First off, what is a customer journey…
Customer journey maps clarify, and develop important parts of just that…your customers’ journey. They allow you to stand in the shoes of your customers, enabling you to improve nearly every aspect of their experience. They provide you with the kind of overview to move customers down your sales funnel. Wait… sales funnel…
What is a sales funnel…
Back to Customer Journeys. Why Are They Important?
- Shows you how customers are interacting with your business
- Gives the brand owner the chance to stop seeing the perspective from the company, but the perspective of the brand through their customer
- Highlights what customers need and when they need it at different stages of the sales funnel
- Clarifies needs and pain-points of your customers
- Clarifies optimization and development priorities
You can see this best with what’s called a Customer Journey Map.
As a matter of fact! I want to talk about the most perfectly detailed customer journey I went on when purchasing from Sunday Riley, a skincare brand. To demonstrate this, let’s go over my Customer Journey Map and furthermore go through the steps to create a Customer Journey Map. I do this with my clients and their eCommerce marketing strategies all the time and trust me, it helps!
Step One: Build Customer Profiles
The data about customers forms the basis of your map. As a result, this data will come from two places: direct feedback and customer analytics. So who am I?
I visited Sunday Riley because I have a new skin issue thanks to a lovely combo of autoimmune issues including dermatomyositis. My skin is dry but not like normal when it’s dry. I exfoliate a ton of dead skin cells a day, moisturize 2x a day, drink 64oz of what a day, and I’ve tried a bunch of products to fix this.
Step Two: Define General Stages
Stage One – Discovery: I visited Sunday Riley because I have a new skin issue thanks to a lovely condition called dermatomyositis. My skin is dry but not like normal when it’s dry. I exfoliate a ton of dead skin cells a day. I moisturize 2x a day, drink 64oz of what a day, and I’ve tried a bunch of products to fix this. Since this started, someone recommended I try Sunday Riley’s Good Genes lactic acid serum.
Stage Two – Research: Before this, I was mixing a concoction of Licorice Root and oil on my face and it helped a little. So I did my research on this product… Besides other great ingredients, Licorice Root is #2 in the ingredient list for Good Genes!
Stage Three – Choose: Now I’ve never tried a Sunday Riley product so when I visited the site I spent a few minutes reading about Good Genes, but then saw that $122 price tag… I clicked away. I don’t want to spend that much without knowing if it works.
Thus a FANTASTIC customer journey begins and Sunday Riley’s eCommerce team kicks into action to reel me back in!
Stage Four – Purchase: I went to a few more products pages to look around. I knew I wanted to try Sunday Riley in general. So I was delighted to find a sample pack.
I purchased the sample pack and waited for my package. It came less than a week later. Even though I only purchased 3 small jars of product to try out, Sunday Riley sent along with my package an equal amount of product samples too.
Ultimately, I got those (3) 0.3oz moisturizers, a 0.17oz sample of U.F.O. Acne Treatment, a 0.17oz of High-Dose Retinoid Serum, and samples packets of various products INCLUDING GOOD GENES.
This means Sunday Riley gave me more than an equal amount of free samples along with my purchase. But Why?
Well…Who am I as Customer Profile?
I clearly am a first-time buyer wanting to try the brand. I spend a lot of time on the website reading about 1-3 products and even added them to my cart. But deleted them before purchase.
Step Three: Attach Goals to Each Stage
Thus, Sunday Riley’s customer journey is now collecting my goals, needs, and desires.
When you do this, consider the most pressing concerns during the stages in Step Two and how to convert me into being a loyal customer. Don’t be afraid of getting your hands dirty when collecting data too. Asking me straight out what I thought of my 3 moisturizers in a follow-up email after my purchase would have been a great step in itself.
But Sunday Riley went above and beyond for this specific customer profile (talked about in Step One) and now I’m hooked!
Step Four: Identify Touchpoints for Each Stage
Many retailers approach this stage too narrowly. It’s essential to account for all possible “touchpoints” in which I’ll interact with your brand as the customer. Ignoring minor channels or interactions will lead to an incomplete customer journey map. So don’t just do this for your website only.
Account for all of the following touchpoints:
- Word-of-mouth and referrals
- Outbound marketing channels like online ads, awareness campaigns, and offline advertising
- Inbound marketing like content, search engine results, and organic social media posts
- Social media channels
- Customer support
- Your website and apps
- Packaging and delivery
Step Five: Identify Moments of Truth
I had two ‘moments of truth’ here. Moments of truth occur when a customer makes an important decision. Mine was when I decided to buy and when I decided to become a loyal customer after a great experience.
Step Six: Identify Drop-Off Points and Goal Completion
Where are customers typically dropping off and ending their journey? Where did I? Before purchasing many higher-priced products. Where are they successfully completing their goals? When did I? When after getting all my samples and trying them I went back to the site and purchased Good Genes.
Step Seven: Get Even More Feedback
Additional feedback can be immensely useful once you’ve started to put together your customer journey. At this stage of the process, you will likely be aware of what was missing in your original customer research, but it doesn’t hurt to ask a customer outright what their feedback is. What’s mine? This blog post (LOL).
Step Eight: Identify Areas for Improvement and “Amplification”
This step is where the customer journey map moves from being an abstract document to a practical tool. So what would this look like with factoring in metrics and emotions of my customer journey with the help of CTA’s (Call-To-Actions) and little nudges the brand did to make me a loyal customer…? Let’s see a customer journey map! Here’s a basic one:
And a closer look at where you and me are visually right now:
In the End…
Using your customer journey map as an aid for idea generation and really realizing what is going on in the purchasing process for your customers. When you think this way, you’ll make much more sales. So how do you create your own Customer Journey Map for your brand?
Because customer journey mapping tools are essentially diagram-creation apps, they tend to be relatively inexpensive. You should consider investing in one if you haven’t already. The best out there is the Salesforce Journey Planner. If you want to go a free route and DIY yourself you can use HubSpot’s templates.
But if you’ve gotten to the end of this post and are thinking “Where the Hell do I start!?”. There is also another option for creating a Customer Journey Map… Unglitch.io! Get in touch today and we can strategize a custom map for your brand to help you boost sales ASAP!
In the meantime, I’ll be over here obsessively touching my new, soft, happy face!