A digital customer journey map enables businesses to better understand how their customers engage with their brands. It lets marketers identify gaps in the current customer journey.
A customer journey map also helps determine customers’ needs at different stages in the buying funnel. These insights can help the sales team to better target prospects and convert them.
82% of organizations have created a customer journey map. However, only 47% of companies are using it effectively.
In this article, I will discuss what a digital customer journey map is and how to improve your marketing using it.
What is a Digital Customer Journey Map?
A digital customer journey identifies all the online touchpoints a customer comes into contact with your brand. It shows how a customer goes through different stages of your sales funnel. It includes
A digital customer journey map represents the experiences that customers go through at each stage of sales funnel while interacting with your digital channels.
A digital customer journey map enables you to identify friction points in your sales funnel and eliminate the barriers that might be hindering the conversions.
Here are the 12 best ways to improve your marketing and sales processes using a digital customer journey map.
1. Align Marketing and Sales Team to Better Interpret the Data
Companies that align marketing and sales teams effectively are 67% better at closing deals and achieve 36% higher customer retention.
In your digital customer journey map, the marketing team can determine what moved a customer down the funnel, while the sales team can identify what motivated them to purchase.
By sharing these insights, both the marketing and sales team can benefit.
For example, if, according to your sales team, a particular aspect of your product (say, one-year guarantee) entices customers to purchase. They can pass on this information to the marketing team, who can then create campaigns highlighting that the product comes with a one-year guarantee.
Similarly, if, according to your marketing team, customers are looking for a fast delivery system. The sales team can pass-on this information to your customers and encourage them to buy from you.
Additionally, salespersons can hint marketers about what kind of content will spark customers’ interest in the product and increase the chances of conversion.
2. Determine How Your Products Can Solve Customers’ Pain Points
Your digital customer journey map consists of buyer personas. Analyze your customer’s pain points to determine how your products can solve them.
Also, look for other motivators. For example, some people buy products for convenience and luxury. They don’t have a pain point as such. Instead, they have interests in the category.
Once you have identified how your customers can benefit from your product, optimize your marketing campaigns to give a more customer-centric experience.
Take this email from Neil Patel as an example. Neil sent me an email with the subject line, “here’s what you should blog about”.
When I opened the email, it read, “Over 4.4 million blog posts are published each day. With all of that content flooding the web, it makes it really difficult to create content that stands out”, and then “I’m going to show you how to come up with content ideas that will become popular.”
Neil then went on to show how Ubersuggest can help me find content that performs well in search engines.
Creating content that explains (or rather demonstrates) how your product can solve your customers’ pain points can significantly increase the engagement as well as conversion rates.
3. Identify Problems and Act Upon Them
Your digital buyer journey map would give you information about how users from different sources, media, campaigns, and locations navigate your website. It would also show how they interact with your business at various touchpoints.
Identify the barriers and the stage with maximum churn. For example, if a lot of customers don’t go past the consideration stage, chances are they are facing problems that you may not be aware of.
Put yourself in the customers’ shoes and begin your buying journey. Doing this will give you tons of information about the problems and gaps in your current marketing efforts. Once you’ve identified the problems, create a content map to boost conversions.
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4. Eliminate the Friction Points
A customer is ready to buy from you. They visit your website, add the product to their cart, click on the “buy now” button just to see their preferred payment option isn’t available. They bounce back to your competitors. The lack of payment option, in this case, is a friction point.
Make sure there aren’t any friction points in your customers’ online journey. Analyze pages with the highest exit rates to check what’s wrong.
Here are some of the possible friction points to look for.
- Landing page length: If a web page is too long and contains a lot of information, it might overwhelm your customers. If you share too little, customers might feel discouraged and bounce back. The key is to find a suitable content length that resonates best with your customers.
