The answer to that question begins with a deep understanding of who the target audience is and what their motivations, frustrations and media consumption habits are. With that information in hand, a key tool to provide a holistic view of a customer’s relationship with your brand is a customer journey map.
A customer journey map defines each interaction and touchpoint a customer has with a brand and is visually built into a diagram capturing the full experience. By understanding how a customer arrives at making the purchase decision, we can effectively identify opportunities to reach them with messages that resonate at certain touchpoints and detect gaps that occur along the way.
These maps are built on research and rely on insights from all stakeholders. Every journey map has its own look and feel, dependent on audience understanding, organizational structure, business goals and value proposition, but are founded on key principals:
- Stage of engagement: Identifying the stages in the decision-making process of customers seeking your services or product
- Channels: Overlaying the communications channels and touchpoints a customer is having with your brand within each stage
- Experience: Researching and understanding what the customer is thinking and feeling at each touchpoint
Creating actionable customer journey maps presents the opportunity to approach business goals from the customers point of view. By tapping into the wants, needs and expectations of customers rather than business functions and processes, we can uncover the most significant interactions. These significant interactions, or moments of truth, allow us to enhance the customer’s experience and optimize how we’re engaging, the messages we’re sending and the results for our clients.
Consider our recent work of using the power of customer journey mapping for a client that had $2 million in workforce training grants to award and wanted to increase the number of applications.
We developed a customer journey map to plot how we could reach C-suite executives and company decision makers. We used information about this target’s mindset on each channel to connect with them right time, right place, and with the right message. The result was a 63 percent increase in grants allocated during the two-month campaign.