The Customer Journey
Everything we do in life starts with a journey to an unknown place. When you started your own business that was not the beginning, it started long before that. The first stage was the idea of what you want to do for a living and the second stage, was to gain the experience to do it.
This is the same for your customer, that first interaction with your social media profiles or your website is not the start of the journey. The customer begins by identifying a need within their mind. Your role is to help that customer by providing information that starts that journey for them to finding your product or service that solves their problem.
In corporate organisations, understanding this journey has now become an essential part of their marketing. So much so that companies such as The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) have created a team responsible for knowing their customer’s journeys. The managers or Superstar DJ’s, as they are known at RBS, analyse and understand every touch point (physical contact) a customer will have with them.
But, what is the effect to a small business?
As your business grows, this will become more and more relevant to you. By knowing your customer journey you can understand where limited marketing budget could be spent or what type of content can be placed within each touch point.
For example, when a person realises that they have a problem, the first thing they may do is search on Google for a solution. When you understand, or think like, your customer, you can develop relevant content that can be found at that moment in time.
But, that example only highlights the first stage (or touch point) of the customers’ journey and they are unlikely to be in the ready-to-buy stage. The likelihood is that this was just a fact finding mission for them and nothing more. But, now they know what your product or service can do to help them.
Your customer journey with your business will never start with a purchase, it starts a long time before that. By understanding each of their touch points you can take them on the journey by positioning content in the right places.
This mapping of customer’s journeys belongs in your marketing plan and should be updated every time you identify new touch point.