An imaginarium refers to a place devoted to the imagination. There are various types of imaginaria, centres largely devoted to stimulating and cultivating the imagination, towards scientific, artistic, commercial, recreational, or spiritual ends. So says the great lord Wikipedia.
So what? Well, I am going to set out my thinking on Customer Journey Analysis and mapping. I need an imaginarium to think about customers.
Now wait..Steve the IA man woa…STOP!! no, don’t be getting the flow diagrams out yet…too early, lets talk first.
You see, rushing for process, well that puts everything in the system, but first you need to feel the journey. Identify with the persona…which is a customer personality created with a set of attributes like profession, job, character, lifestyle etc. These personas represent a generalised segment of the customer base. Significant segments I mean,
This is after needs, wants and demands are well understood…its about preferences.
Once you have persona’s you think of them separately. Focus on one at a time and don’t rush. It is not about you, its about them. How they live, what they need, want and demand and where we fit in. If we don’t fit in, well, there’s no journey. Can’t sell meat to a vegan Ted, no matter how hard you try!
It is important to ensure that your persona’s represent. I will write about this another time, but the treatment of core business persona’s, high yield niche persona’s and growth area persona’s is different, even if the approach to mapping journeys is the same.
It seems obvious but I’ll say it anyway; the demand for a service or product is at its lowest at the point of consumption. They are satisfied. From this point the journey begins.
I like starting at this point because customers are most enthusiastic ambassadors, promoting good performance. This is the time where good businesses provide great tools for referral marketing. ‘Give them the tools and they will do the job’. Ok Ted? Good.
The next stage is awareness, that simple nagging thought of an outcome from a product or service…hmmmm. How do we facilitate this? How do we encourage the idea of a need or want? By visibility and credibility..it’s about outcomes though, not you.
Do what you are good at, maintain visibility and manage credibility…Yes social projects and an empathetic brand is important, but more so is handling mistakes. We all make them. Good companies handle them well. Reputations shouldn’t be managed, they should be good. If there are problems, address them. If you can’t, get people who can. Change. Be better. Good products are not enough.
Once awareness becomes a stronger, customers sense the need for action and start research. They are looking to engage, but with whom? Pick me, pick me says the competition, bit like hiring fairs of old…. Here, the wise go for outcomes. People don’t want a skip, they want away their debris and rubbish. It’s the outcomes that people need..what they research is how best achieve it.
When I work on customer journeys, I get clarity on sought outcomes. That way I avoid the clamour and the noise. I also know my messages and goals. You see, goal setting is about the customer, it’s not about you Ted.
Making sure you know sources of knowledge and feeds of information is really important here. Some time ago I reported a finding that 80% of all car purchases started on the internet to a tech skeptic car dealer. He has doubled his sales, in part, due to having a proper online presence. Once he understood that it was what his customers wanted, it was obvious to him.
So now we are at the shopping experience and here we get into the hubris and seller assertion….its not about you Ted….it’s still not about you. Your business is shaped by the customer, you evolve or die. The customer is the force that defines your success, so settle yourself…play nice.
And what is shopping?? Aha, you had a mild attack of …errr, I know, its common! See, shopping is all messed up in the opinion of people, but simply explained it’s about experience. If the experience resonates with expectation we have a match. It is all about affirmation.
Yes we can deliver the outcomes you want, yes we provide in a way that gives value, yes the service meets your demands.
How we engage and resonate with customers is really important, but we have to meet the criteria and say yes, otherwise … no sale, sorry Ted.
Managing the sell event is really important…handling the transaction has huge bearing on the quality of the relationship. Get this wrong and you are screwed. The same is true for the performance of a sell. Did the customer get the outcome they wanted in the way it was promised? Was it better? Was it worse?
Naturally, sell events lead to consumption…and the outcome, from which we arrive at journeys end….to begin the cycle again.
So where is the map? Well, describing the journey identifies points of orientation, natural places where goals, messages, channels and interactions need to be used.
Of course, it is at these points of orientation where information is gathered and analysed, not throughout the journey. How many signs do you ignore on a road? All of the unimportant ones!!
Our behavioural goals are important, but so too are numerical ones. Signposts need to be valuable and work. Measuring their effectiveness is vital
Tracking using web admin, default Google tracking and Google tracking codes, programme dashboards etc work well for the internet, enquiries, calls etc are important too, as is traffic to sales conversion rates in-store.
While I won’t write extensively about tracking tools, there are very many to fit all occasions. The importance here is to place the right tools tools at key points in the journey, collect the data, collate it properly according to set goals and analyse against agreed KPI’s. This is not difficult, if you are well organised, have the right approach, good talent and transparency.
Thanks to Steve the IA man for his illustration.
Contact us to help you create your customer journey http://abrightbusiness.com/marketing/customer-engagement/