The Customer Journey is usefull to discover how to make your products more relevant and how to study the pre-purchase behavior of your customers. Every business needs to understand how their Customer Journey works to improve the sales process and achieve more revenue. Below you’ll find how you can create your Customer Journey by implementing simple strategies and tactics.
Definition of Customer Journey
The Custumer Journey or also called buyer journey is a model that allows us to monitor the behavior, needs and problems of our target audience during the purchasing process.
The simplest way to define the customer journey is as the process of buying a customer. The customer journey is that whole set of actions a person performs before and after buying a product.
The expression Journey refers to the itinerary used by a consumer after detecting a need and proposing to look for a product and/or service to solve it. It is about “the journey” that a consumer makes when looking for a value proposal that satisfies his need, before and after acquiring the product/service. Both :
- pre-sales (research, consideration and comparison) and
- post-sales (recommendation, valuation and cross-buying) actions are taken into account.
We all take the customer’s journey before making a purchase !
Advantages of creating the Customer Journey
Among the most important advantages of creating a customer journey are
- It provides valuable information about consumer behavior.
- It allows actions to be taken and decisions to be made based on proven data.
- It helps to eliminate uncertainty regarding the success of an advertising campaign or marketing strategy.
- Facilitates the identification of points of contact between the company/brand and the customer/consumer.
- Increases your chances of positively influencing the target customer through their perception of a product/service.
- It helps to interpret, manage and design interactions with market segments.
- It helps to determine the coherence between the different actions carried out to communicate with the consumer.
- Allows for greater control in measuring the customer’s purchase cycle.
- Facilitates the creation of measures that improve the customer experience in order to increase their loyalty and satisfaction.
- Defines the company’s culture, allowing it to think like the customer and not just about him, as a consumer.
Phases of the customer’s journey
When we talk about a customer journey focused on digital marketing, we can categorize the phases of the purchasing process into awareness, marketing, sales and after sales.
How to determine the first phase of the customer journey or sales cycle?
To find out how the customer journey begins, it is necessary to put ourselves in the customer’s shoes and answer: how does a sales cycle begin? In most cases, it starts with the knowledge of a need. That is, when a person realizes that he or she has a need or pain point, but does not yet know if he or she will do something about it.
This initial point in the sales cycle is known as awareness. At this stage, the person is not yet looking for a solution or doing research on the web. But, once they do, this is where the phases mentioned below begin:
When the user leaves the awareness phase, immediately new phases of the customer journey begin where we can implement marketing strategies.
- Discovering: when the user is aware that he has a problem or need and wants to find a solution. He begins to investigate on his own to define the problem, find the causes and read the opinions of other users with the same need.
- Learning: is the stage in which the user discovers the solutions that exist for his need or pain point. He begins to know the different offers that exist and even, in some cases, makes a list of them.
It is in these two phases that a company must take advantage of presenting educational and quality information, explaining why their product and/or service covers the need.
- Choosing: occurs when the user begins to reduce his list of options to satisfy his need, by comparing offers and studying suppliers to make a final decision.
- Purchasing: is when the client prepares to make the purchase and maintain the solution to his problem.
It is important that at the selection stage, the company demonstrates why it is the customer’s best option. The sales team needs to be active in creating the content that will help the user decide and convince them that their investment in the product/service is worthwhile.
After sales phase
Once the sales phases have been completed, subsequent activities correspond to other areas of the company, such as customer service and operations. Their aim is to make the customer feel satisfied and to make the sale successful. All these activities are part of the area “marketing and sales”, in our model of functional areas.
How to create a customer journey
To create a customer journey we are going to need some information and data :
Relevant data to create a good customer journey
Without data there is no analysis and without analysis it is impossible to make good decisions for our business.
The Customer Journey depends fundamentally on customer behavior. Knowing :
- through which channels the customer had contact with the brand,
- from where they moved to the business,
- what type of products attracted their attention so that they would approach it,
are important data.
If you are able to determine your customers’ behavior patterns, you will be able to define their Customer Journey, and thus optimize the layout of all aspects of your store, from the marketing program to the location of the products in the store.
What the client may express or ask
The solution of problems, concerns, questions, and everything related to what the client may express or ask. It helps to speed up the purchase decision and it allows the customer’s objections to be softened before their purchase. Most websites dedicate a section for Frequently Asked Questions, and with this they allow the user to explore, during his decision process, many of his concerns. They also make available automated channels.
We must take into account the interaction as one of the elements or basis of the operation of the Customer Journey. It is important to interact with potential customers. This interaction must consider the omnicanality, because the message of the brand to its customers must be delivered through all the channels through which they reach the information they are looking for to make their purchases. That is why communication strategies must be established, and these will also be part of the Customer Journey.
The Customer Journey Map
At this point, it is necessary to talk about the Customer Journey Map, which is the element that will allow us not to predict, but rather to translate, based on the elements that were presented previously, which are the points of that journey.
This translation is the Customer Journey Map, and it allows us to have a reflection of the phases, the communication channels, the ways of interacting and the elements that can influence the customer’s purchase process. Therefore, being necessary to make a Customer Journey Map, the following aspects must be considered for its creation:
The customer’s objectives
Knowing data such as why a customer buys your brand’s products, why they enter your store, will allow you to have clarity regarding their objectives. Once you know their objectives, you can establish the starting point in the Customar Journey Map, and that means that your strategies will focus on enhancing the visibility of that starting point, and that includes what you communicate with your message through the different channels.
The second phase of creating a Customer Journey Map is to consider what your customer is doing to achieve the goal they have set for themselves. This information allows you to determine the characteristics of the service you are waiting for, such as seasonal promotions. Therefore, a purchase offer case study is required.
The point of contact
The customer will always require specific treatment with the contact, such as :
- detailed product information,
- advice on benefits,
- negotiation of purchase conditions.
All this must be taken into account when deciding on the discourse and communication of the message. Each of the notices of the premises, and even the way in which the goods are organized, must establish a contact with the customer.
In addition to these three aspects, when creating a Customer Journey Map you need to take into account the customer’s comments. You must have mechanisms such as surveys that help you to know their level of satisfaction with the products, prices, service, and availability of the merchandise, among other data. All these aspects that we have mentioned throughout this article are important to take advantage of the Customer Journey, in order to improve the customer experience.
How to improve your Customer Journey
In each phase you will have to identify the problems you find and what solution you will offer.
For example you realize that cold traffic usually does not convert because it does not know or trust your brand.
At that point you will have to decide what to do with them. On the one hand, you can put testimonials, give them free demos or you can better cultivate the relationship with them before sending them to know your product or service.