Authors Alena Meyer, Veronika Potter, the Head of Customer Relationship Management at Careerist
Original article issued on Forbes Tech Council.
Customer journey mapping (CJM) is an approach that allows you to identify and display possible user paths in interaction with a company and, based on this, build a communication strategy through different channels such as email, instant messengers and sales departments in order to help the user make a choice at the right time at the right decision-making stage. CJM is beneficial for edtech because the motivation and user behavior in edtech is very different from classical e-commerce.
There is always something more behind buying a course for a user: "I want to change my career," "I want to earn more money," "I want to start a new life" and many other personal reasons. This can be stressful; some of our students have previously worked as drivers, salespeople, waiters, etc., and entering tech is a huge change in life. This is their dream, so there are several things professionals should remember in order to develop effective edtech CJM.
1. It is not easy to make a purchase decision immediately after reading the product description on a landing page.
Potential clients often have many questions regarding their unique situation: Do I have all prerequisites to enroll in the course? Will I be able to combine studying with my current job? How fast will I be able to find a new position after completing the program?
2. The consideration stage usually takes longer.
Potential customers need more time to evaluate if a particular course will give them the skills they need in the time they have and for the money they are willing to invest.
3. Contract terms might require further clarification.
Even after a student decides to buy a product, they often need assistance to navigate payment options, time frames and other agreement provisions.
4. Developing A Communication Strategy
When you set out to develop detailed customer journey mapping, consider the company's current business processes and data architecture. It is important to add touchpoints with potential users and boost targeted actions. To achieve this goal, a company needs to think carefully about its data storage, analytics, email automation and lost leads reactivation strategy.
When developing CJM in interaction with a company, you should understand the key stages:
• What forms the user fills out and on what pages.
• How to understand the purpose and current needs based on these forms.
• What happens with the user during interaction with the company's consultants. In fact, during the drawing of the map, you should display all possible steps and add communications to these steps through the appropriate marketing retention channels (email, sms, instant messenger).
Data Storage And Synchronization
Having structured, consistent, real-time data is at the core of an effective CRM strategy. However, developing an architecture that includes the maximum amount of the necessary information and, at the same time, is easily scalable and adjustable is the most complex and time-consuming part of the process.
While there are many approaches to storing data in email service provider (ESP) platforms, my experience has been that this architecture is the most effective and flexible. First, it enables CRM marketers to form point segments easily. Second, it allows tech professionals to manage databases efficiently and ensure the stored data is consistent and sufficient.
Webinar Email Strategy
The content of the emails consists of dynamic data. An email sequence is triggered automatically by a specific event—for example, a user's registration for a particular webinar on a particular landing page. This approach can help you save resources while maintaining your marketing efforts' effectiveness.
Reactivation Of Lost Leads
At the end of a sales cycle, each lead has one of two statuses: "Enrolled" (potential customer becomes a student) or "Lost" (the deal failed). And considering how much money needs to be spent to attract potential customers, it is crucial that CRM channels help the company maximize its conversion rate.
If, during a consultation, a potential client says they are not ready to become a student, try to find out why. Document the reason in the CRM system once the deal status is changed to "Lost." All this information can be automatically transferred to the ESP, where each kind of reason initiates a certain email sequence.
It is very important to understand why the user refused at this stage even though he or she has already come a long way—not only because you need to minimize the percentage of refusals due to commercial purposes but also because these answers contain the most useful information for the entire company.
Now it is time to understand how to measure indicators effectively. Develop a UTM standard structure to avoid inconsistency between different datasets. The main thing is to use strictly defined logic for tagging data and never change it.
UTM markup always consists of certain parameters. Each parameter can be used to define certain communication information. This makes it possible to flexibly view reports in different filters (for example, filter all by the content criterion). We use the following approach, which may also be useful to you:
• Source: to aggregate data on revenue and leads from the entire channel. For example, put email here (to be able to filter all data related to this channel).
• Medium: to divide information depending on the platform from which emails were sent (email service provider, CRM software, etc.).
• Content: to gather data based on the type of email (welcome email, course announcement, etc.).
• Campaign: to track leads based on course name and date.
• Term: to whom we send this letter, to which segment of users.
As a result, you can analyze data from various channels, combine them based on different parameters and make data-driven decisions in every aspect of your work.
Work on the customer journey map is an ongoing process: We remove or add something, test, then update. But when you start working with the map, you will always have a visualized basis that you can use to build effective communication with your users through retention channels.