The customer journey is the process by which a customer interacts with a company to achieve a goal. From becoming aware of a brand through marketing channels to receiving an email after a successful transaction, the steps are usually many and varied.
These journeys are not linear from point A to point B. Buyers often go back and forth, a cyclical, multi-channel journey that includes the buying process, user actions, emotions, pain points and solutions.
In order to create the ideal customer journey that protects your brand image and results in sustained sales, it is important to follow a methodical process that incorporates the following tips.
1. Set clear goals for yourself
The first step is to define the goals you are trying to achieve right now to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the wide range of potential improvements.
Some examples of the objectives according to the profile:
IT → You are looking to accelerate your Move to Prod and guarantee a smooth operation of the various technical bricks in recipe and production.
Business → You want to develop new features to improve sales, optimize your company's brand image, facilitate the user experience, and identify bugs in your customer journeys before your customers detect them.
QA → You want to identify quality issues and gain better control over processes and timelines.
2. Survey your customers
What you know about customer experience and what users actually experience can be two very different things.
Ask your customers directly what it's like to do business with your company to get a more accurate picture of the customer journey. One way to do this is to use questionnaires.
You want to get feedback from people who are genuinely interested in purchasing your products and services and who have already interacted with your company or are considering doing so.
3. List all points of contact
A touchpoint in a customer journey is an instance where your customer can form an opinion about your company. Touchpoints can be found at the points where your company comes into direct contact with the potential or existing customer.
Your brand exists beyond your website and mobile app. Therefore, it's important that different types of touchpoints are considered in your customer journey, as they can help uncover opportunities for improvement.
For example, other touch points may include your display ads, employee interactions, a 404 error, and even a Google review.
4. Ask customer service representatives what questions they receive most frequently
Sometimes clients are not aware of specific weaknesses - they just feel that something is not working for them.
That's where your customer service representatives come in. They can help fill in the gaps and translate customer pain points into business terms that you and your team can understand and act on.
5. Profile your buyer personas and define their objectives
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.
It's easy to assume that every customer operates the same way, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Demographics, psychographics and even how long someone has been a customer can determine how a person interacts with your business and makes purchasing decisions.
Group the general themes into buyer personas and map out the customer journey for each.
When creating your buyer personas, consider including customer demographics, behavioral patterns, motivations and goals.
Highlight your target customer personas
Once you've learned about the different customer personas that interact with your business, you'll need to focus on one or two of them and think about the route they typically take when they first interact with your business.
6. Determine what tools are needed to improve the journey
Your customer journey touches almost every aspect of your business. It's important to take inventory of the resources you have and the resources you'll need to improve the customer journey.
For example, your customer journey may be flawed in customer service and you notice that your team lacks the tools to properly follow up with customers after a service interaction. You can advise management to invest in customer service tools that will help your team manage customer demand.
7. Perform automated testing for technical and functional issues
8. Follow the customer journey yourself
The whole process of improving the customer journey remains hypothetical until you try it for yourself. For each of your personas, track the journey they take through their social media activity, through reading their emails, to searching online.
9. Make necessary changes with clarity
Your data analysis should indicate what changes need to be made and where. In addition to fixing obvious bugs, this could also include adding call-to-action links or writing better product descriptions to avoid potential misunderstandings.
Instead of blindly making changes and hoping they will improve the customer experience, you can now be sure they will.
10. Don't wait for your solution to go live to detect friction in your user experience
Every time your product or service changes, the customer's buying process changes as well. Even a small change, such as adding an extra field to a form, can become a significant barrier for customers.
It is important to review the customer journey before and after the implementation of changes and to do end-to-end testing.
Need help improving your user experience?
A smooth and efficient customer journey is meticulous to implement, but when it comes to improving your journey, you don't have to go it alone at every step!
There are several components to take into account to improve the user experience, identify the path of your customers on your applications with A/B Testing and secure at least the "Highway" type customer journeys (the most critical). Mr Suricate is a turnkey SaaS solution that allows you to automate your customer journey tests simply to offer your customers a bug-free experience.