How well do you know your customer journey? If you had asked me (a marketer) that question a year ago, my answer would have been much different than it is today. That pretty bowtie you see above is an illustration of our journey stages, but it’s nowhere close to the whole picture. Here, we’ll break down how to map your customer journey from end-to-end.
Define Your Customer Journey Stages
In order to understand what your buyers need at each stage of their journey, you first need to know what they are experiencing and how their behaviors are changing. That means you should be establishing distinct exit criteria for each stage. What behavior must someone exhibit to move from one stage to the next?
Knowing that will help you better determine how to help customers move through your pipeline with less friction.
Adopt a Customer-Focused Perspective
One mistake B2B companies make when analyzing their customer journey is focusing too much on what’s happening internally and not enough on your customer’s perspective. Looking at your pipeline in terms of handoffs and internal processes won’t give you the insight you need to identify the gaps that will have the most impact on your revenue.
While there is always a place for reflecting on the experience of your revenue team, the gaps being felt by your customers throughout their journey should always be the priority.
Look at Your Customer Journey Outside Your Function
Do you know what kind of experience your customer is having before their first engagement with you? How about after your direct interaction with them ends?
The problem with these kinds of internal silos is that they translate into friction throughout the buyer journey.
Account Amnesia, as one of our customers calls it, is when your buyer feels as though they’ve been “forgotten” due to clunky handoffs between go-to-market functions.
When you’re able to look at the customer journey holistically, with a clear understanding of the experience you’re delivering at every single stage, it makes it much easier to find and fix gaps.
Identifying High-Impact Gaps in the Customer Journey
There are two main methods of identifying gaps in your customer experience: Proactively or retroactively.
With proactive identification, you’ll perform durability tests like competitive analyses, go-to-market ride-alongs, and customer experience mapping to find gaps before they start to emerge as trends in your pipeline. Focus on proactive gap identification methods as much as possible, not only because it will help you spot gaps earlier, but it will get your revenue team comfortable putting themselves in your customer’s shoes.
Retroactive identification is when you analyze your pipeline to find trends that indicate a gap your customers are feeling.
Once you have a full, holistic map of your customer journey and a strategy to identify gaps, what’s next?
- Continue holding cross-functional meetings as a unified revenue team. This way, you’ll be able to squash silos before they cause real damage and continue to focus on delivering a gap-free customer experience.
- Make it a habit to talk to your customers. There’s no better way to gain insight into what you could be doing to close high-impact gaps.
- Innovate and build on your internal processes based on what you’ve learned about your customer experience and behaviors at each stage in the journey.
- Take advantage of new perspectives brought to the table by this new holistic approach to analyzing your customer journey. People operating in different functions will likely approach challenges from different viewpoints, allowing for more creative problem-solving.