What Is Customer Journey?

Aaron Haynes
Oct 9
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Getting into your consumers’ heads can be difficult. When you believe you’ve covered every possible demand and requirement, new technologies, preferences, and purchasing patterns emerge.

You may be wondering why a customer spends so much time exploring your assortment and adding goods to their cart just to exit the tab, or why it takes many steps for your customers to get from point A to point B when it should only take one.

Whatever the source of your uncertainty is, the fundamental reason is most likely that you don’t have a clear understanding of the customer’s journey to acquiring your product or service.

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at what the customer journey is, why it’s important, what are the stages in the customer journey and how to create an effective customer journey map.

Ready to map out the customer touchpoints? Grab your pen and notepad. Let’s walk through the customer’s shoes to understand the customer’s perspective and their point of view.

A customer journey it is!

What Is the Customer Journey?

The customer journey is the totality of the interactions that consumers have with your organization and brand. Instead of focusing on a single aspect of a transaction or event, the customer journey captures the entire customer experience. Understanding the customer journey entails nurturing the customer experience.

When customers buy a product or service, they frequently expect a pleasurable sensation to accompany the transaction. People get a sense of fulfillment, or a “high,” from finding something they desire, going through the process of acquiring it, and eventually enjoying what they got. Customers notice the ease or difficulty of the encounter, even if you are not actively mapping out and preparing the experience they will have.

Consumers today connect with companies in a variety of ways that are difficult to categorize. There are generally numerous and different processes in between increasing brand exposure through social media and receiving a “thank you for your purchase” email following a successful transaction.

Here is a simple illustration of a customer journey:

Why Is the Customer Journey Important?

Customer journey mapping is critical for optimizing the consumer experience since it is a strategic method to better understanding customer expectations.

Customer journey mapping is just as essential for small and medium-sized organizations as it is for large enterprises. Customer expectations are shifting for all organizations, regardless of size — customers want omnichannel customer service, marketing, and sales. This is where the customers may obtain customer support via any channel, such as messenger apps, social media, or live chat.

Personalization is one of the most essential components of the consumer experience. According to a recent study, 84 % of customers believe that being treated like a human rather than a number is critical to earning their business.

Customer journey mapping enables SMEs to build personalized experiences at all touchpoints — for each individual, across all media. 80% of UK customers think that the experience a company provides is as important as the product or service it offers.

With an inbound mindset, you can refocus your organization.

Rather than attempting to find your consumers through outbound marketing, you may have your customers find you with inbound marketing. Outbound marketing employs methods that are poorly aimed at broad or disinterested groups and seek to disrupt customers’ daily lives.

However, the most significant advantage is just having a better knowledge of your consumers. The better you understand their expectations, the better you can adapt the client experience to their specific requirements.

Customer Journey FAQ

What are the stages in the customer journey?

With customers as the main stakeholders in the driver’s seat, it’s up to businesses/brands to nurture them, making the roadmap from awareness to purchase to advocacy enjoyable and appealing. Let’s take a deeper look at the five stages of the normal purchasing process.

  1. Awareness

First, a prospect discovers a need or want and learns about your business via a search engine, word-of-mouth, website, testimonial, or even a social or blog post. Great! Perhaps they received a discount or a corporate advertisement in their email inbox or physical mailbox for a product or service they’re interested in. Because we are at the top of the funnel, throwing a wide net is only the beginning.

  1. Evaluate/Deliberate

Your business, and maybe others (who offer comparable services or products), have reached the second stage of the customer journey. Prospects study, do market research, and read the information (instruction manuals, product descriptions/specs, Q&As, product reviews, and so on) during this stage.

  1. Acquisition

This may appear to be the final goal for businesses, but it is merely the beginning. After the transaction, the logical next step is to keep your brand top-of-mind and continue to get people to connect with your company (e.g., to “like” or comment on the firm’s social posts/pages, make repeat purchases, etc.).

  1. Retention

This is when the actual magic (return on investment) happens! According to an Adobe study, when it comes to marketing to your existing online consumers in the United States, 8% of website users who are existing customers contribute 40% of income annually. That’s a terrific return on investment! So, in this hyper-connected and competitive world, it only makes sense to keep nurturing current clients.

  1. Advocacy

In an ideal society, your hard-won client would be delighted to tell others about their great experience with your brand/company/product or service, whether through a review page, word-of-mouth, or social media. In fact, recent research found that 71% of customers were more inclined to purchase after reading a recommendation on social media.

How do you create an effective customer journey map?

  1. Set specific goals for the map.

Before you begin constructing your map, you should consider why you are doing it in the first place. What are you hoping to achieve with this map? Who is it mostly about? What kind of experience is it based on?

You might wish to develop a buyer persona based on this. This is a fictional client that reflects the average customer in terms of demographics and psychographics. Having a distinct persona in mind will help you remember to direct every part of your customer journey map towards them.

  1. Define your personas’ goals and create a profile for them.

Following that, you should perform research. Questionnaires and user testing are two excellent methods for gathering useful consumer feedback. The key point is to only contact genuine customers or prospects.

