What is A Customer Journey, And Is It Worth My Time?
The Customer Journey is the entire process a customer goes through with your company, from before they knew you existed to the point where they're advocating for your brand. It's easy to get into the habit of seeing your business from your own insider perspective. Many businesses, however, have lost customers or even gone out of business because their thoughts and perspectives didn't match up with those of their customers.
The Customer Journey includes any and all contact the customer has with your products/services, employees, and materials. Being aware of the customer's perspective at every touchpoint allows you to identify and correct any areas that may be difficult, frustrating, or ineffective for the customer. This customer-centric view helps create the best possible customer experience, which is the factor predicted to overtake product and price as the best way to stand out from competitors in 2020.
Start By Creating Your Customer Persona
Consider interviewing real customers to learn about their pain points, the language they use, and what kind of solution they're looking for. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer: What do they value? What do they care about? What aspect of their problem is the most stressful for them? What would make them trust you to solve that problem? This mental exercise breaks you out of your tendency to use insider language and refocuses your marketing on the cares of your customer.
For example, someone selling allergy medication might create ads about its efficacy but get few sales. After talking to allergy sufferers, they might discover that their biggest issue isn't the symptoms themselves, but rather what those symptoms prevent them from doing. Refocusing their ads on what's most important from the customer's perspective–getting rid of symptoms to get back to what matters most–would help customers connect with the product better and increase sales.
The 5 Stages of a Customer Journey
Stage 1: Customer Awareness
This is when a customer becomes aware that they have a problem and starts looking for solutions, which should lead them to you. Think of the problem your business solves and how your customers react to this problem. What do they search for and where? Make sure your ads, content, and product/service come up in their search.
Stage 2: Consideration & Evaluation
The customer is aware of your offer and is trying to decide if it's the right solution for them. Lead them to a landing page containing your product/service information, pricing, and customer testimonials. Don't forget to tell them explicitly how your product/service solves their problem!
Stage 3: Purchase Decision
The customer has done some research and is almost ready to decide which product/service to buy. Send emails with additional information, free trials, webinars, videos, deals, etc. Make it clear why your offer is the right choice.
Stage 4: Customer Retention
The prospect has made a purchase and is now officially your customer (congrats!). Now your goal is to turn them into a repeating, long-term customer. Make sure they get the product/service as expected, have access to helpful support and information, and are aware of other offers in the future. Prioritize a positive customer experience and continue connecting them to quality content that keeps them coming back for more.
Stage 5: Customer Promotion and Advocacy
The customer recommends you to people and leaves positive reviews, advocating for you by word-of-mouth advertising and drawing in new customers. Maintain a positive impact and fix any issues they have. Have omnichannel support options, answer customers on social media, and reach out to ensure they have everything they need. The more positive the customer experience, the more loyal they become.
The Bottom Line
A clear Customer Journey increases traffic, conversion rates, and repeat customers. If you take the time to map out your Customer Journey and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly, your company will only grow.
Need Some Help Getting Started?
Mapping, creating, and controlling all the aspects of the Customer Journey can be difficult, especially when juggling so many other business priorities. Let's work together to streamline your Customer Journey. Contact us today for a digital marketing consultation.