Life comprises moments and experiences. As digital has been the second sphere where we build our life in, digital experience opened a new frontier for brands to compete on. Brands are looking for the micro-moments to architect a unique customer experience to pull customers in and retain them. That’s why mapping out a customer journey will empower you with the knowledge to win customers.
3 Key Questions To Ask Throughout the Journey
What’s the customer’s goal?
It all begins with identifying what the customers want in each stage along the shopping journey. Without clearly understanding what your customers want, no strategy will serve the business purpose. From being aware of the needs to completing the transaction, what are their goals to accomplish? The following research may help gain insights.
- Persona. Persona can help you answer the question if it closely resembles your target market. Gather demographic information such as gender, location, age. You can also use census information or studies conducted by market research firms to get an overview of the customers’ needs with your business.
- Focus group. There’s nothing better than directly talking to your target market and learn what they want and what they look for in a product. When and how did they start their search and when did they decide to buy.
- Learn from your competitors. Your competing websites will teach you a lot about your customers. From their product offering to content support, you will experience as a customer and understand the needs your competitor is trying to satisfy.
What are the challenges in this stage?
This is a critical question to ask. With each challenge hidden behind the consumer needs lies a new opportunity. This is where you can create those micro-moments to “be there, be quick and be useful” for your customers. Besides the three research techniques, this is a great area to play with the big data.
If you are an established business, mine your historical data. In Google Analytics, you will be able to start creating your customer journey by seeing customer behavior flow. How did customers come to your site and move forward? Why did they leave at this page? Customers leave your website for a reason and that is usually when they had a challenge. Not enough product information? There are so many options and a customer would feel so lost where to begin? Have no presence of a blog that inspires customers to learn about your product? Too many steps in the checkout process? Those could all contribute to challenges for customers. There are a lot of analytics tools such as heatmaps that can help you figure it out.
If you are a new business, industry research and competitive research will get you started on a firm ground.
What are the opportunities for merchants?
From the consideration stage, your customer’s experience challenges are your opportunities. For the first stage — awareness, you may need to figure out which pond is the right one for you to fish in. Should you target by location, by demographic or by behavior? It will depends on the market research you have done.
Along with the 3 key questions, you also want to match the right channels to your customer journey. Follow their footprints and don’t forget to measure customer satisfaction.
3 Micro-Moments that Shape Customer Experience
Why did we map out the customer journey again? Yes, it’s all for digging out this magical micro-moments that are buried deep in each point of your map. Like on a treasure map there are key locations that hide a bigger fortune, there are three critical micro-moments on your map:
“I want to know.”
In this moment, customers could be exploring or researching. They want useful information. They could also be deciding what should buy or at what price they should buy in your store. No matter which stage they are at, make sure you are there for them and assist them with the information. Sephora saw the opportunity when they noticed how often customers searched their phone while wandering in the store. Their customers often use mobile to look up product reviews. In response, Sephora built a mobile web and app to serve the in-store customer experience.
“I want to do.”
According to a Google study, this moment is all about “how to.” However, in the customer journey map, this moment doesn’t exist only in the consideration stage. It could fit well in the early awareness stage. For this micro-moment Google says video played a big role. For example, Unilever noticed the online demand for hair information. After studying the trend data and google search keywords, they created “All things hair” on Youtube channel and topped other brand as the No.1 hair brand on YouTube.
“I want to buy.”
This moment is aligned with the purchase stage. Keep in mind the transaction frictions you identified on customer journey map. Empower your customer with options to complete transactions, no matter it is in-app purchase on mobile, online payment on desktop, in store or on phone call.
Micro-moments are golden touch points in your customer journey. You won’t come by easily unless you are mapping out the whole journey with exceptional consumer insights. We modeled a customer journey template that incorporated all the key points we addressed in this article. Time to try it yourself and wish you the very best luck with finding your own magical moment.