You want feedback from individuals who are really interested in acquiring your products and services and have previously engaged with your business or plan to do so in the future.

  1. Draw attention to your target consumer personas.

Once you’ve learned about the many consumer personas that engage with your company, you’ll need to zero in on one or two of them. Remember that a customer journey map captures the experience of a single client who is traveling down a certain path with your organization. If you bundle too many personalities into one trip, your map will not truly reflect the experience of your consumers.

  1. List out all the touchpoints.

Touchpoints are any locations on your website where clients may engage with you. Based on your research, make a list of all the touchpoints your customers and prospects are presently using, as well as those you feel, should be used if there is no overlap.

This is a crucial stage in developing a customer journey map since it allows you to see what activities your consumers are taking. Is it safe to assume that if they use fewer touchpoints than planned, they will be turned away and leave your site sooner? If customers use more than intended, does this imply that your website is complex and needs users to take numerous steps to reach their goal?

Reduce your list to the touchpoints that are the most common and are most likely to result in an action.

  • Actions: Make a list of all the actions your consumers do during their engagement with your brand. This may be anything as simple as a Google search for your keywords or clicking on an email from you. You could end up with a lengthy list of activities. That’s all right. You’ll have an opportunity to justify your information afterward.
  • Motivations & Emotions: Every form of marketing is a result of cause and effect. Similarly, every action taken by your consumer is motivated by emotion. And your customer’s emotions will fluctuate based on where they are in their journey.
  • Pain Points & Obstacles: Learn what obstacles are preventing your consumer from taking the required action. Cost is a common impediment. For example, one of your clients may cherish your goods but abandon the cart after discovering unexpectedly huge shipping costs.
  1. Determine the resources you have and which you will require.

Your customer journey map will include almost every aspect of your company. This will draw attention to all of the resources that go into producing the client experience. As a result, it’s important to assess your current resources and those you’ll require to maximize the customer journey.

  1. Take a look at the customer journey for yourself.

Just because you’ve finished designing your map doesn’t imply your work is finished. The analysis of the outcomes is the most essential aspect of the procedure. How many visitors visit your website but then leave without completing a purchase? How can you provide better service to your customers? These are some of the questions you should be able to answer once you’ve completed your map. Customers will have direct interaction with service teams, sales teams, consultants, and your company website during the purchasing process.

  1. Make the required adjustments.

Your data analysis should provide you with an idea of what you want your website to be like. You may then make the necessary adjustments to your website to meet these objectives. Perhaps this is done to create more distinct call-to-action connections. Perhaps it’s creating longer descriptions beneath each product to make its purpose clearer.

How do you identify customer journey?

To leverage points of contact with your audience, you must first learn more about them, such as what the interactions are and where they occur. With this information, you can track performance and make changes to provide a better client experience at every touchpoint.

Identifying these critical moments is the first step in creating customer journey maps and increasing customer satisfaction throughout the buyer’s journey. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes.

To identify consumer touchpoints, you must first put yourself in the shoes of the customer. You must go inside your consumers’ minds in the same way that you develop personas. Survey Monkey suggests asking yourself a few questions about where you travel and how you get there.

  1. Use Customer Journey Maps and Customer Experience Maps

Mapping the customer journey is synonymous with putting oneself in the shoes of the consumer. While customer journey maps are useful because they define the touchpoints that customers encounter from pre-sale to post-sale interactions, customer experience maps go a step further by evaluating the whole customer’s experience with a company.

  1. Classify Your Customer Touchpoints

Categorizing touchpoints after mapping the customer journey and customer experience. typically falls into four categories:

  • Products — This is a wide-open category. Hardware, software, services, and your website, if it is important to all parts of your business, can all be considered goods. If your website serves as a marketing tool, define it as a message.
  • Interactions — It’s recommended to categorize touchpoints that include two-way interactions as part of this category. They can take place in person, over the phone, or virtually.
  • Messages – Messages are one-way communications that include branding, manuals, collateral, packaging, and advertising, among other things.
  • Settings – Consider retail establishments, television product placement, events, or shows to be venues where items are viewed or used. Touchpoints in this category are tough to manage since companies frequently have little control over how their items are displayed.

How do I track a customer journey?

An effective customer journey takes potential customers through phases of awareness and education aimed to guarantee that their purchasing selections are properly aligned with your product, service, or solution.

Let’s look at how you can track a customer journey:

  1. Preparing for the Journey

Before you can assign objectives and KPIs, you must first identify the stages of your company’s client experience using buyer personas. You will be able to comprehend the process that your consumers will go through based on your buyer personas. These steps will assist you in determining the various stages of your sales funnel. These stages are broadly classified as Awareness, Research, Choice, and Purchase.

Furthermore, while your clients may have a single final objective, there may be micro-goals that they complete at various stages of their journey. To track the client journey, you must identify these objectives and link them with each stage.

For this, you may utilize a variety of data sources, such as interview transcripts, surveys, and customer service emails. By matching these business goals with each phase of the trip, you’ll be able to determine if your website assists your consumers in achieving all of their objectives.

