The 10 customer profiles you need for successful journey mapping

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istock
Simon Spyer
Co-Founder & Principal Consultant
Conduit
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Customer journey mapping is most effective when it harnesses attributes of customer value and customer needs - the best customer profiling is ultimately that which helps to inform your persona development.

Here we explore a number of customer profiling options and the role that they play in customer journey mapping.

Why map the customer journey?

You need to map the customer journey so that you can understand your 'moments of truth': the points in the relationship with a customer where you have the opportunity to earn their true loyalty by engaging with them.

You can only engage with them if you are aware of the opportunity and know what to do about it. Customer journey mapping (CJM) equips you with this knowledge.

Where to start

You may have multiple products. You will definitely have multiple touchpoints with your consumers.

It's best to start with the customer - or with specific groups of them.

Moments of truth exist only in the eye of the customer so start here.

Who to focus on

This is where customer profiling is important.

Mapping the journey for every customer will either be be impractical or will produce a generic result.

Instead, profile your customers to understand where the greatest value opportunities are, where the moments of pain or attrition are strongest and to start to define how much you can really afford to invest in a relationship.

Here are some customer profiling variables to start with.

1. LIFECYCLE STAGE

The customer lifecycle is a macro view of the customer journey. It looks at the highest stages of a customer relationship: how you attract new customers, how you convert them, how you nurture them and ultimately how you keep them.

Quantify how many customers you have in each lifecycle stage plus how many lapse or are lost. A RFV segmentation is an effective way of building this profile.

2. NPS

Net Promoter Score looks at satisfaction of customers based on the simple question 'on a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend ABC to your family and friends'.

Collect and profile NPS levels across your customer journey and you will start to understand who your net promoters and detractors are. This is a great indicator of pain points and those moment of truth.

3. DEMOGRAPHICS

So you have understood lifecycle stages and customer satisfaction, now you can start to look at the profiles of customers in these groups.

Demographics encompass factors like age, gender, income levels and marital status and will help you to build a picture of who you are mapping the customer journey for.

4. NEEDS AND GOALS

The emotional needs and expectations of your customers will allow you to engage with them in a much more meaningful way than purely transactional metrics.

Consider the drivers of customer expectation and how they will vary. For example, some customers may be motivated by a sense of progress while social purpose may be more important for others.

These profiles are particularly important for persona development. 

5. TENURE

How long have you had a relationship with your customers?

Tenure is an important factor when considering the customer journey: the journey may be very different for longstanding customers (who may have been through several renewal cycles, made repeat purchases or have a better understanding of your product) and newer customers (who haven't).

6. OPT-IN

You need to consider which customers you can communicate with an on what basis. This is only going to become more important with GDPR changes to data protection legislation.

Your ability to affect a relationship with a customer will only be possible where you have consent.

7. ENGAGEMENT

Engagement levels should be monitored. The easiest way to do this is by looking at how many of the potential touchpoints available a customer actually interacts with.

Understanding this across the customer journey compared to a customer's baseline of engagement is a great way of identifying moments of truth.

8. LTV

Lifetime value will inform where your marketing budget is best invested and which customers you are designing an experience for.

9. LOCATION

Consider differences in both where consumers live and where they transact.

This will have a bearing on competition and the 'mission' that your customer is on.

10. CHANNEL USAGE

Channel usage encompasses:

  • Communication channels - preferences and usage of devices and media.
  • Purchase channels - where customers purchase (online, offline) and their repertoire of purchasing behaviour.

Which is most important?

You should look at as many of these variables as is possible to determine which is most important to your business and marketing objectives.

Customer journey mapping is most effective when it harnesses attributes of customer value and customer needs - the best customer profiling is ultimately that which helps to inform your persona development. 

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28th Jun 2017 08:39

Nice information.

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05th Jul 2017 06:53

With regards to NPS, I'd like to add that customers are likely to mention critical touchpoints and their views on how to measure them in response to the open-ended "Why did you give us this score", and you can use NPS data to measure the effectiveness of these touchpoints. Here is an article on this topic for those who are interested: http://www.getthematic.com/post/net-promoter-score-analysis/

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