To sincerely connect with your audience today it’s vital to consider what you want your customer journey to look like. It’s become a new marketing and sales practice to thoroughly map out your customer’s relationship and contact with your business along with any tangent points (check out other recent marketing trends here). By proper planning, you can strive to give your audience the best possible experience when interacting with you. Contingency plans can then be put into place to avoid a negative experience.
This post will be the first of a 5-part series. The series will take you through an understanding of the customer journey so that you can work towards optimizing the way you communicate with your audience. We’ll start today by breaking down a customer journey and then move onto advanced topics over the next few weeks such as enhancing the customer journey through 3D modeling and using creative marketing campaigns to stand out. We’ll also cover a couple different case studies so you can see real examples.
What is a Customer Journey?
A customer journey is when you think critically about the way that your audience will perceive your message and then guide the elements of your message to make the most impact. This can relate to the design aesthetic that you use, the language and structure of your voice, or even the order that you place information.
How to Begin Building an Impressive Customer Journey
In this next section we will walk you through each perspective that you should take into consideration for a effective customer journey. Each point plays as a great exercise to work when building your plan. Think critically and write down your own answers for each point presented.
What is the purpose of your business? What is your ultimate goal here?
Start with figuring out WHY you want to develop a customer journey that works. What are you ultimately trying to achieve? It’s like a marathon. Are you training and participating in order to win a race or to support a cause? It’s okay if you have multiple goals you want to expand on here but make sure you have an idea of the direction you want to go because this is what you’ll use as your focus when planning the path that your audience will take. How can you guide them on this journey if you don’t know where you want them to end up?
What questions do your customers need answered? How does your ideal customer think?
Pinpointing what your customer needs to know and addressing that in an organized fashion will allow you to stay on track when creating the journey. A good way to do this is by noting all of the questions that have come up from customers and rearranging them based on importance. Always be updating this list and the answers as new questions come up.
Don’t limit yourself to running the journey through your eyes only. Recognize where your thought process could be biased and where your customer could potentially venture in another direction. It’s comes down to putting yourself in both your shoes AND their’s.
Go as far as even putting yourself in the shoes of those that would influence your customer. By knowing all the perspectives that can play a role in how your message is received you will be better prepared for any obstacles that can occur in one’s thought process during the experience.
What experience do you want to give them? How do you want them to feel? How would they respond? Can you empathize with their risk?
Resonate with them on a deeper level than just basic information. Use unique imagery that inspires them. Walk them through a story and let them explore the details of that story. Do more than only answer questions, paint a picture of how your venue or service will make them feel.
Digest the journey several times and request that others do the same. Collect your notes and determine if there are any negative trails the journey can lead your customer to. Is there any place where they get stuck and decide to give up? Carefully adjust their experience back on track and avoid any pitfalls (points where they can become frustrated, offended, or confused).
What questions might arise as their eyes work through the material in front of them? Is something missing or worded incorrectly? Allow their mind to roam and explore on their own so they do maintain a level of free will while also arranging some form of hierarchy to assist them in their journey.
How should I organize the information? What order will make the most sense?
Once you know where to lead your customer consider how you organize the information presented to them. A very, simple example to illustrate this thought is when you take a closer look at the plot structure of a movie or book. You typically have your exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, followed by your resolution. By adhering to this method the storyteller can keep their audience engaged and lead them to the intended conclusion.
The way that information is organized is always something to acknowledge when creating a campaign or new product/service launch. What will your audience see first? What will they see last? How can the information in between be placed to make the most impact and better their experience?
Don’t over complicate the journey and make sure it’s easy to use. It’s important that the details are clear and concise. If it’s difficult to navigate through your campaign or product, your customer’s will not enjoy their experience. Information can’t get lost or misinterpreted as it could lead your customer down a negative path.
All your links external and internal links should function correctly too. Nothing is more frustrating to a customer than going to click something and not getting what is expected.
What would take their journey a step further? What type of content would result in even more engagement and leave them with an unforgettable (and positive) experience?
How are you going to make their journey one that they’ll remember? Can you create a game out of it or invite them to join in the conversation? The journeys that stick in an audience’s mind are the ones that make the most impact and have a longer period of effectiveness. Think about what your core differentiating factor is in your business plan. How can you use that in your journey?
How much information will you present? This will be a tricky point to work through. There really isn’t one right answer. It’s all dependent on your type of customer. But you do want to capture a good balance that makes sense for them. You can’t overwhelm them with too much information that they don’t know where to start. You also want to avoid too little information where they can’t make a proper buying decision. Understand who your audience is and what they need and want to know.
Take into account how they absorb information as well. Do they need more details or less details to make their decisions? You can even work to accommodate each user simultaneously by designing a customer journey for each.
How to Design an Optimized Customer Journey Strategy for Your TrueTour®
Now that we’ve briefed you on the importance and purpose of a customer journey we’d like to talk about how to apply that strategy. Specifically how to enhance your audience’s journey within the TrueTour platform to provide with them with valuable information and make their experience not just enjoyable but effortless as well.
TrueTour can be a very powerful tool when it comes to your customer journey. Why? Because it’s a way of combining immersive marketing and traditional marketing and if used correctly it can make your customer’s journey much more simple. Here are a few questions to answer to help you:
- What do I want my customer to see first when they land on my TrueTour? It is welcoming?
- What do I want to include in the left hand menu? What order do I want to position each item?
- Do I have too little or too much information? Will it overwhelm or bore them?
- How is my imagery? How about my graphic banners?
- Are my menu icons clear? Do my titles make sense?
- Am I thinking about different levels of customers?
- How should I order my 360º content in the right hand menu?
- What pitfalls can my customer run into?
- What are my alternative routes to this pitfalls?
You’ll find that the foundation of this tutorial for creating a customer journey can be used in any situation where you’ll be communicating with a customer. In email marketing, on your website, in your social media plan, during sales pitches. Anywhere that you’ll find customer contact. We do hope that you’ll find a way to give it a test drive and start thinking thoughtfully about each encounter.
Are you already a member? Start building out your customer journey for your TrueTour and please reach out if you need help. We want to make sure our members get the most of our their TrueTour and that end-users ultimately LOVE using the platform and find it incredibly easy.