To better understand their consumers, organizations might benefit from creating buyer journey maps. They walk north on Awareness Street toward Consideration Road, make a left turn, and continue along Consideration Road for 0.5 miles until Decision Stage is on their right.
Obviously, this is just the beginning of a long list of tasks that must be completed. The process of mapping the customer journey helps to make sense of all of the interactions that potential customers have with a firm before and after completing a purchase.
The findings provide businesses with valuable insight into how they may improve the quality of their interactions with customers, live up to their expectations, and increase the number of sales they make.
We will guide you through the fundamentals so that you can chart the course of your customers’ journeys to become customers.
What exactly is a “Buyer Journey Map,” though?
A buyer journey map is a graphical depiction of the interactions a consumer has had with a particular business. This include being made aware of the brand, making a purchase, and each and every consumer touchpoint that takes place in between the two events.
Even your ideal buyer may go through a drawn-out purchase process that presents them with several chances to interact with your brand. Posts on social networking platforms, emails, landing pages on websites, advertisements, one-pagers for sales, calls to support teams, and so on are just a few examples.
It is important to keep in mind that certain aspects of the client journey, such as internet reviews or word-of-mouth recognition, may be beyond of the control of your marketing. Any transaction with a customer may be considered a touchpoint since it gives that person the opportunity to form an opinion about your business, product, or service.
Buyer journey mapping will force you to explore all potential touchpoints since it requires you to explain what consumers need and desire at each step of the customer experience they go through. When you get to that point, you’ll have a better knowledge of what drives or prevents people from making choices throughout the purchasing process.
X Marks the Spot: A Plethora of Information That Can Help You Sell More
Although it would be preferable if a customer’s road to purchase was an uncomplicated one, the reality is that the process often involves a number of phases as well as pauses, which makes it a convoluted trip. The journey is often interrupted, and it may be cyclical or repeating in nature. Altering patterns, revolving news cycles, and ever-evolving client requirements are also major factors in its formation.
The mapping of the buyer journey provides organizations with the ability to make sense of what really occurs before clients make purchases. This in-depth knowledge can assist you in predicting the activities of customers and identifying the touchpoints that propel purchasers toward the objective of completing a purchase, as well as the obstacles that may cause them to change their minds and move in a different direction.
The following is a list of the invaluable knowledge that you will get from buyer journey maps:
Perspective from above on the interactions that consumers have with your firm.
Feelings and emotions experienced by the buyer at each and every step of their journey.
Vacancies or sore spots in the present state of your client experience.
Variations among buyer personas to consider.
Moments that transform potential consumers become repeat clients.
When you are armed with these insights, you will be able to develop a systematic process that will guarantee that you make the most of every opportunity throughout the buyer journey to convert potential customers into paying customers. This will be of use to you:
Enhance your customer experiences.
Make sure that all of your customer touchpoints address the problems that your customers are having.
Methods of inbound marketing that are more effective should be implemented.
Ensure that all members of the team are focused on the consumer.
Increase the number of conversions.
Improve customer retention.
The marketing and sales teams that are most successful have a deep comprehension of the demographics of the people they are trying to engage. One of the most useful tools for taking you where you want to go is a map of the buyer journey.
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How to Create Your Own Buyer Journey Maps in 5 Easy Steps
To get the most out of a customer journey map, we suggest that you begin started by preparing a few important pieces before you get started.
Key perspectives: When addressing the questions you’ll need to answer and ensuring that transitions along buyer journeys are smooth, be sure to include stakeholders from diverse departments. An example of this would be the transition from marketing to sales, which may either seal or lose a contract.
Buyer personas are descriptions of individuals who are part of your target audience. These descriptions of people should contain information about their demographics, lifestyle, wants, and desires. You’re going to require these client data in order to create a paper map of your consumer viewpoints.
The purchasing method: Determine which purchase stages or phases are most relevant to your firm and identify them. A usual progression is from the stage of awareness to that of contemplation, and then on to the stage of choice.
Touchpoints: Think about all the many ways potential buyers come into contact with your company before they make a purchase. When it comes to filling up your buyer journey maps, you should have this list close at hand.
You may create a map of the process of purchasing a certain product or service, and you can even add steps that occur after the purchase and are geared at making the consumer happy and keeping them as a customer. Before beginning the mapping process, it is vital to have a clear understanding of the level of granularity you want to achieve.
When you are ready, take these steps to map out the experiences that your customers have with your company:
1. Clearly define the goals you want to achieve.
Think about what you want to learn from your customer journey map and why you want to learn it. Which aspect of the client experience should be investigated? Who is the subject of the map? Do you want to find out what compels clients to purchase from your business — or identify areas of improvement to increase conversions — in order to raise sales?
The process of defining your objectives will provide your maps with a distinct focus and guarantee that they are tied to the overarching aims of your organization.
2. Get to Know Your Customers on a More Personal Level (While Relying on Data-Driven Insights)
Before you can envision the purchasing process of your consumers, you will need to have a solid grasp of who your customers are. Both quantitative and qualitative data may be included here, provided that your analysis is limited to material that is relevant to the experience that you want to include in your buyer journey map.
Collect information from the sources you would expect, such as Google Analytics and the accounts you use for social networking. This can help you link data points such as a landing page or social post that performs exceptionally well to the stage in the user journey when they urge consumers to take an action.
If you have the time or if there are holes in the data you have about your consumers, you should seriously consider performing user testing or sending out surveys to collect input from actual paying customers. Helpful inquiries may include:
Where did you first hear about our business?
