Going on the internet can sometimes feel like navigating an obstacle course; You’re constantly dodging pop-ups, hopping across open tabs, and falling down endless scrolling rabbit holes.
But consumers are more digitally-savvy than ever before, and as a result, they don’t have much—ok, any—patience for inconvenience and are quick to navigate away from clutter. In fact, 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Remember the days where you had to wait five whole minutes for dial-up to work, just to even get on the internet?
Yeah, those days are long gone (thank goodness).
So, if you want to drive customers to your website and actually get them to stay, you have to provide the best, most efficient customer experience possible. But before you can do this, you have to have an accurate, unbiased perception of the experience you are providing.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the weeds and only see your website and marketing channels from a business perspective. But unless you take the time to view them through the eyes of consumers, you’re going to be missing some big inefficiencies you might otherwise miss that can really impact your bottom line.
To do this, you need a full picture of every step of your customer journey.
Seems simple right?
Well, when you take into account all the places customers can interact with your brand (think social media ads, influencer collaborations, blog posts, pop-ups…you get the idea) the thought of ensuring these all have a streamlined experience can be daunting.
You know how sometimes your necklaces can get all tangled and knotted together into one giant clump, and it takes hours to separate them? That’s what understanding my customer journey used to feel like; Just a tangled mess.
That is until I started doing an exercise that, in retrospect, seems so simple, I can’t believe I wasn’t doing it all along: mapping my customer journey.
Once I started doing this, getting a grasp on my customer journey felt like a breeze.
But before we dive into the How I want to first look at the Why and take note of the ways understanding your customer journey can have a positive impact on your business.
Make Effective Improvements
Every business should have a concept of what they want customers to experience when engaging with their brand. But just because you want it to be a certain way doesn’t mean it’s effectively implemented–or even the right approach. By seeing your business from your customer’s perspective, you will have better insight into what’s working and what’s not working and then be able to make the appropriate changes.
Make Your Website Efficient
Once you know the typical journey your customers go through, you can reorganize your website so that the most important pages are easily accessible. For example, if you’re trying to push your new blog post, but traffic is low since it takes at least three clicks to get to the blog, you can put a link to it on your homepage so that viewers are more likely to find it.
Make your branding more impactful
Looking at your business with fresh eyes will allow you to see how effective and consistent your branding is, as well as where you need improvement. If your brand stands for simplicity, does this carry through to the customer experience? Is the checkout process seamless? Is dealing with customer service easy?
Your branding is the essence of your brand and what resonates most with customers, so it’s important that your branding (both visual and value-driven aspects) is woven throughout every aspect of the customer journey. And while branding is very specific and unique to every individual business, there are common threads that all companies with amazing branding have. My Brand Success Framework walks you through these essential aspects with tangible tips on how to integrate them into your own biz.
Extend customer lifetime value
Acquiring new customers is essential to keep your business afloat. But did you know that you can make more profit from a single customer by nurturing them over a period of time, aka their lifetime value, as opposed to constantly working to acquire new customers? To create a high customer lifetime value, it’s important to establish a long-term relationship with customers, by accommodating their needs and learn their behaviors. When you’re acutely aware of the customer journey, you’re better equipped to provide customers with customized experiences that will keep them coming back for more.When you’re acutely aware of the customer journey, you’re better equipped to provide customers with customized experiences that will keep them coming back for more. Click To Tweet
Let’s Do The Thing
So now that we know just a handful of the ways that understanding the customer journey can help your business, it’s time to step into your customer’s shoes and see your brand through their eyes.
First, I want you to make a list of all the different ways customers can discover your brand.
Next, pick one of the “discovery points” to start with and go through every step until you reach your “endpoint.” So, for example, if you’re staring with an Instagram post, your journey may look like this:
- Instagram post
- Link in bio
- Link landing page
- Product Page
- Confirmation Page
As you go through the process, write down each step as well as any observations you may have. Writing this down will help you get out of your own head and objectively see what the process is like for your customers. .
Once you complete the “journey,” take a look to see if there are any unnecessary steps that can be cut out. Also, identify if any steps are particularly challenging to navigate or took a long time to get through; these could be areas that you focus on optimizing.
Also, to help you stay organized, check out our most popular mini-course training, Big Brand Confidence (it’s free!). In it, I explain exactly how to map out all the different customer touchpoints in your business and how you can refine and elevate your customer journey and use it to sell more and grow your bottom line.
My ultimate goal is to help you take your brand from surviving to thriving. Understanding your customer journey is a guaranteed way to help your brand evolve and avoid stagnation.
As your company grows and you develop deeper relationships with customers, the customer journey will continue to expand and add new legs as customers continue to engage with your brand post-purchase. To stay on top of all the changes and ensure that you’re continually improving your customer’s experience, I recommend you do this exercise at least once a quarter.
Once you go through the process, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below to share any interesting observations you found about your customer journey and any changes you made!