A customer journey is a narrative about how a business understands its users and explains the customer's behavior and thoughts while visiting the company website. A company should be aware of the Customer Journey to improve customer experience and encourage them to visit again.
A customer journey is a detailed account of a customer's experience with a particular organization. It includes information on how a customer interacts through various devices, channels, and touchpoints, from the starting stage of brand awareness to the final customer loyalty stage, in the customer life cycle.
A customer journey relates to information about what customers do during all the stages of a customer lifecycle, while customer experience relates to their feelings during the customer lifecycle. Almost 86% of customers are eager to purchase more stuff for excellent customer experience, and 69% of consumers wish to speak with organizations in real-time.
It is essential to map the customer journey to ensure that your customers get a good experience. This can be done by categorizing it in 3 stages:
A business owner should understand that the customer's journey should be from the customer's point of view. For this, it is incredibly necessary for a company to think like their customers. This is only possible if you engage in customer feedback, which requires interacting with the customers.
Asking them a set of questions and knowing their intentions behind the purchases they make is a valuable source of information. Quite surprisingly, just one out of five businesses gather feedback to enhance the customer journey.
The customer journey creates several benefits for the organization. Companies that can anticipate what the customer's next move will be are better off. In fact, the customer journey continues to be the top investment priority for almost 69% of companies this year. For some, it stands as a top priority for the next 2 years.
An Aberdeen Group study reported that businesses with a comprehensive customer journey plan can experience significant growth over the years, such as:
Another good news is that Aberdeen Group founded only 36% of businesses with a program for mapping the customer journey, which can be a tremendous competitive advantage for companies.
Identify the various options that a customer has for interacting with your brand. A comprehensive list of options such as social media, applications, websites, phone numbers, etc., will result in a complete customer journey map.
Narrow down the characteristics in determining who your brand is for. Classify traits such as demographics, buyer behavior, etc. to serve as a framework for your target market. This also acts as a point of reference during the entire customer journey mapping procedure.
Understanding your customers' goals and objectives is an integral part of making your customers proceed to the purchase process. Companies should understand what their customers hope to achieve every time they interact with a brand. Recheck all the available touchpoint options and analyze the probable reasons why customers would like to form networks with your brand.
Even though the ultimate objective is to buy, a customer's journey can exceed the simple purchase process and move towards forming a long-term relationship based on brand loyalty. This step is the building process of something far more important; hence this is the point where adjustments can be made, and all the pieces start to accumulate.
Assess critical points such as: where customers prefer spending most of their time, their significant contact points during the purchase process, and where business teams can make a substantial impact in areas of content development and strategy.
A customer journey map's chief purpose is to enhance the flow amongst brand touchpoints. Do a thorough analysis of the journey map and investigate customer interactions individually for continuous improvement.
Making alterations and enhancements to the brand touchpoints results in variations in customer communication. Do a regular assessment of your journey map to ensure that your brand will outperform others. In this changing competitive market, try to be market competitive and stay at the top of the game. Hence, it is vital to know how your customers interact with your brand.
In the out-of-market phase, the customer is looking to improve their business. They want their company, department or team to be more productive and more efficient. At this phase, they may not know how to achieve these goals, but they are open to inspiration.
The trigger phase begins once the customer uncovers the opportunity to grow their business. It could be that sales are going down or that customer complaints are growing, but these indicators act as a trigger to changing the way they work.
Once the customer identifies a solution to their problem, they will begin their initial search. A project group, involving all stakeholders will be formed to identify the top brands in their market, to scope the project and to review key functionality and technical requirements – leading to a “long list” of potential solutions.
The long list becomes a short list once the initial brand review is complete. The customer will then contact each vendor and invites them to a meeting or demo. After the demo, the customer will review solutions based on trust, expertise and scalability.
The customer chooses a vendor, agrees on a solution and signs the contract. The implementation process begins and an internal “roll out” team is formed. With support from the solution provider, the customer outlines success criteria, KPIs and launch timeline.
The customer wants to get the solution up and running quickly and for the launch to be as smooth as possible. This involves making sure all users are fully trained and have access to a consultant or account manager for support (when they need it).
After the initial roll out, the customer is happy to see fast results. The provider continues to follow up, implements the solution company-wide and and continues to help the customer reach their goals.
Once the touchpoints and customer journey have been understood from a customer's point of view, it is time to outline the touchpoints to reach out to customers based on current business strategies. This enables the firm to understand the gaps it needs to cover.
After the current touchpoints have been outlined, they can be layered atop customer touchpoints. This summarizes how a business operates in the present compared to what it should do to reach customers.
This short exercise will land a firm on two key indicators:
Whichever is the case, companies should set their priorities straight based on what is essential – pursue activities that side with the customer journey against pursuing activities that do not side with the customer journey.
The easiest way is to halt all the current activities that have zero impact on the customer journey and prioritize the ones that impact. Of course, there is a higher possibility of a customer doing business if companies are involved during all the different customer journey life stages.
The power is not in the hands of the brand and the company. It now belongs to the consumers. In this fast-paced world, the customer journey, a relatively novel term, will soon become the most critical factor for business strategies. Prioritizing your customers around your organization's center is presently the most basic requirement to succeed in 2020.
2/3 firms do not have a strategy for mapping the customer journey, which gives your firm a splendid chance to gain a competitive advantage over others. Organizations with a proper system planned out for the customer journey have successfully reduced costs, improved sales performance, and generated more profits.