If you sell a product or service with a long buying process, your business may greatly benefit by creating a customer or user journey map. Your map can be used to create messages that resonate with your customers at the right time in their purchasing process.
A user journey map can essentially be broken into two parts: Who are your customers? In what stage of the buying process are those customers?
- Identify the core customers for your business.
- Create customer profiles or avatars for each of your core customers, detailing the personality, interests, and shopping habits of each customer.
- Determine the 4-7 stages involved in researching, purchasing, and using your product or service. If you have many products and services, you can group them by type or create user journeys for only the products and services with a long purchase or use process.
- Using your customer profiles (avatars), determine how your customers might feel at each stage of your process. Describe their emotions, excitement, and questions in detail.
- Determine how you or members of your team can meet your customers at each stage of the user journey to help move them through to the end.
- Repeat steps 3-5 for each of the customers that you profile. You should end up with at least 2-3 separate user journey maps, possibly up to 5. You should have one for each customer that you identified in steps 1 and 2 of this process.
As you work to create your customer journey maps, think about how each phase of the customer journey impacts the next. Most often, the process is linear. Customers will not jump ahead from research to usage without making a purchase. Determine how much information your potential customers have prior to their interactions with you, and where in the purchase process they begin to engage with you. Can you provide information that will help your customers sooner in the process without a sales pitch attached? If you can, your brand becomes a valuable resource to your customers, rather than a simple seller.
In general, most customers feel some trepidation in the early research phases, then excitement as they learn more and become more confident about the purchase. Determine your own customers' motivations and their concerns. Consider how the personalities of your core customers impact how they feel about the customer journey and how they move through the process. For example: How can you answer your customers' questions about your services in the early research phase of their journey to help move them into the interest phase more quickly or more confidently? How can you later increase their interest in your specific brand to convert them into purchasers of your product or service?
You can use the customer profiles and user journeys that you create to develop your brand messages to reach customers with the right information at the right place in their user journey. If you understand your customers and their mindset, you can speak to them clearly and confidently.
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