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Defining Your Customer Journey

May 8, 2019 | Business Strategy

Using customer journey mapping to better understand the client experience your brand provides allows you to make adjustments that will help grow your business.

Last week we talked about the four phases of the customer journey, which, yes, is great to understand. But wouldn’t it be even better if you could actually take that knowledge and apply it to your business?

Good news, that’s what we’re diving into today!

As a recap, the four phases of your customer’s journey include:

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

Why Customer Journey Mapping Matters for Your Business

If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m big into sharing the “why” for each step. Mostly for selfish reasons, but I also think that when you understand the why behind doing something, you’re more likely to adopt and utilize that something.

Although we covered this a bit last week, I think it’s worth repeating: when you understand what adventure each client goes on, the ride will be a lot smoother. Meaning, the experience that the client has with your brand will be that much better.

Getting It All on Paper: Phase One

This first step is lovingly referred to as the brain dump. You’re not worrying about any rhyme or reason to what you write—it’s about getting everything from your brain onto paper.

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?

Getting It All on Paper: Phase Two

Now that they’ve had an initial connection with your brand, what’s next? Look at each of the touch points from phase one 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 (phase two) 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 not just talking at that person—they’re giving you permission to communicate directly to them.

Getting It All on Paper: Phase Three

Once that permission is given, write down all the “steps” that a potential client will take to get from inquiry 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?

Getting It All on Paper: Phase Four

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.

Organizing + Clarifying Your Customer Journey

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, similar to what you see below.

Final Thoughts

When you understand your customer’s journey, you gain a better insight into the experience that your brand provides. More often than not, this will show you where the opportunities are for improvement and where you can hone in on what’s going well.

Maybe you’re not getting enough people in phase one, which means you need to increase your efforts to attract clients. Or maybe you’re a rockstar when it comes to customer service and 99% of your clients refer you to someone they know. 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 evolving process and something that will grow and change right along with your business.

Next week, we’re diving into part two of this Build Your Brand Foundation pillar and talking all about the transformation your business provides!

All my best,

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How to Define Your Customer's Journey