Research by PwC shows that 32% of all customers will avoid a brand they once loved after one bad experience.
If you’re in the business of convincing people to buy goods and services from you, this is an alarming statistic. It’s no surprise that the customer journey concept has grown in popularity in recent years as brands try to deliver more relevant value propositions.
If you’re asking yourself, “What is customer journey in business?” Here’s a primer to help you grasp why this concept matters to your brand’s customer experience (CX).
What Is Customer Journey in Marketing?
The customer journey spans both direct and indirect interactions. When you’re assessing a journey, you need to include the earliest moments the brand crosses paths with clients.
Additionally, you have to include the post-purchase element of the journey. If you don’t, you’ll miss a crucial component of the true sentiment your customers have after you serve them.
Customer Journey Stages
If you want to have a closer view of what your clients go through when they first start interacting with your brand, you need to understand the stages the journey takes them through.
Stage 1: Brand Awareness
At this point, a prospective customer comes across your brand for the first time. It could be through an ad, word of mouth, social media, etc.
Most of the time, the prospect will be trying to solve a problem they have and actively looking for a solution when they come across your brand.
Stage 2: Consideration
Today’s consumer is inundated with market information than at any other time in history. Therefore, once they know about your brand, they will dig deep into research when considering buying from you.
If you have any knowledge bases, landing pages, free trials, webinars, etc., they will make a considerable difference in the decision-making process.
Prospects will pit what you offer against what your competitors deliver to determine who can provide the most value. If you’ve invested in a compelling value proposition, this is where your investment will pay for itself in spades.
Stage 3: Purchase
Once a prospect decides that your value proposition is the most appealing, they will make the purchase. That’s a reflection of their trust in your business.
Stage 4: Post Purchase
The journey doesn’t end once the customer buys from you – Far from it. The rubber meets the road at this stage since the customer will put your product or service to a real-world test.
Whether good or bad, you must listen to the customer feedback at this stage as that holds excellent insight into how you can improve your value proposition.
Understanding Customer Journey Touchpoints
Every individual transaction a customer has with your brand is known as a touchpoint.
The more channels you have to manage your brand, the more the touchpoints. When you factor in any previous knowledge a customer had about your brand, you begin to see the power of touchpoints and why managing them is critical.
What Is a Customer Journey Map?
A customer journey map is the visual depiction of each client’s buying journey from band awareness to post-purchase. Using this map, you get to plot the story of your customer’s experience while interacting with your brand.
Several elements make up a customer journey map:
- What the customer is trying to do (what ‘job’ they are trying to get done)
- What the customer feels or says
- Who your customer interacts with at each touchpoint
- The systems or people that need to be in place to that your customer isn’t aware of
A customer journey map differs from process flow in that it integrates these four features on top of identifying the touchpoints. If you exclusively focus on the latter, all you’ll uncover is how the buying process unfurls and not the entire journey.
What Is the Purpose of Customer Journey Mapping?
Customer journey mapping is where you develop a visual representation of the path clients take from when they first came across your brand after closing the sale.
Also known as a user journey map, a customer journey map gets you to walk a mile in your client’s shoes. You get to uncover pain points that erode the customer experience (CX) you ship with such a perspective.
As such, it is critical to understand and document the type of CX you deliver at each client touchpoint.
That’s because how you leave customers feeling matters. So much so that the folks at Decibel believe 70% of customers don’t see their purchases through due to bad experiences.
With deeper visibility into your customer’s experiences, you can more effectively shape your CX and nurture a deeper emotional connection with customers, ultimately driving your top line.
Understanding your customer journey has far-reaching benefits that have an impact beyond the customer. Let’s look at a few of them.
1. Robust Customer Interaction
The whole purpose of gaining visibility into your customer journey is to empathize with your clients. If customers find it hard to get the service they come looking for, you’ll likely see a tremendous attrition rate.
Knowing where and how things go wrong gives you the proper insight and tools to fix it. In turn, that ups the quality of CX you deliver, which inevitably attracts and retains more clients.
These happy clients will then give positive recommendations and reviews, starting a positive cycle that boosts your brand’s value in the customers’ eyes.
2. Higher Employee Satisfaction
When your customers are happy, it has a knock-on effect on your employees. The work environment improves, and your staff becomes more engaged in their roles. Over time, that leads to low staff turnover, which is also cheaper for your business.
3. Brand Competitiveness
The insight customer journeys give you leads to uncovering any glaring gaps in your communication, service, and CX. As you shore up these gaps, your brand becomes more competitive.
Since the customer journey is a tool under your complete control, you have one more avenue to differentiate yourself from the pack sustainably.
Know Your Customer Deeply to Serve Them More Efficiently
Unless you have an in-depth view of your clients, you won’t serve them well. And every disappointed consumer is a taller mountain to climb in winning them and those they influence over.
It’s therefore imperative to regularly ask yourself, “What is customer journey in business?” To unearth new ways your brand can surprise and delight your customers.
Losing a customer is challenging, and it’s more complicated when they share negative feedback on your brand with others. Our website features information to help you understand how to best interact with existing and potential customers online. Check out more of our content to learn how you can understand your customer, serve them exceptionally and win.