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6 Easy Steps to Creating a Buyer’s Journey Map

Understanding your customers and their needs seems to be mission impossible these days. With the demand for instant solutions, top-notch services, and best-in-class customer service, it can be challenging to deliver the best customer experience. There’s good news, though; in today’s era of analytics and data, you have the tools to understand your customers better. With these tools, you can plan out their buyer’s journey and create a road map to guide their experience.

Building a buyer’s journey map can do more than just be a break-fix for your company and your customer’s experience. You can utilize various journey maps to help dictate your future customer type, build strategies for your next big move, or gain a better understanding of who they are. A buyer’s experience isn’t a linear path, and no two customers are the same, but having a map in place helps guide the customer’s experience and helps your company’s customer base grow.

Customers in today’s day in age have more ways of interacting with your business, more touch points for engagement, and even more places to see your content and offerings. The customer’s experience with your brands or companies is just as, if not more important than the products you sell them. In fact, Salesforce reported that 80% of consumers believe their experience with a brand is just as important as the product. How your company interacts with its customers can directly impact customer retention.

How does a Buyer’s Journey Map boost customer interaction?

A Buyer’s Journey Map serves as a tool for your company to walk your customers through the process of buying with you. Along each part of the journey map, there are different touchpoints designed to keep your customer happy and help you determine if there’s room to improve at those points. The Buyer’s Journey Map isn’t something that is set in stone either; it’s an evolving and adapting tool that you can grow and scale to your current customer base and expand upon to target your next demographic.

Illustration of a buyer journey map

What is a Buyer’s Journey Map?

In simple terms, it is the flow of taking a potential customer; a window shopper, from just “stopping by and browsing” all the way to returning to you after purchase and referring their peers to your business.

This flow or map can be built in several different ways, uniquely to your business and your customer base. The key is to create it based on the existing data you may have from resources like Google Analytics, HubSpot, or Salesforce. Using these resources, you can expand upon the parts you see as weak points or focus on targeting the areas of growth you feel your company needs. Then, when you have the information you need, you can follow the easy steps below to start building your Buyer’s Journey Map and plot out their route to success.

What are the benefits of a Buyers Journey Map?

A Buyer’s Journey Map can help your company grow, learn, and develop a better way of understanding and selling to your customers. If you use a different map for each stage of their journey, you can see the pain points your customers are experiencing and correct them. You can see their buying patterns and how to optimize them better, and you can see their satisfaction at the end of the journey and grow to provide the best possible outcome for them and future customers. It’s not just a tool that dictates the desired route they should take but also a way for you to evaluate, improve, and expand your business and how it operates.

Journey Map Illustration

What are the types of Buyer’s Journey Maps?

There are three main types of Buyer’s Journey Maps:

Current Process Journey Map:

This map serves as a buyer’s experience visualization to start your existing customers’ journey. It gets you an understanding of their thoughts and actions when interacting with your business and provides you with the details to understand the bottlenecks affecting your customers. As they go through the various touchpoints for your map and business, you can better gauge how they interact with your brand and what choices they make when purchasing your products. If there is a snag in the process, like the form they fill out isn’t working correctly,  it allows you as the business to adapt and implement the changes needed to bridge that gap.

As you go with this map, you can start to change and evolve it as issues are addressed and continue moving forward to ensure a smooth process. And once you’re in a good place, this map can serve as the journey your current customers take to purchase with you and interact with you. This map and its information can then be used to start building out your Future Process Journey Map.

Future Process Journey Map:

Once you have the Current Process Journey map laid out, you can start building out this map. The Future Process Journey Map is taking the approach of what you want your buyer’s journey to be down the road. What’s your ideal customer, and what’s your perfect path for them to interact with you? You can use this map to get your team closer to having that perfect client experience you want for them and close that gap from where you are to where you want to be.

This map can also be used to take your current customer demographic from where it is now to the demographic you want to grow in. You can ensure that your customer’s interactions with you on your touch points leave an impact, gives them the best possible experience, and ensure your customer retention is optimized for growth. Unlike the Current Process Journey Map, this map is built around business strategy and is used to address future issues and target growth.

Some key points to try and focus on when building your Future Process Journey Map:

  • Keep this focused on your customer
  • Use it to promote strategies for your business and its growth
  • Optimize it for the discovery of future pain points; this way, you can address them early
  • Use the data from this map to develop your brand’s vision

Customer Discovery Journey Map:

Step into your customer’s shoes. Take your buyer experience visualization to the next level. Once you understand your current customer base better, we can then build new ways to better interact with them. Using the Customer Discovery Journey Map, you start to understand your customers and their day-to-day lives. You learn what their needs are and how you can play a part in helping with those. This map differs from the others in that it’s designed to be more of a discovery process than a business optimization. However, you can take your data from this map to help improve your other journey maps

How to Create your Buyer’s Journey Map:

Discovery Buyer journey map illustration

Discovery:

1. Identify Your Buyer’s Persona

Who are they, what are their problems, what industry are they in, and what level of service do they need?

Asking these vital questions and understanding their answers can allow you and your brand to begin using a more targeted approach.

2. Understand and Define Your Buyer’s Goals

What solution(s) are they looking for, what do they want to do to make their lives easier, and what will your product do the help them?

Think about your buyer’s persona and determine what they want to achieve. If you see a theme for what’s being purchased, what their interactions are, and what they’re communicating about, you’ll be able to better understand their goals and what it is you do and offer that can help them achieve their goals.

Understanding the buyer's journey illustration

Understanding the Journey:

3. Establish Your Buyer’s Touchpoints

Where are they interacting with you, where are they communicating with you, and what are the interactions with your team and your site?

Determining your main points of contact for your customers is key to understanding how they interact with you and your business. If there are problems where they aren’t experiencing a smooth interaction, you can develop a strategy to fix that and create a better, more seamless experience. If there are points where you aren’t getting interaction from your customers, take those and figure out how to adapt them into interaction points or understand why they aren’t working.

4. Identify Your Buyer’s Pain Points

What are they struggling with, what in their journey with you are they having troubles with, and what questions have you left unanswered for them?

Understanding how your customers interact with you can show you where there may be gaps in the process that your customers are looking for. If they’re having troubles in a particular browser with your site, you know to alleviate that. If there are issues with a transition between departments communicating with the customer, you can address the problem.

Correcting for growth - journey map illustration

Correcting for Growth:

5. Prioritize & Fix Bottlenecks

Now that you’ve discovered your areas that have problems, it’s time to focus on them, address them, and clear them up. This gives you the opportunity to keep refining your customer’s experience and ultimately increase your customer retention. Start a list of the issues you’ve noticed, strategize your best course for correction, and ultimately, deliver excellence to your customers.

6. Re-evaluate & Improve

After addressing your customer’s pain points and resolving them, adapt your next Journey map to reflect it; watch the customer go through the map step by step and see if there are further issues. New customers mean new perspectives. Take this information and improve your process. The idea is to continue to promote growth and build your best possible customer experience.

A Buyer’s Journey Map is more than just a break-fix tool; and its value to you and your business can go beyond just a customer experience guide. Using a map can help you take that information and use it to grow your business, reach new customers, and ensure they have the best level of service from you possible. Your customer’s experience is more than just about a product; it’s about how you engage with them, how you reach them, and how you solve their problem. The more you improve upon that, the more you grow your customer base.

Understanding your customers is the key to success, and through the use of a Buyer’s Journey Map, you can connect with them on a whole new level, experience your best customer retention yet, and at the end of the day, improve the journey for the next person every time.

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