Walk in your customers’ shoes
22 questions to jumpstart your customer journey work
Brian Ladyman | August 18, 2015
Beyond persona work and digging into unique customers and segments (which I highly recommend), customer journey maps are an amazing tool to discover new and better ways of attracting, selling to, and retaining customers.
I often conduct workshops to help clients describe the high-level flow of their customer lifecycles and define their future vision—it’s some of my favorite work. Though each client’s situation is unique—for example, lifecycles vary from B2B to B2C—and the process is non-linear and complex, this rough model can apply to any situation … with a little bit of creative license and perhaps some wordsmithing.
If you’re ready to walk in your customers’ shoes, these twenty-two questions will help you jumpstart your customer journey work. Whether you already have great answers to these questions or you need to revisit them to stand out against the competition, these questions can help identify gaps and start vital internal conversations to ensure that your customers keep coming back for more.
Search and discover
First things, first. When customers search for a product or service in your category, they must be able to find you. So ask yourself:
1. Where should/could you put your content to connect with them early in the discovery process?
2. How do you ensure they get to your website versus the competitor’s?
3. What creative ways can you get on their radar as THE company of choice in your space?
4. What educational materials do you need to provide (print, videos, sales reps, etc.)?
Evaluate and purchase
Once you’re in the consideration set, you need to make it easy for customers to select and purchase your product or services. Transparency of information and flexibility of purchase options are important.
5. What goes into their evaluation process? What information do they need to make a decision?
6. How can you help them more easily compare features? Prices? Services?
7. What do you need to provide via various digital channels (e.g. desktop, tablet, phone, apps, video, etc.)?
8. How can you help them easily purchase products? Are there flexible options?
Make it awesome to be your new customer. Hook customers into an ongoing relationship.
9. How can you make the new customer experience incredible? In the first day? Week? Month? Year?
10. How do you thank customers for their business?
11. How do you ensure a full understanding of all that you offer beyond the first purchase?
12. How can you set proper expectations about the ongoing relationship (e.g. billing, services, etc.)?
Be mindful of the fundamentals: make customers happy, and typically, sell more over time. Set yourself up to personalize and deliver on both of those.
13. How do you make it super easy for people who have defected from a competitor?
14. How can you enable self-service for those who want it?
15. How do you ensure, and know, that customers are satisfied?
16. How do you anticipate customer needs?
17. How do you encourage and connect your customer community?
18. How do you communicate what’s new? Foster brand loyalty?
Recommend and repurchase
Leverage the power of happy customers to grow your business.
19. How do you make it easy for happy customers to tell others?
20. How can you engage happy customers to help close current sales cycles?
21. How can you capture stories and share them across the community? How can those add value to your storytelling and sales/marketing?
22. How do you identify if a customer is at risk of leaving and engage appropriately?
Brian Ladyman is the managing director of Slalom’s Customer Engagement and Experience Design teams in Seattle. He has over 20 years of marketing and sales experience, including leadership roles at PeopleSoft, Oracle, A.T. Kearney, and McCann Worldgroup. Ladyman is all about trying to help Slalom’s clients really understand their customers (what’s going to wow them?), determine the right strategies based on that understanding, and figure out how to practically make it happen. Follow Ladyman on LinkedIn.