7 Important Steps to Effective Customer Journey Analysis

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One of the golden rules of marketing is that in order to be able to attract new customers, you have to be able to understand your target audience. And there's no better way to do that than to understand what their journey as a customer looks like.

That's why customer journey analysis is so foundational to the overall structure of your marketing plan. Only when you have a solid understanding of how your target audience turns from a prospect into a happy customer can you replicate that process at scale.

In this article, we'll teach you how to conduct customer journey analysis by dissecting it into seven crucial steps.


1. Understand Pain Points

The first thing to keep in mind is what starts it all: the pain point. At the end of the day, your customer comes to you for a simple reason. They have a problem and they need that problem to be solved. This problem is known as a pain point.

This problem is what kicks off the customer journey for every customer. They experience the problem, they identify what the pain point is, and then they go searching for a solution. It's up to you whether or not they find and choose your solution.


2. Identify Primary Touch Points

Once the customer identifies his or her pain point and begins their journey, this is an opportunity for you to get in contact with the customer. Each time you make contact with your customer is known as a touch point.

There is a myriad of different kinds of touch points possible. A common touch point is a website visit. A customer visiting your website is an interaction with the marketing materials that you put out. If you employ an outbound sales strategy, then a cold email or cold call can also be a touch point.

A customer putting their details into a contact form is another touch point, as is formal negotiations. Basically, you have to figure out what the common touch points look like for your customers in your segment.


3. Locate Friction Zones

Once you've made frequent touches with the customer, then they've begun to consider you as their chosen solution to their pain point. However, along this journey to choosing you as their solution, there are several opportunities for the customer to fall off that path or stall in the overall customer journey. These opportunities are known as friction zones.

One common friction zone is when customers begin exploring other options in the market. If they're looking at other competitors, there's a chance that they'll choose an alternate service provider. 

Another example of a friction zone is the pricing phase. When they start thinking about price, if the cost seems exorbitant then that could make your customer stall out and decide not to buy.

It's your job to limit the amount of time the customer spends in the friction zone; you should be propelling them on to the next stage in the customer journey.


4. Delineate Customer Stages

Speaking of stages in the customer journey, it's important for you to know what each stage in the customer journey looks like. To have a solid understanding of the journey, you need to know each of the stages that a customer will typically experience.

Each company defines customer stages differently, but here's an example of a typical progression.

The target stage is when the customer is a target account and has not yet been reached out to. Keep moving along, and the customer becomes a prospect when they've made the first touch point. After that, the customer can move through discovery (when they learn more about your product), qualification (when you qualify them as fitting your customer profile), negotiation (talking over price), and finally a closed customer.


5. Measure Time Spent in Each Stage

Another part of understanding the customer journey is measuring the amount of time that a customer spends in each stage. For you, the ideal result is if the customer moves along the journey as fast as possible so that you can get to the part where they sign the dotted line and officially become a customer.

However, you can't improve what you haven't measured, so first take time to assess how long customers are typically spending in each stage and what you can do to minimize that time.


6. Identify the Moment of Truth

In every customer's journey, there is a moment of truth where they finally realize that your product or service is the one that best fits their needs. You need to take some time to figure out what triggers this moment of truth for your target audience. Is it your pricing? Your sales experience? What is it about your company that makes customers decide that they want to do business with you?

When you identify this trigger (remember, there could be multiple), you can capitalize on that and make it a regular tool in your salespeople's arsenal.


7. Implement Change

Last but certainly not least, it's not enough to do all this customer journey mapping and then let it sit on the wayside. You have to make all of this information actionable. After all, if you don't do anything with the knowledge, then it's as good as useless.

Make sure that you're implementing changes in your marketing and sales process based on what's uncovered in the customer journey analysis. You should find several places in the journey where you can improve how your brand interacts with potential customers.


Customer Journey Analysis, Made Simple

There you have it — with this simple guide to customer journey analysis, you should now have a far better understanding of what happens as your target audience turns from a cold prospect into a happy customer. Armed with this knowledge, you can optimize your marketing strategy and sales funnel to reduce friction and increase conversion rates, resulting in a higher bottom line for all. The customer journey analysis is key to smart selling!

Now that you understand the customer journey analysis, it's time to learn more about the selling process. For more business advice on a customer journey analysis and inbound sales funnels, be sure to visit the Sales section of the Bootstrap Business Blog and increase your lead generation and conversions!

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