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The Importance Of Understanding Your Customer Map

Thursday, February 18, 2016 by

Understanding The Customer Map

Do you know what it’s like to be a customer interacting with your business? Even the most empathic business owners might have a hard time with that question. A customer map helps to illuminate central touch points of interaction between the business owner and a customer. By having a deeper understanding of this process you’ll cultivate a deeper relationship with your customers.

Deeper relationships turn into an easier sales process, a more custom-tailored marketing approach, and even the ability to predict your customers deep needs and desires. Below we’ll dive into what customer map actually is, and show you how you can create your very own.

What Is A Customer Map?

A customer map isn’t a literal roadmap, but instead it’s more like a highlight reel. It breaks down the crucial moments of interaction you’re going to have with your customer, and tries to uncover potential objections and pain points that may cause the marketing process to derail.

Your customer map doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. Usually, you’ll start with a simple map and build it out with time as you uncover more data through your analytics tools and marketing campaigns.

Common Customer Map Elements

Most customer maps contain the common touch points that are highlighted below. However, a lot of maps contain a lot more. It all depends on how complex your marketing and sales process is. Below we showcase the main customer map elements that will get you started.

1. Initial Contact

This touch point is one of the most crucial. This is when the customer first learns about your business. During this phase it’s crucial you make a good first impression. Your customer won’t have a lot invested at this stage, so it’s easier for them to break off the relationship before it’s had a chance to develop.

There are multiple ways they can come in contact with your business, whether it’s through content marketing, a social media update, or even a direct visit to your website.

2. Customer Comparison

Once they actually know you exist this is when your customer will begin shopping around for alternatives. They’ll read your blog posts and research your company, and they’ll also check out your competitors.

This is where a blog can be truly valuable, as you can provide your customer with all of the necessary materials and information to sway the decision in your favor. This is the trust building phase. Lead with value to truly show your potential customer you care about the relationship.

3. Decision and Action

The action phase is when they buy something from you, or take the desired action. You’ll want to make this part of the process as seamless as possible, so you avoid derailing the sale when you’re so close to the finish line. Just think about how seamless and easy it is to buy something from Amazon, all it takes is a single click and the item is en route to your house. How can you make your sales process seamless?

4. Business Follow-Up and Retention

After the customer has bought something from you it’s time to deepen the relationship with this customer, so they will continue to buy from you well into the future. After all, it’s cheaper to sell to an existing customer than to continue to acquire new leads.

Customer retention is built on customer understanding, and by delivering consistent value. You can do this via multiple means, but some of the most common are through in-depth blog posts, email marketing, surveys, social media interaction, and even small gifts.

Remember, your first iteration of your customer map will be rough. But, it’ll take shape with time as you collect more customer data and get feedback on your offerings. The tips above are just a starting point to building a framework that helps you define the most crucial points in your business-to-customer relationship.

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