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What's missing from your customer journey | The magic question

We all know how important is to understand the customer journey people take to reach our organizations, our products or services.

The problem is, that even the best customer journey maps have a huge chunk missing. I’m going to address what that is and the magic question every single one of us can use to fill in that gap.

 What is a customer journey?

Well, a consumer journey is just a visualization of the process a consumer or prospect goes through to achieve a goal with your company.

Many people call them journey maps – you literally map the process so you can visualize it.

The big customer journey problem

57% of all B2B buyers know what brand they want to work with before you've even heard from them.

It's even worse for B-to-C customers… 72% of B2C customers know what brand they want to work with before you've even seen them on your website.

So what does that mean? It means that even the best consumer journey maps cover only the last 25% to 40% of the consumer's journey!

We can fix this problem by asking one super simple, quick, and easy question.

We need to fill this gap and understand the consumer buying journey much better and to do that we have to understand three simple things.

Moments of inspiration

This is perhaps the most important thing to understand. A moment of inspiration is an instant in time that sends your consumer on a journey they never expected – these moments of inspiration happen all the time to all of us.

When I was in Warsaw (where I filmed the Loyalty Loop episode above), I visited a restaurant in Old Town, directly as a result of a moment of inspiration.

I wanted to find the most picturesque spot to shoot this week's Loyalty Loop video. You see, that was my moment of inspiration, an instant in time that was to send me on a journey I never expected.

Two things happens subconsciously and unintentionally every time a moment of inspiration occurs in the mind of you or your customers…

Trigger questions

First, a trigger question pops into your mind. In my case, the trigger question was, “What are the most beautiful spots to photograph in Warsaw?”

Prime brands

The second thing that happens unintentionally, subconsciously, and very fast is that one brand pops into your mind to answer your question.

This is called the prime brand.

To answer my question in Warsaw, went to Google and typed in, ‘most inspiring spots in Warsaw.’ Up popped, ‘Eight best photo spots in Warsaw’ and Old Town Market Square was one of them, another article, ‘The Best Panoramic Views of Warsaw’ and St. Anne's Church right next to Old Town Square was featured and ‘Eight Best Photo Spots in Warsaw Photography Guide.’ And what’s number one on the list? Old Town Market Square!

This is what's happening in the other 25 to 40% of the consumer journey that we do not map!

Once I’d had that first moment of inspiration which led me to Old Town Square, I had another moment of inspiration. I decided if I was going to be there around lunch time to shooting the video, I should get lunch in the Square.

Then… a trigger question popped into my head. Where could I eat lunch in Old Town Square? Almost immediately, the first brand that pops into my head to answer that question is Yelp. I pull up the app, go to the map, look up restaurants, and find a lovely restaurant with outdoor seating.

What's crucial to creating a customer journey map that's end-to-end is understanding the moments of inspiration, the trigger questions, and the prime brands in the mind of the consumers you're targeting.

Finding these moments of inspiration for your customers?

To do this you have to ask a very specific question

Most businesses ask questions like, ‘What brought you in today?’, ‘Welcome, how can I help you?’ and ‘What made you choose this restaurant?’ But these answers don't really help you understand your customer journey and how to win over new customers more often.

If I was asked what made me choose the restaurant I chose in Warsaw, I would've explained that I was looking for somewhere with outdoor seating. But that wouldn't help the restaurant understand the customer journey to the restaurant.

The magic question

To fill in the gap in the customer journey, we need to ask this magic question: “What inspired you to… ?”

Ask every customer what inspired them to come into the store today. Ask every customer what inspired them to call you today. Ask every customer what inspired them to go on a journey to buy your product today. Ask them, what inspired them to fill out that form on our website today?

When you understand the moment of inspiration, you can own the entire consumer journey.

Imagine if the restaurant I visited in Warsaw wrote an article about the five most Instagrammable places in Warsaw. What if they paired up those Instagrammable spots with the best places to eat! And then imagine if they included their restaurant in one of those top five places. I’m sure they’d win over a lot more customers.

What’s the next step?

Ask the very next customer or prospect you talk to the magic question, “What inspired you to … ?”

From there you can map the other 60 to 75% of the consumer journey that's been missing and win over new customers more often. 

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