Understanding Buyers Personas & Mapping Customers Journeys

Understanding Buyer Persona and Mapping Customer Journey

Posted on February 1, 2016 at 4:15 pm by     

So far we have talked about how businesses should communicate to their audience. But, buyers of today are exploring multiple channels to connect with the companies. This increase in communication channels doesn’t lead to positive customer experience. In fact, only 22% of the consumers say that the communication used by retailers is usually relevant.

Though most companies realize that how critical it is to personalize messages while speaking with their customers, they lack the resources and expertise to design an improved customer journey. Research has found that only 37% of the organizations believe they have necessary tools to boost customer experience. This is not enough! The complex nature of today’s buyer’s journey with more touch points across multiple channels can make experiences for customers, challenging.

This article shall explain how to keep it buyer-centric when it comes to delivering a superior experience. Along the way, you’ll also learn how to think about these areas from a strategic perspective. Analyzing these areas not only will help you improve the journey for your buyers, but also you may employ such techniques to drive increased engagement and revenue.

Buyer Persona

Buyer’s Persona is an archetype of the real people who buy or might buy the products you sell. Therefore, being considerate about the situation of your buyers  along with focusing on your products and solutions, is always an icing on the cake. To start this, you need to think about the questions the buyers might have:

  • How are they feeling? Stressed? Inquisitive? Excited?
  • What are they feeling?
  • What do they expect?

Taking time to answer these questions will put you in their shoes, formulating empathy towards them. While the idea and concept behind buyer-centric marketing may sound obvious and simple, in practice it’s far more challenging because you often have to unlearn the ingrained marketing and sales practices.

In order to adopt new buyer-centric approaches, first you’ll have to develop comprehensive buyer personas that represent who your customers really are. This will further help you create customer journey maps that will illuminate how your contacts are engaging with you along the path to purchase.

Buyers’ personas are iconic representations of your ideal customer. Creating it is both an art and a science. To develop and understand your buyer personas, you’ll first have to start by talking with customers and their experiences. Create a list of the recent buyers to interview. Once you have your list, leverage your inside sales team or support desk to recruit these people for interviews. Send them mails and follow-up mails explaining them the project. Once they agree to help you, record the conversations to store the behavioral information that provides valuable customer insights.

Now that you have invested much in collecting this information avoiding the pitfalls, you can pen down the upcoming marketing strategies for the future.

Mapping a Customer Journey

When you are asked to describe your favorite brand, your answer is a synthesis of all your interactions with the product. Using this construct, the brand and what it represents and the customer experience might be closely aligned or perhaps even identical.

Every company and product provides an opportunity to deliver its own unique customer experience, although experiences in a company’s portfolio will account for a lot in the overall perception when encountering new products from the same business.

A customer journey encompasses all the steps users, prospects or customers go through in engaging with the company. The ideal situation of a customer journey is when as a company, you are offering a unique and frictionless experience for your buyers including the ways you execute to stand apart.

Different customers have their unique journeys associated with the companies. Therefore, this is one area where the buyer persona can help. You should use them to outline both the state of the customer journey and a desired view of what you would like to be.

If different personas deliver experiences in different ways then create individual customer journey maps. Thus, your employees would be able to align the common stages (phases) customers go through.

Usually, the channels of customer journey may include:

  • Visiting the company website
  • Interacting with the company agents
  • “Liking” the company’s social page.
  • Reading through the blogs / ebook(s)
  • Visiting a store (online or offline) searching for the product.

While creating a customer journey map, it is advisable to keep these channels in mind to accommodate and facilitate customers with differing preferences.

Irrespective of the customer journey map (or maps) you create, make sure that you have a detailed knowledge about the communication channels your buyers might use. Also, anticipate the feelings they might go through.

Developing your insights on these areas will add to your critical strategic assets which can be used in your future marketing campaigns. Thus, this will further help you go beyond your marketing strategies leading you to do behavioral marketing in the future. With new technology, channels and techniques available for communicating with your existing and potential customers and prospects, marketing is an ever-evolving discipline. Core marketers are using the latest monotones of these changes to power sales lift and better customer experiences across the entire spectrum.

The most effective way of understanding buyer’s persona is to personalize the conversation. Today’s success rate depends how personalized your communication is with the customers. Thus, the more you personalize your content, the more they are able to relate and provide you with more and precise information of their journey. Alongside, these practices, the marketers need to alter their present techniques for the experiences accurately.

Now that you have enough data of the perceptions of your buyers, here’s the best time to know how will they behave on the product you launch and the services you offer. Therefore, the chances of your product being customer-centric are high.

Customer Experience is not at its peak when you have all the media to reach out to your customers but it’s the best when you come up with potential changes in your marketing campaigns and measure and at the same time understand their sentiment.

What all strategies do you incorporate for the betterment of customer experience?

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This article was first published here.