Consumer Journey Best Practices for 2021
A consumer is someone who buys your product or service. There are multiple ways that he could have come to that conclusion, with many different thoughts at different stages of the purchase cycle. Understanding this path is called the consumer journey, and it involves understanding the shopping habits of your target consumer, knowing how they came across your brand, product or service, figuring out what they do on your before making a purchase, and analysing their checkout process.
From a strictly digital standpoint, a consumer journey is based on how he or she interacts with your website. It is how he lands on your page, what intrigues him the most, what he buys, and how he checks out – basically when you walk in your customers’ shoes. It is imperative to break down each step into a single interaction to understand the consumers’ pain points if any, so you can improve the user experience.
How can you convert this journey into something visual? By making a consumer journey map!
The Benefits of a Consumer Journey Map
A consumer journey map is a visual representation of your customers experience with your brand. It will help you understand what works and what does not in your marketing strategy from a holistic perspective. Learn what keywords work, the decision making process, and even what content is working well with your audience with the consumer journey map.
It is important to plot out the consumer journey map to understand what your target audience wants and what they would engage with the most. This has to be done before you start work on your e-commerce website, store, or other points of purchase in order to maximise its effectiveness. In essence, a customer journey map:
- All teams onboard: A consumer journey map helps all teams within a company get on the same page. Helps avoid the gap between different teams. A consumer journey map helps all teams within a company get on the same page. For instance, the sales team may be unaware about the lead generation campaigns run by the marketing team, whereas the lead generation team may be unaware about the customer service executives bandwidth.
- Enhances your conversion rate by minimizing negative customer experiences: 46% of people tell others about good reviews! If your customer has a pleasant journey while making a purchase, it ensures that they become repeat customers; not to mention the other customers you get via word of mouth. You can do this by giving your customers a personalized experience, top-class service, improve in-store operations, resolve complaints swiftly, and leverage data to maximise conversions!
- Helps businesses zoom into a single customers journey in a specific channel: Identification of sales channel – How? Consumer journey touch-points are many but which one is working for your products/services needs to be identified. Firstly, examine the cost of each sales channel; note down their pros and cons against each other. Consider the conversion rate and ROI per channel. For example: Many brands reduced traditional advertising during the pandemic due to reduced number of newspaper and magazine readers; instead, funds were diverted to digital channels. Which digital channels work best is something only a customer journey map can tell you!
- Increase brand loyalty: A 5% increase in retention can increase profits by a whopping 25%+! 82% of companies agree that customer retention is cheaper than customer acquisition. 56% of customers stay loyal to a company that understands them. 65% business comes from existing customers. A happy customer is a recurring customer. Brand loyalty is one of the biggest benefits of getting a customer journey map right!
- Developing brand trust: Trust is one of the most expensive things in the world, and a consumer journey map helps people trust your brand: This is primarily through word of mouth advertising. People trust others known to them much more than any form of advertising. For eg: Grofers, a very popular Indian brand, takes back any product, no questions asked, within a few days of your purchase. This coupled with wholesale rates are the perfect reason for people to buy!
A buzz about your brand is bound to increase business manifold! Happy customers will brag about your brand all over social media. After all, any publicity is good publicity 😉
If you are looking at formulating your consumer journey, we have got just the right process for you!
How to Build Your Customer Journey Map
Step 1: Understand your Target Audience and Persona
The first step to formulating your consumer journey is to know your consumer. This can be done by segmenting your audience into different buckets based on their:
6. Demographics – Age, race, ethnicity, marital status, income, education, employment
7. Psychographics – Interests, opinions, values, attitudes, lifestyle, belief
Once you have an understanding of the above two steps then flesh out their personas, segment them into different groups with similar attributes.
This will help in ascertaining their:
10. Pain points
Decide whose journey you want to map – whether it is a prospective customer, a target audience bucket, or persona; this depends on what the aim of your customer journey map is. To understand more about demographics and psychographics, read our blog:
Step 2: Stages of Consumer Journey Map and Touchpoints
Like most other generic marketing terms, each company’s consumer journey map is slightly different. Given below are the main stages of a consumer journey map:
The first step to checking your website is outside your website. It is usually an intent-based search online, where your website should show up organically or as an ad, if you do SEM and/or Search Engine Optimization. If not, we highly recommend you start as soon as possible. This is one of the only ways that a potential customer might discover your brand, product, or service.
13. Social media
14. Public relations
15. Content marketing
16. Online ads
17. Event marketing
Make use of all effective offline and online marketing tools.
