (phase one) is a little slower, you know that awareness building can be a marketing focus for the next three to six months. Or maybe you’re a rockstar when it comes to customer service (phase four) and 99% of your clients refer you to someone they know. The question to then ask would be, ‘How can you make that experience even better for your current customer?’

Remember, this is a fluid process and you learn as you go. Just like your brand, your customer’s journey is an evolution that will grow and change right along with your business.

Happy branding!

All my best,

 

Additional Resources

 Want an in-depth look at each stage of the customer journey? Check out this post!

Read this post if you’re wanting to tailor your brand message to each stage of the customer journey.

Build awareness with more ease in this post that walks through brand messaging for awareness building.

 

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