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Step-by-Step: How to Map your Customer’s Journey for Small Businesses

Now that we’ve discussed what a customer journey map is and its benefits for businesses, it’s time to visualize what your map will look like on paper. This is where the design of your map comes into play. As a reminder from our previous blog about customer journey maps for small business, a customer journey map is the visual representation of your customers’ journey when engaging with your business. 

Customer journey mapping is used by many companies to understand every detail of their customers’ experience from discovery, to purchase, to long term customer service and retention. 

Touchpoints

The first step when creating your map is to identify the touchpoints a customer may take along the journey. Touchpoints are where customers interact with your business. Think of it as anytime a person sees, hears, or talks to your brand. 

At various touchpoints, customers’ feelings and reactions will influence their buying decision, their chance of a repeat purchase, and their loyalty towards your brand. 

This is why it becomes necessary to identify these touchpoints and make sure they’re working to make the customers’ journey as smooth as possible. For example, if you notice your ad is getting a lot of clicks but fails to produce conversions, your landing page may lack the appropriate CTAs necessary to guide the customer further down their buying journey.

Depending on the nature of your business, there may be a varied number of touchpoints during each stage of the journey. Keep in mind if your business is simple, there may just be one touchpoint per stage! 

Let’s break down each stage, and examples of touchpoints your customer may take along the way:

  • Awareness- Awareness is the way a potential customer learns about your business. Examples of touchpoints include social media, your website, or an advertisement.
  • Consideration- The consideration phase happens after the customer has learned about what your company has to offer and then makes an educated decision. This is when they will evaluate all their buying options. Downloadable content, chatbots or product reviews are some touchpoints a prospective customer faces during this stage.
  • Acquisition- This is where the fun begins. In this stage of the customer journey, the prospect finally becomes a customer. This is where your prospects’ experience during the purchase process is critical to pushing them further down the journey. Methods of payment, CTAs, abandoned cart emails, and appointment scheduling during this stage should be clear, user-friendly and invoke the prospect to take action.
  • Service- Your job during this stage is now to deliver on your promises made in previous stages. Customer surveys, easy returns, marketing emails and incentives such as “$5 off your next order” promotions are touchpoints that will delight your new customer and keep them happy and engaged with your business. 
  • Loyalty- In this final stage, your goal is achieved and customers are buying from you again and again. May have even become advocates of your business and its products. Touchpoints here include social media, Facebook groups, blogs, etc. Remember, your new customer has many options…so it’s important to keep them engaged well after the sale. 

Ready to complete your own customer journey map? Use this template to plug in the touchpoints specific to your business. This map is literally your customer’s path toward becoming a happy, loyal customer. Identify any touchpoints that may deter a prospect from continuing their journey toward loyalty. Is a smoother checkout experience needed? Do you need to strengthen your brand presence on social media? Are you requesting the right contact information on your website?

To help get you started, here’s an example of a completed map for Arnold Marketing Consultants:

Now that you have a clear picture of how your customers are currently experiencing your services, you are ready to implement any necessary improvements that may have been uncovered. The changes may be related to the user-friendliness of your website, or the need to define products more clearly. Once changes are implemented, you should see an increase in sales, you receive better reviews, and most importantly, customer acquisition and retention is consistently on the rise.

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