Introductory Steps To Customer Journey Mapping

It’s extremely helpful to have a visual representation of the journey your customers take when engaging with your brand. This journey must include obstacles and motivators that the client might encounter on the journey, pain points that will encourage the client to seek out solutions from your brand, and of course, a destination – the endpoint that you want your customer to reach.

We can think of this customer journey map like the boardgame snakes and ladders, with the snakes and ladders being brand touchpoints for your customers. A touchpoint is any opportunity a customer has to form an opinion on your brand. Negative touchpoints move your customers away from your goal for them, like snakes, and positive touchpoints move your customers toward your goal for them, like ladders.

As brand managers, marketers and SME owners we must plan for the different types of snakes our customers will encounter and build has many ladders as we can and place them at convenient spots for our customers to climb, so they can reach their destination – purchasing our solution!

Step 1: Define Your Audience

We must also tailor each journey map according to different audience profiles, because not every type of customer will have the same pain points, meaning they will have different motivators and feel different emotions according to which phase of the journey they are in. If you go back into our archives you’ll see a handy guide on how to define your target market.

Step 2: Define Your Goals

You’re planning out a journey for your customers, but every journey needs a destination. It’s important to know where we’re going, because then we can anticipate the type of obstacles we’ll have to overcome, as well as the types of ladders we’ll need to build to help our customers complete their journey.

Step 3: Define Customer Motivators

Why is your customer taking this journey? What has set them on this path? Remember, at each point of the journey you will provide a solution for a pain point they are experiencing only for another one to develop. So, we must know the questions that customers will ask throughout the journey, so that we always have answers for them.  

Step 4: Define Your Snakes

Remember customer pain points are different to brand touchpoints. Pain points (in step 3) is internal to the customer. Touchpoints are external. Anything that the customer comes into contact with, weather planned or not by your customer journey map, will influence if the customer continues the journey as much as their internal motivators will. Putting snakes on the map is not part of this process, but we must be aware that they can pop up at any moment, and we must have processes in place to help customers overcome them. When a customer encounters a snake, how we motivate them to roll the dice, and continue the journey, is an important part of mapping.

Step 5: Define Your Ladders

Everyone is delighted when their journey is made a little simpler. If you can get your customer to their destination quicker this will help build trust in your brand and the product or service, you offer. Strategically placed ladders are a brand’s best friend. Remind your customer that taking this ladder will lead to the disappearance of a pain point. Or offer a ladder before a customer can even encounter a snake. Special offers, personalised deals, discount codes for acting fast. Encourage your customers to reach their destination sooner, for even more benefits.

You can apply these five steps across different types of customer journey maps. A brand will have multiple maps according to the destination they want their customers to reach as well as the complexity of that journey. Some maps only have three sections. For example the classic simplest marketing stages of Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. Or if you read our piece on Lifecycle Stage marketing a few weeks ago, you could incorporate those stages – Fresh, Steady, Hovering, Gloaming – into your map. Figuring out the right stages for each journey depends on your brand, your position in the market, your current customer relationship and all the new goals you’ve and the timeline you want to achieve them in. For focussed guidance working with a support team like Nucleus Vision would help marketers, brand managers and SME owners navigate the complexities of the industry and position their brands and companies for success.

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