After the financial crisis of 2010, the UK government introduced numerous initiatives to encourage people to set up their own businesses. Since then, the UK has witnessed a start-up revolution, with hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs and enterprises capitalising on various tax breaks and loan schemes.
However, that doesn’t mean to say every start-up is successful, as several fail to last more than a few years. While many point to increased competition and difficult market conditions, others simply lack an understanding of how their target market makes purchasing decisions.
In order to be a successful start-up, it’s imperative that you not only understand your customers’ journey, but also meet their needs at every stage of the sales and marketing funnel.
When and how can you map your customers’ journey?
Start-ups should be creating customer journey maps as soon as they know what their product or service is and who their target market may look like. This is the perfect opportunity to ask questions, ensure your ideas are workable, and plan for the future based on evidence.
However, understanding your customer journey isn’t something that should take place once; it must be continually repeated and adapted according to the ever-changing wants and needs of consumers.
“Our relationships with customers aren’t static, so how we explain them shouldn’t be either,” Meredith Hutchinson Hartley, COO at Abish Media & HavenTree said. “A customer journey map should be a living, breathing tool – something we constantly update and add layers to.”
Start by simply brainstorming what you know about your customers – their motivations to buy, browsing behaviour, and purchasing habits. From there, you can make associations and join the dots, identifying crucial touch points where you’ll need to be present.
What should a customer journey map encompass?
Customer journeys perfectly align with sales and marketing funnels: the initial stage of awareness, a turning point of recognition, and the final conversion.
A basic customer journey looks a little like this:
The early stage
– Leads become aware of your business through advertising or marketing. If you have a CMS system in place, you’ll be able to see what channels are most effective at attracting consumers, be it SEO, social media, or another source.
The middle stage
– This is where leads start researching your brand and its products or services. You should be doing everything you can to build trust through content like blog posts, FAQ pages, and product descriptions.
The final stage
– With any luck, leads will be in a position to become customers and make a purchase. However, you’ll need to keep communication channels open to foster a positive relationship that results in repeat business.
“Customer-journey mapping gives your business a competitive edge,” Daniel Newman, President of Broadsuite said. “Business owners are quickly realising they need an in-depth understanding of their consumers to stay afloat.
“As you start to understand how users find, engage with and learn about your brand, you discover how to build relationships with them. And that’s always a good thing.”