- Site Speed: If your site takes a lot of time to load, prospects will bounce back before even checking what you have to offer. Resources that are more likely to affect your loading speed, include ajax, scripts, and images. Use a combination of tools like Google Page Speed Insights and Finteza to optimize your page speed. The First Contentful Paint or FCP plays a major factor in the coming Page Experience update from Google. Finteza lets you analyze the median load time for the different page loading stages including the FCP. You can easily identify your page speed at different stages of the visitor journey and optimize the speed accordingly.
- Social Proof: If there aren’t enough reviews or testimonials on your website, customers might not feel like buying from you.
- Safety Seals: Data privacy is a concern of many online shoppers. Make sure you highlight third-party badges and certificates to instill trust in your customers.
- Search option: If customers face difficulty in finding products on your website, they might not visit again.
- Mandatory signup: If customers are forced to create an account to complete the purchase, you might lose them forever.
Note: The best way to eliminate friction points in the customer journey is to keep things simple and answer their questions directly.
5. Address Customer Concerns via Content
Around 53% of consumers conduct online research to ensure they are making the best possible choice.
Publish blogs and case studies to ensure customers that they are getting the best. For example, Optin Monster publishes case studies to show customers that their product works and is worth investing in.
Additionally, look for the most commonly asked questions and create a video or a webinar to address those queries.
Additionally, use psychological tactics to create content that boosts customers’ decision-making process. Using psychological tactics will also help you appeal to your customers’ emotions and address their concerns better.
Doing this will prevent them from churning and increase the chances of conversion.
6. Nurture Your Customers at Different Stages of Sales Funnel
Each customer at different stages of the sales funnel has a different goal. For instance, at the awareness stage, consumers might look for educational resources and content that talks about how your products/services can solve their problems. Customers at the consideration stage might look for content that shows how your product is better than your competitors’.
Check your digital customer journey map to identify what kind of content your customers want to see at each stage of the sales funnel.
Slack is a great example of a brand that nurtures its customers at each stage of sales funnel. Slack publishes educational content to educate their customers and keep them coming back for more. Another benefit of writing informative content is that it shows you are an expert in the industry and know what you are doing.
Not only that, but Slack also has a resources page that contains blogs and ebooks about why to use their product.
Slack regularly conducts webinars that cover topics related to their product. This increases customers’ confidence in buying their products.
Additionally, invest in copywriting to produce amazing content that can capture your customers’ attention. Copywriters have the ability to write persuasive copy without making the content look completely sales-oriented.
7. Offer Add-On Services to Improve Customer Experience
Every new product launch requires a successful marketing strategy. Customer experience is the core of your marketing strategy.
Your product is awesome in itself, but is there any add-on products or services that can further improve customer experience?
For example, if you sell smartphones, your customers might also need protection glass and covers along with the mobile. Searching for protection glass and covers on a different store can be overwhelming. But, if you offer it on your website, it will improve the overall customer experience.
Your digital customer journey map will provide you with unique and actionable insights.
For example, IKEA created a customer journey map and found that the biggest pain point for customers buying furniture is assembly.
One of the viable solutions to this pain point is creating better instructions. However, IKEA went one step further. IKEA acquired TaskRabbit, a service company, and now offers furniture assembly as an add-on option.
This is a new touchpoint for customers that solves their customers’ biggest pain points.
8. Determine Key Touchpoints and Run Campaigns to Increase Sales
Your digital customer journey map would show you the most effective touchpoints.
Remember, these touchpoints could be anything, from converting points to channels with the biggest contribution to the conversion rate.
For example, if a lot of customers convert after reading a blog or watching a video, you can consider them as a key touchpoint.
The next step would be to run campaigns to increase sales. Let’s say, you identified three key touchpoints.
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
You can run new campaigns and target your email subscribers. You can also run PPC ads on Facebook to target specific buyer personas. Additionally, create new content similar to those with higher engagement.
Or you can use a combination of two touchpoints. For instance, if many customers are engaging with your sales team after reading a few blogs/case studies on your website.
