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Customer Journey Map. 10 steps to help business find the way in the crisis

Source: The page

Autor: Taras Horbul – CEO and founder in “Superheroes.ua”

John Wanamaker has been corrupting marketers for a century with his phrase “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”. But the global crisis and pandemic are an excuse to finally forget this excuse and take responsibility for the profitability of the business for marketing specialists. How to do this, will tell the founder and head of the marketing agency “Superheroes.ua” – Taras Gorbul.

The ghosts of the past tell us that marketing is unpredictable and the result cannot be predicted. I propose to leave all this “esotericism” in the past, or at least save it until better times. We need science today. Namely, cartography. Now people are massively mastering online shopping, telecommuting and learning and moving into a new consumer reality. In this sense, the world will never be the same. The pandemic has changed the consumer path. The marketer will no longer be able to lead the customer along the old way by the handle to the coveted sales, a new Customer Journey Map (CJM) is needed.

“Where is the map, Billy? We need a map!”

Yes, everyone needs her now, only she is not there yet. Humanity cannot find a box in the archives of history with the inscription “World crisis + pandemic of a deadly virus” and use instructions for this case. Because there have been no cases yet. With a start! You will have to create a new CJM yourself. That is, a marketer now has to master a new profession – a cartographer. Here are 10 steps for doing this.

1. Look up.

The most ancient cards refer to the sky, not the earth. People first studied the movement of luminaries, and then their own kind. Similarly, now it is possible to study in detail how large corporations were able to quickly mobilize forces, with the help of what tools, how they changed the vector of movement, what they abandoned, and what new areas of activity they mastered. Having accumulated all this information, you can compose and test at minimal cost whether such a hypothesis works specifically for your business. If so, implement it.

2. Ask the locals for directions.

Consumer behavior, needs, habits and preferences have changed. From whom you can learn about them, if not from themselves? Conduct A/B tests and focus groups, analyze existing customer and partner reviews, as well as initiate new ones in all possible ways, study sales directly “in the fields”, conduct surveys, calls and questionnaires. Worth knowing: How has consumer behavior changed in your market: consumption volumes, selection and purchase process, product use. How have priorities in emotional and rational needs changed, product selection criteria, price sensitivity, and competitor activity. How has the ratio of sales in distribution channels changed, which new channels have appeared, which old channels have exhausted themselves. What new barriers have arisen when buying and using products in your category.

3. Ask travelers.

After interviewing the clients themselves, it is important not to forget to “extract” information from your own employees or contractors. What positions are being asked more often? What new things have they noticed in each of the customer interactions? Some kind of brainstorm with employees can help to find a strategically important “dine”.

4. Take the safe path.

With many markets shrinking, competition is fiercer. The cost of customer acquisition and retention is increasing. Therefore, it is important to understand the resilience of your specific business model in the event of declining sales volumes, price wars and an increase in promotional costs. It is worth soberly assessing the profitability of the business in the new conditions and planning tactical measures in the “safe corridor” that will allow you to reach the point of profit.

5. Avoid questionable paths.

Now is the time to use only those marketing tools whose effectiveness can be clearly measured. If you have no idea how to measure the growth of brand awareness, then do not plan any steps in this direction. Shift the focus from building brand awareness to lead generation, from attracting new audiences to retaining the same, from competitor research to user experience research, from fighting objections to working with loyal customers.

6. Expand the beaten track.

A crisis is the perfect time for alliances with partners or competitors: mergers, partner marketing promotions, co-branding, asset sharing, and the like. Upsells, cross-selling, loyalty programs, brand advocates – that’s what can save a business in a crisis. You need to invest in relationships with active customers and encourage them to recommend, which means making them an additional channel for attracting consumers.

7. It is better to make the “bridge” between the client and the company thinner for a while than to lose it completely.

For the most part, people began to spend less and more rationally, since a significant part of them lost income or their income decreased significantly. Consider this and launch a new, more budgetary offer or more flexible discount system. Under these conditions, new positions at extremely attractive prices can dramatically improve sales without damaging the brand image.

8. Make the journey of the product to the customer easier and more enjoyable.

The decline in attendance at public places has led to the fact that Mohammed now has to go to the mountain himself. Services for receiving and processing orders, the timing and range of delivery should become one level better. This can be done based on previous experience: are there areas that your delivery service did not cover before, but orders from them came? It’s time to add them and inform customers about it.

9. Supply your product with fellow travelers.

Everyone knows the truth: “Give more than the client expects.” But often it remained just an abstraction or embodied in the form of simply a more welcoming online consultant. And now people have begun to “squeeze more” out of all the opportunities available to them.

“When buying three pizzas as a gift, a branded mug as a gift?

Of course we will use the offer! Bring it!”

10. Draw first, write later.

It was not for nothing that cartography appeared before the advent of writing in primitive society. This experience can be useful to us. Now a business in a panic may start to act chaotically: “Let’s hit the mailing list on all our bases!” Before sending any message to customers, it is important to first go through steps 1-9, then draw up an updated customer journey map, and on its basis build the entire chain of interaction with the customer. In it, you need to define for yourself clear terms, goals, optimal communication channels, possible objections, ways of gratitude for the client’s response, options for pressing, etc. And only when you have before your eyes just an ideal scheme that can convey to each USP of your product and make it a regular customer, press the button: “Send”.

Let your business always have a “guiding star” in the new year, no matter how cloudy the sky is.

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