Go-to-Market teams spend a lot of time discussing the customer journey — so what is it?
This article will answer this question and explore how to develop it for your business.
What is the Customer Journey?
The customer journey is the path your customers take as they move from awareness of your product or service to purchase and beyond.
At a high level, the journey flows through the following stages: Awareness, Interest, Decision, and Action.
For clarity, we consider the buyer and customer journeys the same.
Why is the Customer Journey Important?
You must understand the customer journey to connect with and understand your potential customers.
Each step in the journey is a chance for you to learn about your target audience and what they like so that you can improve your product and business along the way.
Each step gives you a chance to build a relationship with your customers and demonstrate your brand’s expertise and insight.
Customer journey mapping?
Different types of customers navigate the buying process in their unique ways.
As you begin to map the buyer journey, start by:
Defining your customer segments
What are the different categories of customers you serve?
What are the problems each category of customer seeks to solve?
What journey stages do customers go through?
Then, define the steps or stages that each customer segment goes through as they interact with your business and its customer-facing employees?
These stages could be:
Identify customer touchpoints
Now, identify all potential touchpoints.
Include ALL interactions with humans, digital and physical properties, such as:
- Your website
- Social media
- Cold calls from your SDRs
- Visits to your retail store
- Talking to your customer service team
Identify if those touchpoints are working
Talk to your prospects and customers to learn from them about each touchpoint.
And talk to your groups interacting with the customers at these touchpoints.
For each touchpoint you uncover, ask customers:
- What were they hoping to achieve at that point.
- Did they achieve their goal?
- How would they improve the interaction?
- Did they feel better or worse about your company during and after the exchange?
Ask your internal teams:
- How they feel about the touchpoint
- Do they feel the customer was able to meet their objectives?
- What improvements would they make to the touchpoint to improve both the customer’s and their experience?
And then align your go-to-market team to the journey
At this point, you should be clear about the journey customers are taking.
- Create a council of internal staff, existing customers, and prospects to take the lessons learned and improve the journey.
- Reward customers and prospects for participating.
- Listen to and implement this team’s suggestions.
- Rotate people through the council once or twice a year to continue to gain alternative perspectives.
This council should be an ongoing activity in your journey for continuous improvement.
The customer journey is a model of how most customers interact with your business — not necessarily how you want them to interact.
Learn from the reality and adjust to continually improve the experience for customers, your employees, and your business.
It’s worth the effort.