The customer journey refers to the process that customers go through when they become aware of our products, start using them regularly, and become advocates for them.
Abstractions are not useful without meaningful actions behind them.
If you want to improve your product, you need to get feedback from the people who use it.
Make sure to frequently communicate with your users to see what matters to them and how they are progressing. This feedback is essential in helping users become habitual users of your product.
Some questions you could ask your users are: -What do you need help with? -How easy was it to find what you were looking for? -Is there anything missing that you would like to see? -What do you think of the design? -How could we improve?
Questions to Ask Customers From Acquisition to Retention
At each point along the customer journey, users will have different needs, questions, and problems that they want to solve. To get the most valuable information, ask different questions depending on where a user is in their product experience:
- At acquisition, users are thinking about what differentiates your product from others, and how it can best serve their immediate needs. Ask them about the main problem they’re trying to solve, and why.
- During onboarding, users are figuring out how to use your product. Ask them about roadblocks they may be experiencing, or about their first aha moment to understand how you could help other users activate more efficiently.
- During regular engagement and adoption, users are thinking about the different features you offer and how they fit into their workflow. Ask them about which features they find the most helpful.
- When users adore your product, they think about new, advanced ways to use your software, often stretching the limits of your current capabilities. Ask them about what kinds of support they need from you, and how they’d like to see your product grow.
Questions should be kept to a minimum so as not to overwhelm users.
Instead of trying to get feedback from everyone, try asking a few questions early on to gauge their initial experience with your product. Then, narrow the scope of your feedback requests and focus on learning from your retained users—these are the people who know your product best (bugs and all) and can help you improve it for everyone.
The following are 4 questions to ask your customers throughout their journey:
- How would you describe yourself?
Even if you only offer one product, or different versions of the same product, people are likely to use it for different reasons.
User interviews are key to understanding how people are using your product and how they want to use it in the future. You can then use this feedback to create user segments, which will let you more effectively target different groups with communications that are relevant and valuable to them.
- What problem are you trying to solve?
Your product should evolve along with your users’ needs. If it doesn’t, users will eventually find a product that does what they need.
Abhishek Madhavan of Freshdesk puts it another way:
A company should focus on creating and retaining customers, rather than just on creating products.
What you need to do in order to have a customer base that both creates and retains customers is to make them feel something. This moment of realization and happiness happens differently for each different product, but what it really boils down to is when the user finds a solution to whatever issue they had.
Notion allows you to choose from different templates during account setup, depending on how you describe yourself. For example, if you identify as a marketing professional, you will be able to explore templates like a content calendar or brand asset library, rather than engineering resources that might not be as relevant or exciting to you.
- How likely are you to recommend this product to a friend?
If you have a group of users who frequently use your product and rely on it for multiple purposes, you can gauge how satisfied they are by asking them if they would recommend it to people close to them.
NPS tells you how likely your customers are to recommend your product to a friend. It’s a valuable source of information for product managers because it measures customer sentiment about your brand at a specific moment in time.
The results of the NPS are used to place users into one of three categories: detractors, passives, or promoters.
- Detractors are users who aren’t happy with your product and are most likely to churn and use a competitor’s product.
- Passives don’t hate your product, but they don’t love it either. With the right incentives, it will be easy for competitors to lure them away from you.
- Promoters love your product and are the most likely to recommend it to their friends and family.
- If you could change one thing about our product, what would it be and why?
Some users turn into champions who feel emotionally attached to the brand and use the product for more than just its practical purposes. They want to see the product improve and be successful.
The key to understanding valuable feedback from users at this stage of the customer journey is to understand the underlying motivation.
One strategy you can use during user interviews is the 5 whys mental model. This is a type of root cause analysis that was developed by Sakichi Toyoda, who founded Toyota. With this strategy, you keep asking why a user wants to change something about your product, in order to get to the root cause.
Workshop: Touch-Points Across the Customer Journey
Begin by creating a customer journey map with stages laid out horizontally and actions/feelings placed vertically. Use the example of a traveler’s journey to create stages such as Desire, Research & Planning, Booking, Arriving, Stay, and Checkout. Then, populate the map with actions for each stage, including Goals, Touchpoints, Processes, Experience, Storyboards, Quotes, Pain-points, Points of Delight, Problems, and Ideas.
