Gaining insight into customer pain points through mapping out your customer journey helps improve customer experience, says Dawn McGruer
‘Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realise it themselves.’ Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder
A crucial digital marketing fact to remember is that it is all about matching demand with content. If you know who your ideal customer is and what problem they want to solve, then you can create content based on demand which will always get engagement. Successful digital marketing is about using digital channels to reach your audience and generate leads; but don’t lose sight of the end game.
There is only one goal for a business and that’s conversion. This can take different forms for different companies – it could be profitable customers or, for other organisations who don’t sell traditional products or services, it could be utilising online marketing to share content to educate or promote awareness etc.
But regardless of what your organisation does, there is always an objective. And whatever that objective is, is where your conversion success lies.
Your conversion success
So, you need to find out to whom you are marketing, where your target audience hang out, and the best channels to use to reach them. The first step is to create a ‘customer avatar’, which is your ideal customer. This activity will help you identify what their aims are, their sources of information (and channels they use), the problem they want to solve, and any objections to purchasing your solution. This is one of the most valuable activities you can do because it will really help you identify what type of content they will be looking for online and this will be fundamental to helping you craft the kind of information you will use to attract, nurture, and convert them.
- shopping habits
- job role/description
- interest in product
- need for product.
Customer surveys and testimonials and reviews often reveal lots of great information to help create an avatar, plus you will find out how they found you, why they chose you, what their need or specific problem or pain is, and what their motivation was for purchase – as well as identifying cross-sell/upsell opportunities and case studies and success stories.
I would suggest looking at your current customer base, if you have one, and interviewing any clients you can or potential clients who have expressed an interest, or anyone who you think is your target market.
I would research online and search keywords on social channels and in Google Search to collect all the information that you can; also look out for any consumer behaviour reports for your market that you can read.
Developing your customer profile and knowing who your ideal customer is will be critical in reaching, attracting, and converting profitable customers.
Here are 12 key questions to ask yourself and research when developing your customer avatar. Take your time thinking about these and make sure you do your research thoroughly.
1. Where do my customers hang out – both online and in the physical world?
2. What websites do they visit?
3. What do they read?
4. What do they watch, types of videos etc. (what YouTube Channels do they subscribe to)?
5. What are their interests?
6. What are their goals?
7. Who are their influencers?
8. Who are your competitors that they may buy from or work with?
9. Who do they want to please – is it themselves, or a boss or a team etc.?
10. Who are they responsible for?
11. Who might they let down or fail; consider their working environment and issues such as safety etc.?
12. What worries them?
Many marketing plans fail because they focus on attracting anyone and everyone rather than positioning products to appeal to their ideal customer. As a result, companies end up selling products that customers don’t even want.
‘We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.’ Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon
Now you have your ideal customer avatar, it is time to map out your customer journey: from your customer as a complete stranger, to one who is so delighted with their customer experience that they become a valuable promoter. This is the ideal customer journey and one that is a huge win–win both for the customer – who has exactly what they want and is delighted with the result; and for you – as you now have a customer who has purchased AND the huge asset of someone who will tell other people about their experience and recommend you to others.
Questions to help you map your customer journey:
- Think about the stages from the viewpoint of your biggest audience: the ‘unaware’. How would they find out about you?
- If they searched for you, how would they find you?
- What would make them choose you in a search result and visit your website?
- Do you appear in Google for searches about the advice, solutions, and problems that your ideal customer has?
- Do you just appear for your brand, products, and services?
- How would they see your competitors on their journey?
- Where does your audience hang out and are you visible?
- What’s the top converting touchpoint of their journey for generating leads or gaining a profitable customer?
- Can they research and evaluate your products and services easily?
How to create a customer journey map
- Set clear objectives for the map – think about one clear goal.
- Use your customer avatar to define their goals.
- List all the touchpoints you think they will have, from attracting to them in the first place to them becoming a repeat customer.
- Take the customer journey yourself and judge what content they would or could engage with from unaware to aware, to evaluation, to lead or enquiry, and ultimately conversion; all the way through to purchase and repeat purchase.
Review the user experience from your customer’s point of view focusing on:
- pain points
- customer experience/satisfaction
- ideas for improvement/recommendations.
Gaining insight into customer pain points through mapping out your customer journey helps improve customer experience and interaction and aids development of propositions that are perfectly positioned to satisfy their needs.
This is an edited extract fromDynamic Digital Marketing: Master the World of Online and Social Media Marketing to Grow Your Business, by Dawn McGruer (Wiley, 2019)
Dawn McGruer is an award-winning speaker, trainer, practitioner and consultant who has become a key influencer in the world of digital marketing. She was named Best Female Speaker at the Professional Speaker Awards, and her Dynamic Digital Marketing Model was named Solution Framework of the Year. Dawn is founder of Business Consort- Digital & Social Media Academy, which has enjoyed 14 years of success. Her insights are in high demand, and her expertise and experience has been rewarded with lifetime Fellowships with the RSA (Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) and CIM. Dawn has a strong online presence including ranking in the top 1% globally on LinkedIn as well as boasting an enviable 5 million-strong subscriber base, which proves she has the credentials to lead others to digital marketing success.