When we talk about the customer journey at Winners, we refer to the different touch points between you and your fans/customers as they go through the process of engaging or transacting with you. And when I say transacting, I don’t necessarily mean making a purchase from you, although of course that’s often your primary goal, but you may also want your fans/customers to sign up to enter a competition, or register to play your sport, or even engage with one of your sponsors. When we map the customer journey, we should be putting ourselves in their shoes and looking at their full experience with us – from start to finish.
Customer journey maps are generally considered part of a marketer’s toolkit; but while they might take responsibility for creating them, they provide value and benefit to many different departments in a sports business.
1) We need cross-organisational alignment to create them – this encourages collaboration and teamwork.
2) They enable you to see things from the other side of the table – you can visualise your fans/customers’ motivations and drivers, as well as their pain points, their blockers.
3) You can clearly see areas of ownership as a customer goes through each stage of the process – from finding us, to buying from us, or any of the other objectives you have for your fans.
4) Most importantly, we can see where we need to make improvements; where we can improve your conversion rates and achieve more of your objectives. This is particularly true when you map your content plan to your customer journey.
There are several different types of maps you can create, but we’re going to focus on the “current state” map – this means it will document what your fans and customers experience as they engage with you today. This is different to a “future state” map, which looks at what you want them to experience in the future; or a “day in the life” map which is a current state view but goes into a lot more detail (often into the lives of your customers OUTSIDE their relationship with you!); and a “service blueprint” which is a layer of people, processes, and systems which are layered ONTO a current or future state map.
Sports Fan Customer Journey Source: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/647673990145683437/
OK, so I don’t mean your team ON THE FIELD, I mean your team OFF THE FIELD – anyone who has to deal with your fans and customers, produces content for them, is responsible for sales or costs, has an aspect of customer service in their role, or just interacts with them, should be part of the team mapping your customers journeys. You need to involve as many people as possible in the mapping process and while it won’t be possible to involve everyone at every step (unless of course you’re a very small team), you need to figure out who needs to be involved at key stages, be strategic about the way you plan this so you can create buy-in and ensure future momentum.
So, if you’re wondering how you go about mapping your current state customer journey, keep reading, because we provide you with nine simple steps to follow here.
The first thing you should be clear about is why you’re creating a customer journey map and what it represents. As with pretty much any piece of work you need to be clear about what you’re doing and how it will help you do your job.
By this stage you should have your customer personas (if you haven’t then you perhaps need to go back a step and create them first) so you can allocate your customer journey map to each persona or group of personas. Knowing the target(s) of your customer journey map is a key step, because without that it’s impossible to do the next one!
You need to be clear about the goal you want to achieve for your target persona at each step of their journey with you. You should also be thinking about their goals: what are they trying to achieve at each stage of the process, are they looking for more information, do they need a “nudge”, or a clear CTA?
Working cross-organisationally, you need to learn as much as you can about the different experiences your fans and customers have with your different departments: what can your ticketing department tell you about the queries they have to field, the pain points your ticket buyers experience? And what about your online store – where do your customers tend to drop out of the sales funnel? You can also ask your fans directly – issue a survey to your database and post it on social to get as much feedback as you can.
Make a list of the different ways in which your fans and customers engage with you, including those outside your control. This will include platforms such as your website, social channels, paid advertising, your mobile app, your partner sites (ticketing and online store), even third-party sites such as “fanzines” or fan blogs. You should also try to list out the emotions and motivations your customers might be feeling when they engage with these touchpoints, but what’s important here is that you think about their emotions towards the journey – not towards you. For example, if you’re a team or a club and you’ve just won, you can be confident that your fans are feeling pretty good about you – but that doesn’t mean they’re feeling good about their experience in your customer journey.
I’ve always said that the person brave enough to take the first punt at documenting collective thoughts is the bravest one in the business; because they know that when they share their work it’ll be picked apart by colleagues. But it’s important that a first draft is created so you have a starting point. So, go on, be the one who stands up and takes responsibility at this stage – be brave, take everything you’ve learned through the research phase, everything you’ve documented about the persona(s), your goals and their goals, and the touchpoints you’ve listed, and sketch out the different stages your customer goes through as they interact with you.
This step is pretty important as your moments of truth are the points in your customer journey when a key event occurs, and an opinion is formed. You’ve got to be honest here and be prepared to highlight the things that can go wrong, and often do, for example broken links on your website, misinformation in your event calendar, a lack of response in your social channels. But these moments of truth can also be the positives that your customers experience – a great visual or copy line, a fast response, a comprehensive Q&A.
At this stage, your customer journey map is hypothetical until you try it out, so for each of the personas you’ve documented, follow the journey you’ve mapped out and analyse the experience. And get your colleagues involved, ask then to do the same thing, challenge them to identify gaps on your journeys, you could even invite some fans to do the same, or put together a focus group representing your different personas to really put your journey map through its paces. The feedback you get from this phase should be used to refine your journey maps – and indeed make direct changes to the customer journey itself. For example, in this step you might identify more copy is needed in your product descriptions, or stronger wording is needed in your CTAs.
We talked in our blog on data visualisation about the power of using visuals instead of text and this is the case with your customer journey map. You might use Excel to document the information you want in the map(s) you produce, but once complete, you need to transform it using colours, icons, images, or anything else that will ensure you and your colleagues can follow it. You want to keep it simple, easy to follow, and relevant for the different departments and personnel around your organisation; but you also need to ensure there’s enough detail in there to make it worthwhile.
So, there you have it, you’ve produced your first customer journey map, or maps, for your different customer personas; but in the same way we talk CRM and digital transformation being a journey not a destination, your first customer journey maps are also a work-in-progress. You need to review and update them on a regular basis, using your Google Analytics, your social media analytics, your email campaign metrics, and any feedback – positive or negative – that your different business units have collected to help you check for anything that can be improved. You need to be constantly looking for gaps and opportunities in your journeys as you aim to satisfy your fans and customers and ensure they come back wanting more.
If you’re a team or a club you know that you have no control over the results on the field – mapping your customer journeys gives you the control you need off the field.
You may be interested in reading, Creating your Customer Personas – the right way and the wrong way.
If you are looking to learn more about implementing the use of data in marketing and CRM, we’ve got you covered. Our elearning course Winning with Data might just be the thing for you. Click here to find out more.