- Map what you know in each block as well as you can. Now, fill the boxes. Make sure that you as a moderator merely guide all the participants to suggest the journey stages and actions and they should fill the boxes by getting into the shoes of the persona and pointing out their goals, pain points, etc. at every stage.
- At last, once you map everything, identify the touchpoints where the frustrations are at their peak and vote on the pain points that need to be prioritized. Make sure they aim for your business goals and customer satisfaction.
- (Voting is required because once you do this exercise, there will be 100 pain points and you can’t solve every one of them at the same time. So, pick 6-10 high-impact ones that the team agrees on to be solved this year.)
- Identify the internal and external gaps that are causing problems.
- Later, validate the gaps and the pain points with the customer (if customers are involved).
Brainstorm ideas to address the most commonly cited pain points. Be innovative and imaginative. Come up with solutions that not only meet customer expectations, but exceed them.
Once you have your list of ideas, prioritize them by how much effort they will require to execute and how much impact they will have.
Afterward, talk about the execution of the top ideas, give responsibility to someone, and establish a timeline. Make arrangements for a conversation in 1-2 weeks to go over the plan for carrying out the ideas with the person in charge.
Add these metrics to your VOC program to help you analyze progress and determine whether you are moving in the right direction.
What should you do after the Customer Journey Mapping Workshop?
It is important to communicate your discoveries, findings, and new ideas to the rest of your team so that everyone is aware and on the same page.
It is not necessary to get approval from the customer for every idea. Instead, do your own research or talk to customers to get their opinion.
It is highly important to hold Quarterly/Monthly meetings with the required people to track the progress of improvements.
After you put the plan into action, follow up by monitoring how it affects your company’s customer experience and business metrics. If it’s not having the desired effect, make changes as needed.
You should also think about whether the impact is directly related to your business or customer metrics. For example, if your customer satisfaction (CSAT) or net promoter scores (NPS) have increased, if website traffic has increased, or if app reviews have improved. This will help you understand if a particular action has resulted in the output that you were hoping for.
Mapping out a customer’s journey does not require advanced knowledge or skills. All you need is to be patient, diligent, and have a bit of imagination!
How to track your progress?
You need to track the progress of the respective people in quarterly or monthly meetings.
If you don’t know what the right direction is, how can you tell if you’re going in it?
Track things like the number of calls, satisfaction rate, number of clicks, registrations, repurchases, NPS score, and so on. Depending on your customer and business metrics, do you see any improvements?
See if your behavioral and operational data match your expectations!
When to run the Customer Journey Mapping workshop again?
You can map the customer state journey for any other persona at any time!
in the same city, same space and same time, you’re not only shooting yourself in the foot, you’re practically begging for people to say “no”. However, if you plan to run the workshop for the same persona in the same city at the same time and in the same space, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage and practically asking people to say “no.”
- If there are no changes in the customer journey: Ideally wait for a year to track the progress of your first workshop. Understand the impact, make the notes, and improve or iterate accordingly.
- If there are changes in the customer journey: Understand the new customer journey and identify the new touchpoints. For example, if the journey has been switched from offline to online, or to an app, or the marketplace. Recognize the current landscape, and the internal business processes that have been changed, and then turn the workshop again for that journey!
A Future State Journey Map reflects the future journey of the customer, envisioning what is going to happen shortly. Most companies do it yearly to measure their performance and look for opportunities to improve in the next year!
What are the risks and escalations that can be faced during the Customer Journey Mapping workshop?
If you manage the risks and escalations well, you can avoid them easily during the Customer Journey Mapping workshop!
The only time problems occur is when the individuals involved have different goals, or issues between departments are brought up during the workshop.
When the moderator sets the expectations at the start of the workshop, it helps the team move forward effectively.
The only goal the participants should have is to improve the customer’s experience.
The findings and decisions should be documented and approved by the decision-makers to avoid inter-department miscommunications.
At what stage should you run the Customer Journey workshop?
Run the Customer Journey Workshop when you know,
- what you are going to serve,
- how you are going to serve, and
- to whom you are going to serve.
When you know who your target customer is, you can do a workshop on mapping their customer journey!
To create a successful marketing campaign for a new product, you need to first define your customer persona and then follow the steps mentioned above.
If your product is completely new in the market,Our design and thinking process can help you!
To be successful, you must first understand who your customers are and what problems they need solved. Only then can you create a product or service that meets their needs and makes their lives easier.
In order to understand your customers’ journey, you need to put yourself in their shoes and see how things are happening from their perspective.
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