  1. Locate the Touchpoints

Once you’ve set up the customer journey, you need to find the various touchpoints where your customers interact with your brand. It is there that you assist them in achieving their objectives, and hence these points define your user experience.

To gain deeper insights, organize the touchpoints for each step of the consumer journey. Your website will, of course, be your initial point of contact.

You’ll need to track the sources of your traffic to determine its effectiveness. You may accomplish this by using UTM parameters in your URLs. You may use these parameters to track traffic to and from each URL in your campaigns.

Other touchpoints include contact forms, product pages, price pages, and more. You may use Google Analytics to locate these touchpoints. You must refer to two customer feedback reports: the Behavior Flow report and the Goal Flow report.

  1. Customer Journey Mapping

Creating a visual map of the customer journey is the most effective method to track it. This map must also include all of the touchpoints.

On a spreadsheet, you may construct a simple customer journey map. The map is simply a grid, with the columns indicating stages of your customer experience and the rows representing questions,  touchpoints, customer goals, and actions.

  1. Determine whether or not customers are meeting their objectives

The next stage is to see if your clients are reaching their objectives through your website. For this, you may use data from Google Analytics reports. These reports will assist you in identifying roadblocks that your consumers encounter on their journey.

  1. Enhance the Customer Journey

Once you’ve determined whether or not your customers are reaching their objectives, you can begin optimizing their customer journey. Begin by identifying touchpoints and optimizing those that are important to the successful completion of your customer’s journey.

By making the adjustments, you can begin to improve your customer journey and assist consumers in achieving their objectives. After you’ve made all of the necessary adjustments, you should start monitoring your client journey all over again to improve it even further.

How do you measure customer journey?

Customer journey maps are visual representations of a customer’s interaction with a brand, from discovery to purchase and retention. These technologies are critical for SEO consultants, marketers, and marketing teams because they enable customization and focused interaction.

Customer journey maps must be built on data and analytics that might be difficult to acquire and combine in order to produce meaningful insights. While it is crucial to consider the customer journey as a whole, it may be divided into various parts based on where the buyer is in the customer lifecycle. Each phase, from awareness and consideration through purchase and retention, needs its own set of assessment methodologies and reporting metrics.

  1. Customer Surveys

Customer surveys are the most widely used technique of assessing the customer journey since they give a unique insight into awareness. Surveys aimed at raising awareness should look for:

  • Consumer Perceptions and Awareness: In comparison to your rivals, how acquainted are your consumers with your company?
  • Where do your consumers go to learn more about subjects, difficulties, and potential solutions?
  • Purchase Intent: Why are buyers interested in your product or others similar to it?
  1. Customer Usage Data

Customer usage data may throw light on which product characteristics are most essential to stress to customers and can give insight into what customer actions are likely to lead to a purchase. At this stage, it is critical to collect the following client usage data:
Online behavior and the website

Demographic, behavioral, and psychographic data (location, income, gender, occupation), Product ratings, Time on site, and Purchase data

  1. Customer Interviews

Customer interviews are an effective approach to learn what factors are motivating purchasers to post-purchase or discouraging them from promoting your product to others.

  • In-depth Interviews: In-depth interviews may yield a wealth of information on the entire customer experience, use trends, and brand satisfaction. Each interview is formed by the interviewee, who adapts to the flow of discussion and uses consumer input to probe for comprehensive information based on a carefully crafted interview guide. As an example, To provide the best possible customer experience, customer-centric tactics must be used to convert one-time or new customers into devoted brand followers.
  • Voice of Customer: A voice of customer analysis is a form of customer interview that is used to explore customer needs, challenges, and goals. They are great for discovering the difficulties or obstacles that lead a client to seek out a brand, as well as the answers they anticipate from your product.
  1. Digital Shop Alongs

Ethnographies, or digital shop alongs, entail watching the customer behavior in their own surroundings. Shop alongs are classified into two types:

  • Digital Shop Alongs: A consumer shares a computer screen with researchers who monitor the customer while they browse online for a product and eventually decide whether or not to purchase. Digital shop alongs can highlight areas for improvement in the online purchasing experience, as well as website functioning, search results, and message in real-time analysis.
  • Traditional Shop Alongs: In traditional shop alongs, researchers monitor customers in physical stores, assessing how they travel around the store and make a purchase. These shop alongs can indicate how shelf placement in a store and packaging influence a customer’s purchasing choice.

Summary

Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of the customer journey.

You can please your customers at every point of their purchasing journey if you thoroughly grasp their experience with your company. This journey may be influenced by a variety of things, including consumer pain points, emotions, and your company’s touchpoints and processes.

A customer journey map is the most efficient method to visualize this information, whether you’re improving your path for the consumer or looking into a new business possibility to meet a client’s unidentified requirements.

At Loganix we have a team of experts who are ready to walk with you in this journey, of mapping out your customer’s journey.

Reach out to us today, if you want to implement your customer’s journey, or if you’re just experiencing challenges with actualizing your customer journey objectives.

Written by Aaron Haynes on October 9, 2021

CEO and partner at Loganix, I believe in taking what you do best and sharing it with the world in the most transparent and powerful way possible. If I am not running the business, I am neck deep in client SEO.

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