Customer journey stages
You can effectively structure your customer journey by dividing it up into stages. The stages of a customer journey map help break up the timeline by defining distinct stages.
Depending on the industry you’re in, your customer journey map may include just a few stages or you may have many. In some cases, you may be able to adapt the AIDA model to your customer journey stages, while in other cases you may require more stages.
As a starting point, you might divide the customer journey into five general stages:
During the initial stage of the customer journey, consumers have want or need and they’re researching products and services that can provide them with a solution. At this step in the process, your job is to reach the customer as they’re researching their options and position your company as a potential solution.
Once consumers conduct some initial research, they will begin to seriously consider their options. Most consumers will compare brands that offer similar products and services to see which option best meets their needs. Optimizing the customer experience and emphasizing your company’s unique selling proposition (USP) is crucial during this stage.
After conducting research, a consumer will take action by making a purchase, signing up for a subscription, or opting into a mailing list. In order for consumers to take a desired action, brands must present a call to action and streamline the purchasing process.
Converting a new customer is a success in and of itself, but maximizing customer retention is key to generating consistent profits. As a business owner, you want to ensure that everyone has a great customer experience at every touchpoint and make the transaction process as easy as possible. When customers have a positive customer experience with your business, they will be more likely to return in the future.
Word of mouth is one of the best ways you can promote your business. Satisfied customers may refer friends, family members, and colleagues to your business, helping to generate more customers and drum up more business.
By consistently providing an excellent customer experience and perhaps even implementing a loyalty program, you can build strong relationships with your customers and turn them into advocates for your business.
Thoughts and emotions
It’s important to take your customers’ thoughts and emotions into account at every step of the customer experience.
Consider how a customer feels at each stage of the journey and brainstorm methods for appealing to these emotions. If you can create a positive emotional association between a customer and your brand, this will often translate to strong relationships and increased customer loyalty.
No matter what a customer purchases, they want to feel good in the process. As you create your customer journey map, consider listing emotions that your customers may be feeling at each touchpoint. Try to find opportunities to resolve negative emotions in order to forge a positive emotional bond between the customer and your brand.
Customer pain points are the specific problems that your customers are dealing with and may be actively seeking out a solution for.
Identifying customer pain points is important because it opens up a window of opportunity for your business: you can provide a solution to their problem, meet their needs, and profit in the process.
Identifying customer pain points is also helpful as you seek to optimize your customer experience. With a better understanding of the pain points involved in your own buying process, you can find streamlined solutions that make purchasing easier.
So, as you create your customer journey map, list out pain points that customers may experience at each step in their journey. Appealing to these pain points and providing convenient solutions can help you convert leads.