What do Star Wars, the Matrix, and the Hunger Games have in common?
They are on my all-time list of favorite movies. They also follow the template for great stories throughout history, which the author and mythologist Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey.
If this is your first time hearing about the Hero’s Journey, check out this short animated video and you’ll get the gist of it.
Betsy and her husband recently decided to sell their home and move a little closer to work and to her parents. Once they finally get settled, Betsy is living in an ordinary (and super busy) world when one day, she looks at the calendar and sees that her son’s birthday is just three weeks away. Since she always wants to be a good mom, this is her call to adventure.
But because she isn’t familiar with the new town, there’s resistance in her mind when she thinks about all the time and effort needed to throw a great birthday party for him.
One day, Betsy begins her search with a Google search for “birthday party venues near me” and comes up with a few options. She also joins local mom’s Facebook Group and asks about experiences other moms had at the venues. One mom responds with thoughtful and helpful recommendations based on her experiences with the facilities.
In her process of checking availability, Betsy goes through the ordeal of playing phone tag and emailing back and forth. Time is ticking, and when all hope seems lost, her mentor from the mom’s group tells her to check out another facility that offers online booking.
That night, Betsy can check availability, book a time, and pay a deposit within minutes. She becomes the hero as her son, and his classmates have the time of their lives. “This was the best birthday party ever!” Jonny says.
Betsy goes back to her ordinary life, but as a more seasoned and experienced birthday party planner. She now knows what to avoid and what to look for when it comes time to planning Janet’s birthday party.
With this story, you can identify the steps a busy mom goes through in her process of getting the job done. By doing so, we start thinking less like a business owner and more like your customers.
With the example above, let’s assume that our goal of creating a customer journey map is to increase the number of parties booked each month. From the standpoint of the customer, their goal is to find and book a venue to accommodate a group of 5 year-olds in the most efficient way possible. You want to help them get the job done better than anyone else in your market.
The first step is to identify every communication touchpoint that your customers experience when interacting with your business to book a party. These would include social media posts, paid ads, website, phone calls and emails that occur during the awareness, consideration, purchase, and post-purchase stages.
For each touchpoint, put yourself in the shoes of your customers and describe what they hear, see, think and feel. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to by becoming a mystery shopper for your own business and walk through each step in the process of booking a party at your facility. A better way to do it is to ask a mom to walk through the steps of booking a party so that you gain more profound insights than doing it yourself.
The next step is to look at each touch point to determine if it’s a positive or a negative experience. One effective way to do this is by looking at all your reviews on Yelp or other review sites and categorizing which step in the journey they occur.
Now that you have mapped out your customer journey, the final step is to make improvements to each touchpoint. For the awareness stage, blogging can be an effective way to provide helpful information about ideas for birthday parties.
When your ideal customers are in the consideration stage, you can make it easier for them to check pricing and availability on your party packages page and party booking app. If these align with their goals, they would be more inclined to take action by putting down a deposit.
The more comfortable you can make it for your customers to get the job done, the higher the likelihood is that they would book with you vs. the five other options they have to spend their hard-earned money. That explains why 34% of parties booked online occur between the hours of 9 pm and 9 am.
Your Call to Adventure
Let’s face it. We’re all competing for the customer experience these days. The more you empathize with your customers, the more likely it is that you'll deliver a better experience than your competitors. Your ability to map the customer journey and take action will set you apart from the other guys.
Consider this your call to adventure. Now be the hero by making your customers the hero of their customer journey.