How many times have you given up trying to buy something because dealing a company becomes simply too much trouble?

Perhaps the website doesn’t load properly, or calling customer services involves 20 minutes listening to piped music, and then it turns out they’re out of stock,  Life is simply too short, we all have too many demands on our time, and the chances are someone else will offer an alternative that’s just as good!

If you want to ensure that your customers’ experience of purchasing your goods and services is, well, better than that, then there’s good news. Embracing digital technology and spending a bit of time analysing data can help, in the form of a customer journey map.

This fantastically useful tool – used by many top brands – visualises each and every step and drives them along the way to a purchase.

You can explore, review and optimise that experience, ensuring that your customers will look favourably on your brand and hopefully return again in the future.

You can also be sure that customers’ experiences are aligned with your company’s proposition and promise, and is meets or betters that offered by your competitors.

It is, literally a drawn out a (comprehensive) route (initially involving lots of post-it notes!) to buying a product or service from first hearing about it, to weighing up options, to narrowing down choices to buying.

It includes both digital and off-line (i.e. real life) experience of you. You can find many examples of customer journey maps on the internet some of which you might be able to adapt to suit your business and its needs.

Here’s the clever part.

Each individual step considers how your customer’s experience of you, and decision to buy, could be influenced by your actions, for good or bad!

It also pinpoints where you can gather valuable data along the way to help understand that journey better – for example, your customer needs or preferences? It might even flag up problems that will bring your customer’s journey to an abrupt halt!

To finish this short introduction to customer journeys, here are a few hints and tips to get you started:

  • Customer journeys vary from person to person, location to location, brand to brand.
  • It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is; a map can still be developed.
  • The map/s can be online, offline, or (more typically) a combination of both.
  • There may be a multitude of different start and finish points, as well as a variety of channels that customers might use to engage with your business.
  • Many things can influence a customer journey and it may require some degree of co-ordination of the internal resources of a company to ensure every aspect is optimised and that potential pain points, once identified, are managed to ensure that the customer needs are met every step of the way.
  • Each step should be viewed from your customer’s perspective, rather than your own!

To discuss how customer journey mapping can form part of your marketing planning process, drop us a line at marketing@leader.co.uk, or call 01789 739200.