Customer experience is the latest battlefield that every B2B business worth their salt is battling to get to the forefront of. It’s fast become a priority for businesses in 2021 and will only continue to grow in importance. By strengthening your company’s customer journey, you’ll have more potential leads getting to the end of your funnel. But what really is a customer journey? And how do you perfect yours? To that we’d say, keep reading to find out!
What is a customer journey?
Your customer journey is the sum of every customer interaction with a business in order to achieve a goal. Customers can interact with a brand in such a wide variety of ways that it can be difficult to establish every communication. From social posts to email marketing, there’s no end to the ways you can make a first impression on a potential lead.
That’s why it’s so important to map out your customer journey in clear, defined steps. By creating a customer journey map, you can easily visualise every interaction a lead has with your brand by laying out what steps you’d like them to take to reach a goal. By outlining key events, motivations and pain points within the experience, you’ll be well-positioned to create the best experience for your customers.
What impacts the customer journey?
Even the smallest of interactions can have an impact on the customers, and there are several factors that positively and negatively affect the customer journey. You might be wondering: How do I gain that kind of insight on my customers? The best solution is often the simplest… Just ask! We asked our customer base of professional service providers and got these responses:
Factors that had a positive impact:
- A representative is quick with their responses
- The representative had an answer to the customer’s issue
- The customer was listened to and their needs were understood
- If the customer’s problem couldn’t be solved immediately, alternative solutions were offered
- A representative followed up with the customer
- No hold times
Factors that had a negative impact:
- The customer couldn’t find contact information on the website
- Long hold times
- The customer was transferred from person to person
- Being given different answers to the same question
- The representative was rude or abrasive
- No human contact
- The customer couldn’t contact anyone through email or instant messenger
What should be included in your customer journey map?
The buyer journey
Your customer journey map should be structured around the buyer journey. This follows every stage that the buyer goes through – from discovery to post-sale. For a more thorough buyer journey, we’d break up the stages into 6 parts:
- Discovery – This is the point where the potential lead comes across your brand for the first time
- Potential lead – At this point, the lead has made some sort of contact with the brand
- MQL – The lead is likely to become a buyer at this stage
- Investment – The brand provides some kind of investment/reassurance to the lead. For example, a tech company might provide a free demo of their software.
- Sale completed – The lead has been fully converted into a sale
- Post-sale – Actions that are taken after the sale has been completed
For a simpler buyer journey, we’d break the stages down into 3 clearly defined sections:
- Awareness stage
- Consideration stage
- Decision stage
When it comes to constructing the buyer journey, it’s important to focus on how leads might achieve a goal. What is the lead thinking or doing? Who is the lead’s touchpoint? What content is the lead interacting with? What can we do to help them achieve their goal faster? How do we remove inertia from the lead’s thought process? These are all important things to consider when constructing the stages of your buyer journey.
When mapping out your customer journey, it’s essential to put yourself in the shoes of your audience. What actions might they take to find you? What channels do they use? They might use keywords in Google to find information. They might frequent Instagram. They might find brands through referrals. They make take several actions before they find your brand. The trick is to reduce those actions as much as possible.
Every customer is driven by their emotions. As rational as we’d all like to pretend we are, the decisions we make are fueled by our emotions. In B2B, customers often feel fear and uncertainty at the beginning of the customer journey. The driver of these emotions is the customer’s pain points – aka their problem. Knowing the customer’s emotions at each stage of the customer journey will better help you guide leads through to the post-sale stage.
Every customer is going to have a collection of pain points that will hold them back from becoming an MQL. They might be worried about cost or how to explain the benefit of your brand’s services or products to their boss. Highlighting any and all potential pain points allows you to anticipate and combat them early in the process to build trust with the customer.
For every pain point, you should provide a solution to combat it. If a lead is worried about what they’ll tell their boss, provide ample resources for them to share to really drive home your brand’s worth. There should never be a moment in the customer journey where a pain point is allowed to grow unchecked.
Building an insightful customer journey takes precious time and resources, but is an incredibly worthwhile endeavour. Maybe you don’t quite have the time to spare to undergo such a lengthy process. We’re experts at market research and customer experience at Boss Digital. Why not have a free consultation and discover how we can help tighten your sales funnel and convert more leads?