Creating a modern customer journey isn’t as simple as flipping a switch. Like all good things, it takes time, effort and most importantly content. While there are many ways to create a customer journey, these 6 steps can help you get started on the right path.
Now, what exactly makes a customer journey modern? Well, there are a few ways the marketing industry is defining this, but the main purpose is to ensure you’re delivering on the audience’s need for helpful, relevant, informative and timely touchpoints. Here are a few ways you can elevate your customer journey to ensure your brand is aligned with the fast-paced journey of a customer.
Step 1: Determine the Current State of the Customer Journey
Since you last created your customer journey maps, how often have you looked at them? If the answer is zero, you’ve got some homework to do. If the answer is a handful of times you’ve got to look at it through a different lens. Much like the world around us, your customer’s expectations, tasks and objectives may have changed.
Your customers are adapting to a post-pandemic world, but that can look different across various markets and even individuals. While (47%) of Americans miss the experience of shopping in-store, over three-fourths (77%) say they are satisfied with online shopping. Because the world is changing, so should your journey. It isn’t a one-and-done document, but in many regards, it should be something you constantly look to as a guiding light during turbulent times. In short – ask yourself: Is this still a highly relevant customer journey? Does it align with our desired customer experience?
Step 2: Identify New Customer Touchpoints
Once you’re in the thick of reviewing your customer journey, it’s important to start assessing performance. How is your brand achieving its strategic goals? Do you have data that supports your approach to meeting customer demands? Are you experiencing drop-off or existing gaps in the journey? This is the point where you have an opportunity to assess and determine what touchpoints may be missing from your journey.
Data is your best ally when it comes to building successful customer journeys. If you’re attributing your leads efficiently, you’ll have no problem connecting the dots. However, if you’re still facing challenges with your existing tech stack, lacking a KPI measurement approach or simply having issues filling gaps in your journey, strategic consulting could help you identify those new touchpoints and measure effectiveness.
Step 3: Re-Asses your Objectives
As we mentioned above, data will start painting a very clear picture of how your customers are flowing through your journey map. Whether you’re spot on and aligned or not, you should take some time to re-assess your objectives. Are these KPIs really measuring the type of growth you’d like to see? Maybe there are new audiences you’d like to create a journey for. Your objectives are personal to your brand, but you should always keep an eye out for improvement.
Thinking about improvements is a sign that you’re willing (and able) to drive your strategy forward to create the most modern approach possible. As we mentioned, we’re all living in a nearly post-pandemic world, so it is normal to re-assess your objectives and align with what your current customer is looking for. For example:
- Less In-person Transactions = Less in-person touchpoints, which means foot traffic might not be a heavily valued objective.
- More Capabilities Online = More traffic to your website, so you’ll want to ensure your content, user experience and online touchpoints are valued accordingly.
- Loyalty Is Tougher = Engagement speaks volumes, so this might be a heavily weighted objective for the loyalty stage and you’ll have to segment your audiences accordingly.
Those are just a few examples of how we have seen objectives shift over the past year. Don’t let new data collect dust, implement and improve upon it to continue delivering on your brand promises and touchpoints. Don’t be afraid to get creative and produce digital activations and experiences that set you apart.
Step 4: Assess your Campaigns
The purpose of your journey is to understand WHAT customers go through and WHERE they go to get answers. To achieve a deep level of understanding, you’ll need to ensure you’re overcoming your challenges to create campaigns that resonate. It isn’t enough to capitalize on your opportunities, you’ll also want to ensure your campaigns are designed in a way that allows you to collect the data your need and provide a 1:1 customer experience.
Your CRM can help you find all the data you need to ensure you’re able to successfully assess campaign successes, level of engagement, opportunities won versus lost and all other data needed to create an actionable road map that aligns with your customer journey goals.
Step 5: Seize Opportunities with Content
So we’ve talked about data enough, but now let’s talk content. A majority of your customer touchpoints probably start with a blog, video or some type of content on your site. We’ve moved presentations and online calls to video conferencing, but we’ve also seen a rise in the creation of self-service tools such as landing pages and micro-sites. This massive digital acceleration is not for the weak. A new poll reports that 8 in 10 American consumers plan to shop online in some fashion, even when the COVID-19 global pandemic comes to an end. Luckily for marketers, content, and convenience work hand-in-hand.
So, how can content help you deliver helpful, relevant information in a timely manner? Well, it’s all about understanding who they are as much as knowing where they are on the web. Content delivery is at an all-time high, but so is content consumption. The best way to get ahead is to ensure your content strategy is agile, proactive, and personalized.
The more you can pivot your business to leverage emerging and new types of content, the better off you’ll be able to seize new opportunities and open up new marketing channels.
Step 6: Ensure your UX Aligns with Emerging Needs
We’ve saved the best for last, but only because UX is here to make your content delivery seamless and lead generation success. We like to start with some basic UX questions because creating fascinating experiences goes hand-in-hand with strategy and user journeys. Consider the following UX questions in regard to your web experiences:
- Are they accessible? Mobile friendly? Thumb-friendly?
- How are these assets performing out in the wild? Are you optimizing regularly and ensuring an ideal experience for every single customer regardless of phone, tablet or desktop use?
- Consider the user’s gestures, how long the self-serve process is and their overall ease of use.
- Incorporate well-executed design and journey elements to elevate their experience, such as animation or personalization.
- Don’t push a faulty UX, work on improvements to bring value to your customer.
Refreshing your Customer Journey Maps can be daunting, but it’s a necessary task. Knowing your customer well means your brand can always meet them on their journey. Our marketing consulting solutions can help you optimize and find opportunities based on data. We can also provide the guidance you need to help streamline your journeys for the future. Let’s talk about working together on a project that focuses on driving value for years to come. Contact us today to get started with a quick consultation.