The all important customer journey is the process by which a prospect becomes a customer and a customer becomes a loyalist. The number one job of any growth or go-to-market team is to optimize this process for a target audience.

Regardless of industry, size of business or target clientele, there are some steps that every company takes to optimize its user journey. Let’s go over those important steps now.

Step one: Gather your user data

Before you can properly begin to optimize a journey, you need to know who you’re traveling with. The metrics you choose to focus on will paint the picture of your target audience throughout the remainder of the customer journey. Choose these metrics wisely. They will come to you through the customer data that you focus on collecting in the early stages of your market research. The product data and communication data are you gather will be among the most important pieces of information that you consolidate.

Step two: Map your user journey

How long do you expect your user journey to take? Do you have an audience that will see the entire journey through, or do you need to segregate your user groups into different journeys? We have more information available about target demographics than ever before. If you cannot run simulations like focus groups, you can at least research the past behaviors of your target audiences in similar situations to see how they might respond to the map you lay out.

Step three: Identify final strengths and pitfalls

Now that you know what the user journey looks like in general, work on making it as easy as possible for as many of your target groups as possible. Where are the strengths of your funnels, and where are the potential pitfalls that will cause your target to fall away or look elsewhere? Just as importantly, what are the popular parts of the journey that move your audience forward more rapidly to the next step? Getting feedback from users is essential at this stage. Make sure that you listen closely to what your target users have to say at chokepoints and acceleration points.

Step four: Identify your ideal customer

Once you have mapped out your user journey, observed targeted group behavior within that journey, and received feedback as to why those behaviors took place, you can then identify a target group that is most aligned with your overall user journey and product offering. Note: Just because you have identified the most advantageous customer for your business does not mean that you neglect the other groups. However, you now know which groups to prioritize and focus on as your baseline. Your baseline group should also serve as a control group of sorts. If they do not engage with your journey at any point, then you know that you have internal issues to work out.

Step five: Engagement and personalization

Now that you have a user journey you are confident as well as a control group of baseline users to count on, you can work towards becoming more engaging to greater amounts of people. You can also work on personalizing the journey for customers who deserve an extraordinary amount of priority. What are your optimization points? Can they be replicated so as to engage more users and greater numbers of users? Can you add engagement points at more difficult times in the journey to keep less enthusiastic people on board?

Step six: Measurement and reporting

During every step in the process, you should be measuring and reporting back your results. The formation of a user journey is iterative in nature; that is, once you get to the end, you circle back and start over with the experience of the previous journey informing your future endeavor. So even though measurement and reporting is at the end of this article, it should actually take place throughout the creation of the customer journey. Take special note of the points of greatest improvement and disappointment. Now is the time that you can begin to replace all of your assumptions with hard data for better results down the line.

If you need help with this process, Coho can help you automate the mapping of your user journey, identify your weak spots and set up your new engagement. automations for optimization.

In short, we help you color your map inside the lines, which can greatly shorten the timeframe in which you create your user journey. And the sooner you get your journey created, the more quickly you could begin to assess your target audience and bring in the hard data that will inform your relationship with them for years to come. Contact us to learn more!