A customer journey map is a visual representation of the steps that a customer takes when interacting with your product or service. It helps you see the customer’s perspective and experience at every touchpoint, from the moment they become aware of your product to the moment they become loyal advocates.
In this blog, we will explain what a customer journey map is and why it is important.
Digital marketing has many dimensions, one of which is the customer journey. In its simplest form, the customer journey refers to all the ways, techniques and procedures employed to make the customer's online and offline experience enjoyable in relation to a brand, product or service. The customer experience should be seamless, smooth and in accordance with the value promised.
Today is the era of commercialism and consumerism. In recent years, we have witnessed a sudden boom in digital ways of doing business. Traditional marketing, where consumers visited markets in person, has been left behind. People now prefer to shop online because it is convenient and avoids the hassle of traffic and crowded markets while paying minimal shipping costs. Brands have caught on to this trend and almost all of the most prestigious brands have set up their own online stores. They constantly advertise their businesses to attract the maximum number of customers through digital marketing and various other methods. All this shows how important the customer journey is.
As mentioned earlier, the customer journey is a complete user experience with a brand, product, or service. Many attempts have been made to make it pleasant and friendly. Through the trial and error method, three stages of the customer journey were founded. Later on, these three stages evolved into five which are as follows:
It is the initial stage of the customer journey. At this stage, a potential customer comes across the desired product through any medium, such as social media posts, blogs, articles, ads, or a video. It is a stage where the customer learns about the product and contemplates how it can add value to his life.
It is the second stage of the customer journey. At this stage, consumers research the product to find out if it will meet their needs. They also study the product's features and uses. A product's digital presence is very important in this phase. During this stage, the customer also searches the competitor’s brands, draws comparisons between available options, and chooses the best among them, which means, the one which has the best presence online.
This is the third stage of the customer journey. At this stage, the brand directs the customer to take action. After completing the research work, the customer decides to buy the final product. In making the final decision, the customer considers not only the online presence, but also the price of the product, the value it provides and the customer service.
Initially, the customer journey included the three stages mentioned above. Later, retention and advocacy also became part of the process.
Initially, it was believed that once a customer had made a purchase, the job was over. But later, it was realized that customer acquisition was only a part of the customer journey. Loyal and consistent customers are the foundation of a brand. They not only make repeated purchases, but also bring more customers by mentioning your brand to their acquaintances thus multiplying your customers.
It is the final stage of the customer journey. At this stage, satisfied customers become advocates of your brand, product or company. When customers get the desired results with your product, they recommend it to their acquaintances and the product becomes word of mouth. When a product or brand reaches this stage, its customer journey and cost decreases. Many brands, to reach this stage, hire influencers and bloggers to advertise their products.
The customer journey may seem like a simple interaction, but it includes many stages and steps. The digital revolution has made this process even more complex. Customers now have many options available to them that have to exceed their expectations. Customers not only want the quality of the product to be top-notch, but also want their shopping experience with the brand to be very comfortable and enjoyable. Therefore, brands must plan the entire process in advance. The process by which brands create the visual representation of the customer journey or customer interaction with the brand is called customer journey mapping. The visual representation makes it easier for brands to identify their shortcomings and work on them.
There are seven steps involved in customer journey mapping. These steps allow the brands to visualize the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of the customers while interacting with the brand and how they respond to the different triggers. It helps them to enhance the positive user experience and deter the negative one.
7 steps of customer journey mapping are mentioned below:
These steps involve the use of user analytics tools to analyze their experiences and create better ones. These analytics help brands collect information from customers through various channels, such as questionnaires, surveys, etc., to build the customer profile and target them accordingly. The information gathered helps brands understand their customers better, address their pain points and build a trusting relationship between them. The process does not end with the purchase; brands collect customer feedback and bring their issues to the table to address them appropriately. It is a cyclical process and brands keep working to improve the quality of their product and user experience.
We can also understand the customer journey through another dimension, which are its elements. Customer experience occupies a central place in understanding the customer journey. Four elements of the customer journey are listed below:
1- Audience engagement
2- Converting leads into customers
3- Nurture the customers
4- Fulfill the customer expectations
In this process, brands gather the demographics of the customers to create a personalized experience for them. According to Forbes, 84% of the customers like personalized experiences based on their likes and dislikes. By creating personalized experiences brands can easily push customers to take the desired action. Customer personas help brands engage through social media posts, blogs, and videos and meet their expectations.
The customer journey is a vital part of digital marketing, which is an important tool for advertising businesses, brands and products online. The success of a business can be guaranteed by working on the user experience and interaction with the brand. There are many online tools available to help you with the process of which one of the most valued is Harvestr. It helps you to collect all customer feedback in one place, make informed decisions, and create an efficient and engaging experience.