The customer journey is a critical part of any business, and it’s something that all businesses should be thinking about. It’s also an area where you can really make a difference in connecting with your prospects and customers.
Most companies think they understand their customer's journey. In fact, they rarely do. Until you do the customer journey process, that is. Executives that do the work of documenting customer journeys realize that what they thought they knew about the customer decision-making process is full of holes!
What is a customer journey? It includes all interactions with the company, including marketing, advertising, product development, and service. When it is completed, it should describe the path that customers take through your organization’s sales process. Customer journeys help you understand how customers interact with your brand.
A typical customer journey starts when someone visits a website for the first time. The visitor then has to decide whether they want to stay on the site or leave. If they choose to stay, they may be interested in learning about the product or service. They might also be interested in buying something from the company. Once they've decided what they want, they'll enter into the sales funnel. This is where the company tries to convert them into customers. Finally, once they become a customer, they're ready to purchase again.
A customer journey process helps you identify where your biggest opportunities lie, and will help you make sure that all your marketing is aligned with your goals. The customer journey can be divided into four phases: awareness, interest, consideration and decision.
Because the customer journey is such a crucial component for retail success businesses of all types must understand the needs of each stage of the customer journey, from initial awareness through the point of transaction. This requires a deep understanding of consumer behavior and preferences as well as the ability to translate that understanding into meaningful steps through your sales funnel.
Customer Journeys also help you provide more thorough experience for your customers. Both B2B and B2C customers expect their shopping experience to provide them with answers, regardless of how they shop. They may start with your website, but they'll keep searching for answers across your social media platforms. They may ask a question via email, but then prefer to continue the conversation over video call. And if they don't find what they need - not just in terms of products but also in terms of experience - they will go back to search and find another provider that can make them. Customers that can find the answers they seek - even if they don’t initially want to talk with a salesperson - are more likely to ask for a meeting (or order a product) if they feel your online experience was responsive to their curiosity.
Customer journeys also provide consistency. Whether people visit your site, view your social media, talk to a salesperson, or invite you in for a meeting, they want to know they are going to get the same quality of service every time. Creating a customer journey helps you understand what the customer expects along each point of the decision-making process, no matter what channel (trade show meeting, in-person meeting, phone, internet, SMS or Whatsapp) they are using. Many companies do a good job of managing the customer journey with their sales team, but they fail to do the work of meeting the customer’s expectations in their other channels.
Creating a customer journey is not difficult. Simply type “customer journey template” in your search bar and you will see dozens (if not hundreds) of links. Find a process that resonates with you, and get started! A more engaging, effective customer experience is right around the corner.