Gaining the trust of a potential customer and then converting them to a repeat buyer takes a clear understanding of the buyer’s journey (often also referred to as the customer’s journey).
It means taking a step back from the way you view your product or service and viewing things from your customer’s point-of-view.
But, the process doesn’t stop there.
After you’ve mapped out the customer’s journey, you must also provide your potential buyer with the proper content to push them to the next stage of the sales cycle.
Here’s what we’re going to cover in this post:
- Defining a customer’s journey
- The power of customer thinking
- The different stages of the customer’s journey
- How to create a customer journey map
- What questions you need to ask to map out your customer’s journey
- The layers associated with the buyer’s journey
- How to meet your customer at each stage of the journey with the right content
So, let’s dive in….
What is the Customer Journey?
The customer journey refers to the path followed by a customer, including all touchpoints before making a purchase.
Paradigm Shift from the Company Perspective to Customer Perspective
Mapping out a customer journey requires a change in the way you view your product or service.
Put yourself in their shoes.
You need to think through the journey your customers take to become a customer so you can identify points of resistance to deliver content that will remove any friction that might stand in the way of the sale.
The Power of Customer Journey Thinking
In this infographic from Temkin Group’s Customer Experience Matters blog, you’ll see the five questions one must ask when building out the customer journey map.
- Who is the customer?
- What is the customer’s real goal?
- What did the customer do right before?
- What will the customer do right afterward?
- What will make the customer happy?
The Power of Customer Journey Mapping
Check out this video on the power of customer journey mapping.
Customer Journey Layers — Stages, Steps, Touchpoints, and Departments
Using a customer journey map can help you define and refine your customer’s experience.
In this demo below developed by Bright Vessel, you can see the stages, steps, touchpoints, and departments.
The example above shows the customer journey for purchasing shoes. Steps for buying shoes could include:
- Wants to buy shoes
- Browses online
- Buys shoes
- Gets shoes
- Decides they don’t like the shoes
- Returns shoes
You can see how mapping out this scenario would differ from mapping out a customer who keeps their order and loves their shoes.
There are many different touchpoints that you should include.
- Email notifications
- Shopping Cart
It’s not just the marketing and sales departments that are involved in the customer journey.
They might also come in contact with:
- Customer Services
- Product Management
Developing Content Mapped to the Buyer’s Journey
Now that you’ve mapped out the journey your customer goes on, it’s time to build out a content plan.
Check out these two resources for deciding what type of content to provide your potential customer depending on where they are in the sales cycle.
The map above was developed by Accent Technologies.
The Content Marketing Matrix
Another helpful resource developed by First 10 & Smart Insights is The Content Marketing Matrix.
Now it’s your turn to start mapping out your customer’s journey and creating content to help convert them into repeat customers.