Marketing For Small Businesses: What Is Customer Journey Mapping?

How well does your business understand your customer? Understanding your customer and the journey they take before buying your product or service is a crucial aspect of your business’ marketing strategy. This is a term known as Customer Journey Mapping and it’s designed to give your business insights into what influences your customers buying decision and how you can adapt your business to remove any hurdles that might prevent the purchase. Customer Journey Mapping is an essential part of understanding your customer, and is a useful tool in developing your Digital Marketing strategy.

The benefit of Customer Journey Mapping include:

  • Better understanding of your customers and their full end-to-end journey to making a purchase decision.
  • Enhance your customers’ experiences.
  • More insightful than linear models such as a traditional sales funnel.
  • Increase your business’ conversion rate.
Customer Journey Mapping

What Is Customer Journey Mapping?

Think of a Customer Journey Map as a similar tool as a Customer Persona. In fact, they’re very much alike, they just focus on different aspects of the customer’s lives. Whereas a Customer Persona looks at who your customer is, where you can find them and what they are interested in; a Customer Journey Map focusses on asking questions that relate to their experience before, during and after making a buying decision.

This means that combining both Customer Journey Maps and Customer Personas together, makes for a very powerful tool in understanding your customer and their experiences. It’s a useful tool in designing your services to improve your customers experience, and is also useful in increasing the conversion rate for new customers by removing any hurdles along their journey.

Why Should You Use Customer Journey Mapping?

Whether your business is a products or services business, or whether you operate in B2B or B2C markets, it’s important that you understand the journey your customer makes to make a purchase. But why? The main reason, is to understand how your business fits into this journey, which parts your business does well and which parts have room for improvement. It provides essential insight into understanding how you can offer the best possible experience for your customers in order to optimise your conversation rate.

You’ll hear this term frequently in business, and in particular in marketing and that is; “If you don’t measure it, then you can’t manage it”. And that’s the same truth for your customers journey, if you don’t understand it, then you can’t improve it.

What Businesses Should Use Customer Journey Mapping?

In our opinion, all businesses should use Customer Journey Mapping if they wish to optimise their conversion rates and also enhance their customers’ experiences. You’ll be surprised what insights you get from mapping out your customers journey.

If you’re interested in optimising your conversion rate, or enhancing your customers’ experience then this is a great tool for you. A lot of businesses focus on optimising certain aspects of their service, but they fail to look at the bigger picture of how the various aspects link together.

How Do You Create A Customer Journey Map?

There are two approaches you can take to producing a Customer Journey Map. One is to produce it based on what you think, trying to put yourself in your customers shoes. Whilst this is useful for small business who might not have the resources or time to conduct research, it is not as effective as other approaches as it’s likely to be biased.

The second approach, which is far more useful, is to complete the Customer Journey Mapping with research conducted from your customers themselves. You can ask for customer feedback from surveys, questionnaires or just general anecdotal accounts. You should also incorporate members of staff that work within your business, such as customers services employees, that also understand the customers’ journey and the problems that they encounter. Its important to include as many different opinions from customers and employees so that you can capture the full picture.

After conducting your research, you should decide the level of detail you wish to include. It might be useful to narrow it down, to commonly identified occurrences that fit within each stage of the Customer Journey Map, similar to the example below. Your stages might be slightly different the ones given in the examples we’ve used, as every business is different. But it’s likely that they’ll be similar.

Customer Journey Mapping

It’s More Useful Than Traditional Funnels

Im sure you’re aware of the traditional sales funnel model. As you can see from the example of a Customer Journey Map we’ve used at the top of the page, the stages of the map are the similar to those used in a traditional Sales Funnel Model.

So what’s the difference? The difference is understanding how your customer fits into these stages, the journey they take to get through the stages and most importantly, how your business can enhance that journey for your customers in order to optimise your conversion rate.

Customer Journey Mapping

Summary

In summary, a Customer Journey Map is certainly something you should consider using to help your business better understand your customer and enhance your customers’ experiences. Better understanding this process provides you with invaluable insights into what your customer does on their journey, what influences their decision making and what problems they encounter. This gives you the opportunity to remove these hurdles to increase your conversion rate.

So, should you produce a Customer Journey Map for your business? Our answer is yes. If you need any support in Customer Journey Mapping then you can get in touch with us here.

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