Start sending these articles to your email subscribers or create ads that redirect prospects to these pages.
That way, you will be able to increase sales easily.
9. Analyze and Improve Post-Purchase Experience to Improve Customer Loyalty
Analyzing and improving the post-purchase experience will help you retain customers.
Your digital customer journey map would give you insight into how many customers are satisfied and how many are not. It will also help you determine why some buyers feel unsatisfied. Then, make efforts to solve their issues.
One of the ways to improve the post-purchase experience is by sending the “how-to” guides via email. You could send a series of emails at regular intervals so that the customer can get the most out of your product.
If you sell physical products, share “product care tips” with your customers via emails. Your customers might be handling the item for the first time, and any help to keep it in the best health would be appreciated.
You would also want to know whether your customers are aware of your refund policy or not. ASOS, for instance, highlights its refund policy in the order confirmation email. The email contains a link to cancel the order without leaving the inbox. It also consists of a “Need Help?” button that takes the buyer to ASOS’s customer care page.
Making efforts to improve the post-purchase experience will eliminate any regrets the customer has about buying the product. It also improves customer loyalty.
10. Make the Overall Customer Journey Smoother
You have a lot of information about your customer journey. How they came into contact with your brand for the first time to how they converted or bounced back in the middle of the sales funnel.
Use these insights to improve the overall customer journey smoother. For example, you could reduce the number of touchpoints from awareness to conversion. Or change your CTA buttons position, rewrite website copy, optimize the checkout screen. The possibilities are endless.
Reddit, for example, redesigned its website to make it easier for their users to use their services. The older version wasn’t bad, but the new version had better options in the menu bar.
In the new version, Reddit also changed the text color from blue to black. It also allowed users to customize the format of the site as per their individual preference.
You can use tools like Wishpond to create and test professional-looking landing pages. Their easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor doesn’t require you to know to code at all. Wishpond also has powerful analytics that shows you the performance of your new landing page, so you can keep the best one.
11. Share Learnings Internally Through Training and Communications
Ensure that you are sharing learnings from your digital customer journey map throughout the organization. Doing so will give everyone in your company a grasp on performance along with the areas that need improvement.
Another benefit of sharing learnings internally is that everyone in the organization can contribute to an improved experience. Employees may come up with new ideas to improve your marketing using the insights that you shared.
Your digital customer journey map can also be used to train new recruits or teach existing staff on how to understand the customer journey and better contribute to an improved experience.
12. Test, Measure, and Refine the Changes
Testing and measuring the changes you made in your marketing and sales is crucial. It will show you how effective those changes were.
Check if there’s any improvement in your KPIs. If not, it’s time to refine the changes as it was or try something different.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself.
- Did the changes improve the conversion rate? Did it boost the engagement rate?
- Is there an increase in customer satisfaction rates?
- How many people are taking advantage of the add-on services? If there aren’t enough people, maybe the service is too costly or your customers need an alternative (to that service).
- Are customers engaging with new campaigns created on key touchpoints?
- Is there still any friction point?
- What is the customer retention rate? If it decreased, then chances are your post-purchase experience isn’t good enough.
- Did the overall customer experience increase?
One way to get answers to these questions is by creating a digital customer journey map again. Or you can survey your customers to get answers to these questions.
Measuring these things will give you actionable insights to improve the customer experience further.
Optimizing your marketing and sales processes using a digital customer journey map can prove beneficial. With the right steps and tactics, you will see a significant increase in the conversion rate, customer retention, and overall customer experience. Follow the 12 ways mentioned above to generate better results. Happy Marketing and Sales!
About the Author
Joydeep Bhattacharya is a digital marketing evangelist and author of the SEO blog, SEOSandwitch.com. He has over 9 years of experience in helping businesses make the most of online marketing. Content writing is his passion and he is a regular contributor on sites like SEMrush, Ahrefs, Search Engine Watch, Smart insights, and others. You can reach him via LinkedIn.