What about our product or service really appealed to you?
When you were doing your shopping online, did you run into any problems?
Before you made a purchase from our website, how long did you spend browsing our site?
Have you had any face-to-face conversations with members of our team? If that’s the case, did you get in touch with them before or after making the purchase?
Your other coworkers may be of assistance to you at this point as well. Collect the opinions of team members who have positions that include direct interaction with customers and who may give fresh viewpoints on certain phases of the buyer experience. For instance, what are the questions that your sales staff receives the most often from potential customers?
Additional sources of important information about your audience include chat logs and email correspondence from customer care representatives, as well as internet reviews.
Spend some time putting yourself in the shoes of a prospective buyer to get a sense of the range of sentiments and experiences that they are going through as they go through the purchasing process. This will help you develop empathy for them. What inquiries do they have for you? What are the joyful times as opposed to the difficult points? Will there be any technological or lifestyle impediments for them to overcome?
The compilation of all of this information will assist you in developing buyer personas that are reflective of your potential clients.
2. Select Your Ideal Customer Profile (s)
Keep in mind that in order for your map to be successful, it has to have concentrated direction. Because there is only place on a map for one buyer persona, you should avoid distracting yourself from your aims by grouping together an excessive number of experiences.
If you’re just getting started with mapping the buyer journey, begin with the buyer persona that represents the majority of your customers and concentrate on the first interactions they have with your business. In any case, you have the option of targeting a select number of customer personas by generating numerous maps.
3. Align Touchpoints with the Appropriate Stages and Actions
Now is the time to make a list of all of the many methods in which your consumers may communicate with your business. It is important to take into account both the digital user journey as well as the physical consumer interactions.
On your list, you may also have:
- Email and other social media platforms
- Mobile app
- Paid and unpaid forms of advertising
- Digital marketing campaign
- Real-time chitchat
- Online surveys
- Printed promotional items and brochures
- Cards for business use
- locations of traditional shops made of brick and masonry
- The packaging of the product
- website of reviews or references from third parties
When you have compiled a comprehensive list, the next step is to think about the touchpoints that are most likely to motivate an action or evoke a sentiment. You can begin to construct a picture of where the touchpoints sit throughout the buyer journey by using the data you have about your customers and pairing them together in the appropriate way.
Remember that there will be obstacles to overcome along the path as well. What are some of the things that may make a potential customer back away from a decision or prevent them from moving forward? Your map ought to depict these impediments so that you are aware of the locations of the options to circumvent them.
At each step, you should ask yourself questions such as the following:
- What does the end user experience or think about the product?
- What kind of activity does the consumer make?
- What problems or questions does the consumer need to get answered?
- Where do customers first interact with our business?
- What are some of the ways in which we may take the consumer to the next stage?
Always remember to put the needs of the consumer first. Your map should be an honest picture of the experience of a client as seen through the eyes of the consumer, rather than from the viewpoint of your firm.
4. Make a Detailed Plan of It
Put all of your ideas and thoughts into a spreadsheet or some other kind of graphic representation that can record your buyer journey. You should begin by segmenting the trip into phases, after which you should plug in the customer’s behaviors, emotions, touchpoints, and any other factors you want to emphasize.
Do not worry if you are experiencing feelings of disorientation. You may use the examples that are provided below as guidelines.
5. Put your travel itinerary through its paces by simulating a trip.
When you have completed creating your map of the consumer journey, you can test it out and then begin analyzing the data.
You may begin to think of methods to battle that poor experience if you discover a region where a pain point can lead a prospect to leave their path. If you are aware of this area, you can keep an eye out for it. On the other hand, you will be able to determine when your customer profiles are experiencing the highest levels of satisfaction and make certain that you are communicating with prospects using the appropriate touchpoints.
Taking Your Maps of the Buyer Journey to the Next Level
It is important that your maps of the buyer journey continue to develop and adapt to reflect changes in both your consumers and your marketing strategy. Consider them to be live, breathing resources that need some attention once a month or once every three months to check for any changes and, ideally, to generate new ideas.
Examples of the Buyer’s Journey Map
Because it is a visual tool, a buyer journey map may be formatted in any way that you see fit. Even while the task may be accomplished with a simple Excel spreadsheet, many companies choose instead to illustrate their customer journeys using icons, flow charts, color coding, and other graphic features.
The following are some samples that might serve as inspiration for your final product.
Exemplification of the B2B Buyer Journey Map
This buyer journey map prioritizes mapping out the goals and touchpoints that accompany each stage. Because many B2B companies offer products or services that require more than a one-time purchase, the map goes beyond the initial buying decision.
These elements make it a useful guide for identifying when various types of content can be most effective and ensuring they’re created with the right objectives in mind.
Retail Buyer Journey Map Example
Along with communicating the specific steps in the process of shopping for a new car, this journey map includes the buyer persona it relates to and a high-level narrative from the customer’s perspective. These added touches are tangible ways to really put yourself in the shoes of Eric, the emotional car buyer.
Omnichannel Buyer Journey Map Example
This detailed map takes a different visual approach that allows for a comparison between touchpoints. It also indicates varying emotions throughout the process, indicating that there are phases on the home remodeling journey that are especially challenging — and therefore an opportunity for touchpoints that ease those pain points.
Once you map out your buyer journeys, it’s time to create, publish and promote the content that will keep your prospects moving from touchpoint to touchpoint. Subscribe to The Content Marketer for weekly insights that will help you master all those elements of the process as well.