The Customer Journey provides an important basis for the planning and implementing of a meaningful communication with potential and existing clients.
It describes the journey, or rather the road, a person chooses, when looking for a product or a service. This journey is just as individual and unique as human beings are – you have people who read quickly and more superficially, and you have others who enquire detailed information about the respective product.
In last week’s article, Eminence outlined the key elements to create a successful Social Selling Strategy. Today, we will highlight one of these key elements, namely the Customer Journey, and tell your more about it.
When you deal with the Customer Journey, you get to know your prospects better as well as your customers, and you communicate on a more personal level and notably increase your e-reputation and your Return on Investment (ROI).
The Customer Journey has five different phases, which are grouped as follows:
- Awareness phase – create awareness of your product or service
In the first phase of the Customer Journey, your customer is developing an interest. He starts to collect information with the help of various sources. In this phase you should concentrate on the problems and needs of your client and not emphasize your solutions and products. For the awareness phase, the following information could be useful for your customer:
- Creative videos
- Informative whitepapers
- Pertinent reviews and assessments
- Interesting studies
- Meaningful graphics
- Consideration phase – the interest for your product is reinforced
After your potential client has gained the first impression and received some information, normally he won’t buy immediately. He will compare, consider and verify – and this is where the second phase, the consideration phase starts. During this phase you should accompany your client in his decision-making and provide him with the useful information he needs. At this point, Marketing Automation is also appealing to the eyes, this means providing the client with the right content at the right time.
- Decision phase – the client is buying the product
Finally, the moment has come, where the client decides to buy your product. Important factors in the client’s decision include the client service and of course the price. As soon as the potential client has become an active client and has purchased your product or solution, the journey is not over, but on the contrary another phase begins.
- Service phase
After completing the purchase, we then enter the service phase, where the client works with the product and, if need be, receives further services. During this phase, we will determine if the client is satisfied with his purchase or not. If yes, he will do another purchase and maybe even recommend your product/service. This step goes hand in hand with the next and final phase.
- Loyalty phase
Once your customer is satisfied with his purchase and uses your product or service, we enter into the loyalty phase. He also recommends your product either directly to his community or on digital platforms, for example, Facebook, Instagram or on your official Website. Consequently, the recommendations of your client lead to other potential clients embarking on the Customer Journey.
Customer Journey Map
The Customer Journey Map is created so as to easily visualize the journey of your customer. The following information should be mentioned on this map:
- Phases of the information and the purchase process
- Description and goals of the different phases
- Touch points (= point of contacts between the customer and your company)
- Actions and emotions
- Buyer Persona
There is not just one Customer Journey Map. For each Buyer Persona you need to create a separate Customer Journey Map. At the beginning, we recommend creating three to five Personas. As soon as they have been put in practice, you can add another Persona. Every Customer Journey map should be revised regularly and if necessary, also be optimized, because the market and their clients are constantly changing.
What are touch points?
Touch points are points at which the Buyer Persona gets in contact and eventually triggers an action. Some examples of touchpoints during the Customer Journey are:
- Social Media channels (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.)
- Events and exhibitions
- Television or radio advertising
- Flyers (print media)
Moment of Truth
The Moment of Truth is the point in the Customer Journey when the client either continues the journey or jumps off. This moment should be also measured and evaluated, for example with the help of Google Analytics.
The power of quality content
Increased competitors and a lack of trust in advertising affect the Customer Journey and the decision processes of your potential customers. In a world where 84% of the users don’t trust the ads and where the interaction with clients is time-consuming, it’s getting more and more difficult to turn your visitors into clients.
The modern buyer is searching for brands which rank their customer first. Consumers expect more humanity and trust from brands – they want a company, which listens to them and at the same time is solving their problems. Lack of confidence makes the Customer Journey longer and more competitive. Before a customer decides to buy a product, he does his intense research. Last year, 76% of all purchase decisions were made with the help of online research on Google or Amazon. This is why brands implement more and more high quality Content Marketing in their strategy. The advantages of good quality content are:
- Improved visibility and brand awareness
- Better customer relationships
- More loyalty
- Increased organic traffic
- Enhancement of your e-reputation
With pertinent, trustworthy and creative content you can generate values and trust in front of your target audience.
In a nutshell
In the long-term, companies who know their clients and deliver the right content at the right moment, will be the successful ones. The Customer Journey can help marketers to better understand their target audience. Thanks to the individual touch points, weak spots are identified and can be rectified.
Eminence, your digital pioneer, can help you to build up a well thought out Customer Journey, starting with an extensive Audit and defining your persona accordingly. This will help you to boost your business and at the same time increase your online reputation.