The customer buying journey has developed and adapted in line with social changes, technology and opportunities in order to make the buying process simple and efficient for customers across the globe. This is one of the most important elements of any business as companies who have a better understanding of their customer’s journey can adapt their marketing efforts and optimise the buying and selling process right from the beginning.
What is a customer journey map?
A customer journey map is essentially a visual representation of customer engagement. This map follows the journey of a customer from the time they know they require a product or service, all the way to the final purchase. These diagrams are laid out to represent all the stages including helping to identify the pain points along the way.
Benefits of a customer journey map
In a nutshell, the customer journey process and the map will help your business improve the customer experience and lead to more sales. This detailed diagram can also help from a business perspective as you can see where customers may be dropping out of the sales funnel, what channels they are joining from, which web pages are succeeding and so on.
You can then use these maps and analyses to adapt your marketing strategy, web design and development, and e-commerce structure and make sure each part of the company is running smoothly in line with the customer journey.
Why you need a customer journey map:
- Increase sales by understanding and supporting customers and increase upselling and cross-selling.
- Finding issues and gaps in a customer journey.
- Increased customer satisfaction and better support services.
- Better employee satisfaction as they can meet targets and get a positive working experience.
- Opportunity to develop and improve company strategies.
3 Stages of a Customer buyers journey
There are three stages of a buyer’s journey that all industries and companies will need to take into consideration.
This initial stage is where the potential customer becomes aware that they require a resolution to their wants and needs. During the awareness stage, the buyers will do their primary research ( typically through an online search engine or social media ) to explore their issue in more detail.
The customer will now have identified their issue and begin to find solutions. During this stage, the customer might compare different options and products and do some more in-depth research.
It’s decision time. In this stage, the customer will compare their options and make a final decision about what service/product/company they want to opt for. The customer might use reviews, content or pricing to make this final choice.
Why is understanding your customer’s journey important?
Although making a sale is every business’s main aim, many traditional strategies are too focused on this and abandon the need the acquire and retain new customers. Understanding your customer’s journey will benefit both you and them in a number of ways…
Allows for targeting marketing efforts
By breaking up the customer journey and analysing each stage, it is much easier to optimise relevant content and implement marketing strategies that work. For example, if you have a high number of customers in the awareness stage, you can take this opportunity to create educational resources which meet their expectations and answer all their questions. For the consideration and decision stage, you will want to ensure you have solid company reviews in place, good customer support services, testimonials, design and branding and high-quality content throughout your online platforms.
The customer journey provides businesses with an opportunity to position a brand and pitch products. Using the knowledge of the journey, marketers and CEOs can highlight solution-focused marking which is often the best way to turn a buyer from a prospect into an actual customer.
Builds trust and loyalty
Building trust with customers throughout the whole customer journey is crucial. People want to buy from those who are reliable, trustworthy and passionate in their field. By working on providing useful content during the early stages ( before the sale ) you are making the customer feel comfortable and confident in their decision later down the line. By building trust, you will also produce a sense of loyalty which can increase retention levels and build a loyal customer base for years to come.