After going through each search engine result, your consumer will (hopefully) click on your landing page link and check out what your product or service has to offer. This is when the consumer is looking for information about your offering, and it is your job to make all details available in order to minimize bounce rates. Also, a consumer may be taken directly to the product page on your website; it is not necessary that he starts from the home page. This is why you must make each page as interactive as possible. Since this is when a prospective customer is interested in your brand, touchpoints include:
19. Online ads
21. Email marketing
22. Case studies
23. Pricing page
25. Product demos
26. Whitepapers and ebooks
This is when the customer is ready to make the purchase. You must ensure that this phase is made as easy as possible. If they find that the payment options are inadequate, you might lose a customer; it is the difference between an item in the cart and a confirmed order. In addition, offers such as coupon codes, free trials, and free returns may accelerate this process.
30. Contact centre
31. ROI calculator
32. Trial account
33. Email drip campaigns
34. Product tour
35. Personalisation and customisation
36. Business case builder
37. Retention: Once a customer, always a customer – something that is not necessary, but you can definitely work on it by keeping in touch with the customer even after they have made the purchase. Make sure your brand is at the top of their mind by making them aware of all offerings via multiple touchpoints, such as:
38. Post-purchase service
39. Customer loyalty program
43. Special product launches for past customers
44. Advocacy: Once the customer has used your product or service for a long time and is happy with it, make sure you get a testimonial – something that you can promote on social media so that other potential customers can have a look. This may well be the thing that converts them from potential customers to final consumers.
46. Social media
47. Word of mouth
49. Joint speaking engagement
Step 3: Understand your Buyers needs
A need is a wanted outcome that has business value for a persona. Companies often do not understand what their customers need, and hence fail in selling the desired product. These 5 steps will help you understand your customer’s needs:
Set the framework to understand the different levels of your buyer’s needs, after agreeing with what exactly the ‘need’ is. Understand the different dimensions of their needs.
Define market segments and personas. This will help your brand understand the needs that the customer has and knows, and uncover needs that he is unaware of. This helps the brand focus on their long term goals by concentrating on the customers long term needs.
Select appropriate research methods. Conduct activities such as distributing surveys and doing dipstick research to identify your customers every need, irrespective of their segment and persona.
Determine needs that are of the highest priority based on key factors such as the highest potential for customer viability. Prioritize customer needs in this stage since it’s impossible to address them all at once.
Integrate these needs into your market plan by addressing them appropriately. You can create and execute plans to further investigate the needs of a lower priority as well.
Now that we are done with the 5 F’s, let’s understand the reasons for a delay in decision-making.
Step 4: Figure out the reasons for the delay in decision making
As a brand, you must know why your customer is apprehensive about making a purchase.
55. Understand their psyche:
Identify whether or not they are direct consumers or influencers in the purchase process. There is a way to tackle every situation – identification is the key.
56. For instance, your product cost may be too high for one customer, another customer might not be the only decision-maker, while the third may not need your product or service at this very moment. There are different reasons for the delay in decision making. Once you know what it is, you can tackle the situation accordingly.
You are probably an expert at how to form your customer journey map already 😉 The steps and benefits mentioned above should be a great way to start yours!
What is Net Promoter Score, and why is it important?
A great way to gauge whether or not your customer is enjoying his consumer journey is with the help of NPS or Net Promoter Score. Here’s the a list of thing you must know about NPS:
57. It is a simple system where your customer is asked how likely he or she will recommend your brand to others on a scale of 1-10.
58. People that rank you from 0-6 are unhappy customers, and will do your brands reputation no good if you do not resolve their issues.
59. Those that rank you between 7-8 are people that are okay with your service, but not really enthusiastic about promoting your brand.
60. If you rank 9 and 10 to people, know that they are happy, loyal, and will definitely promote your brand! Keep an eye on social media for those talking not-so-good things about you, and send them a feedback form along with those that ranked you 0-6; this should help you start the process of getting into their good books.
We can help you kickstart your customer journey map
Customer journey mapping is an essential part of building your brand. It’s a catalyst to your success. It gives you deep insights into your customer and helps eliminate their pain points. It also maximizes your profits due to customer loyalty and word of mouth advertising.
Players in the online shopping arena have understood this back in the day, which is why they hire a professional web design agency. In addition, they help the customer make a purchase by guiding them step by step, thereby reducing confusion and bounce rate.
You now know the importance of digital marketing in a customer journey. La Decoller is a full-service digital agency that can help you with your digital marketing strategy, social media marketing, logo design, brand building, and much more! Feel free to give us a shout by calling on 9999999999 or send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get in touch with you immediately!
PS: We also have visual content creators on board to help you kick-start your customer journey mapping process 🙂