customer journey

 

Each customer that has ever purchased something from you has gone through the so-called customer journey. This is a term that describes all of the stages a customer goes through between the time they learn about your product’s existence up until the time they purchase it.

 

The way that journey pans out is extremely important because it will be the deciding factor your customers use to form an opinion about your products and your business. If you want to be successful and profitable, you can use a website proposal template to map out your customer journey without any hassle or too much work. This will enable you to create a complete customer journey for your website.

 

Customer journey stages


A big part of understanding the importance of the customer journey is understanding the different stages people go through before they become paying customers. There are four stages, all of them equally important.

 

Reach

 

The popularity of online shopping keeps growing every year and the eCommerce market is predicted to make over $5.5 trillion by the end of 2022. Since online shopping is the future of retail, the reach stage of your customer journey involves getting people to your website and improving your website traffic.

 

To improve the reach stage of your customer journey, you need to do a couple of things to ensure your site is easy to find. Get your SEO up-to-date, make sure your website is mobile-friendly, use social media and PPC ads for promotion, and get into content marketing.

 

Engagement

 

How your website visitors engage with your website after they land on it describes what actions they take while they’re on the site, how long they stick around, and if they act on your calls to action. Working on engagement also means finding ways to reduce bounce rates.

 

To engage your customers, you should have a fast website, encourage them to browse and explore with an easy-to-use site, and make it easy for them to complete a purchase.

 

Conversion

 

High engagement doesn’t mean anything if the website visitors don’t convert into customers. You can encourage high conversion rates by offering better prices than your competitors, having a simple checkout process, providing real-time shipping costs, and encouraging large orders.

 

Nurturing

 

A well-crafted customer journey doesn’t stop after someone converted into a customer. If you want the most out of that relationship, you need to nurture it and ensure the customer comes back to your store.

 

You can nurture customer relationships through good communication, creating a referral program, doing everything you can to improve satisfaction, and encouraging customers to register on your website.

 

How to follow these stages

 

One of the best ways you can make sure all of your customers are following these four stages without any issues is to write up a proposal that will take the shape of the journey. If you don’t, your customers might get lost in the journey like a traveler without a map.

 

You can use a website proposal template to map out your customer journey without any hassle or too much work.

 

Enabling omnichannel customer service and marketing


Customer expectations have changed drastically over the last couple of years and today’s consumers expect a lot of things from the businesses they work with. But more than anything else, they expect to receive a fully personalized experience that is catered to them and their wants.

 

Thanks to our understanding of the customer journey, it makes it easier to create a personalized and interconnected approach to both customer service and marketing. This is referred to as an omnichannel approach.

 

For customer service, an omnichannel approach involves customers using multiple channels to reach out to a business’ customer service. No matter if they prefer using social media, live chat, a messenger app, or the old-fashioned telephone customer service, an omnichannel approach allows that.

 

Understanding the customer journey also helps you to understand how your customers want to contact you. This will, in turn, improve your ability to resolve customer issues.

 

When it comes to marketing, mapping out the customer journey allows marketers to understand the different touchpoints they can use to reach potential customers. For example, if a potential customer browses social media a lot, they can be drawn in with a social media ad.

  

Creating a customer-centric culture


A lot of today’s businesses understand the importance of creating a customer-centric culture, but very few understand how to do that. Creating a customer-centric mindset within an organization can seem like an abstract concept, which is why most companies don’t bother with it.

 

But when you work on making your business customer-centric, you also work on providing customers with the best possible experience. And since there is an 80% increase in revenue for businesses that focus on improving customer experience, this should be a priority for you.

 

When you map out the customer journey, you can make customer-centricity very tangible. You’ll be able to see the different ways your organization is trying to make the customers your top priority and come up with new ways to ensure customers are at the heart of every business decision.

 

Final thoughts


If you’re under the impression that amazing products and a decent marketing campaign are enough to grow a business and be successful, you’re sadly mistaken. To truly succeed in the modern business world, you need to have a good understanding of your customers and the importance of the journey they take.

Customer Journey Map

 

In the past, when consumers made the decision to purchase any new product or service, they would generally follow a certain path or thought process that would allow them to complete their purchase.

 

But in recent years, consumers have been changing the way they make purchases, breaking away from the traditional customer buyer’s journey, allowing today’s marketing professionals to reinvent the wheel in order to find new ways in which to attract customers and prospects.

 

Here’s why the traditional buying process has changed and what consumers are now bankrolling on to make informed purchases.

 

The Traditional Customer Journey Map


The traditional customer journey of yesteryear followed a certain track: awareness, familiarity, consideration, purchase and loyalty. Consumers made decisions based on researching potential brands and then narrowed down their options until they found the one that best matched their needs.

 

But those days are gone, as the way customers learn, interact and buy online has dramatically changed over the last 10 years, primarily due to the proliferation of social media and smartphones. The new customer deciding journey is now more personal — and informal — because you can essentially now have a two-way conversation on social media with a major brand, follow them and see all of their posts.

 

Talk about creating mass customer engagement. To that end, brands are now tweeting, posting Instagram stories and becoming part of the spaces consumers occupy on a large scale to meet where they’re at.

 

The New Customer Journey Map


The goal of today’s buyer’s journey is for marketers to understand how and when to reach customers when they’re considering a purchase; in other words, at a time when their decision is most easily influenced. By observing this journey and determining where to direct resources and spending, marketers can reach consumers at the moment of maximum influence. That means you’re more likely to land the sale — and the customer’s loyalty — if the right methods are implemented at the right time.

 

But this wasn’t always the case. In fact, the traditional customer journey map of yesteryear is dead, as consumers have changed the way they make purchasing decisions. Rather than starting with intent to purchase, consumers now come into contact with brands much earlier through ads, conversations with family and friends, news reports and product experiences.

 

These days, customers don’t need to be in the “purchasing” stage of the buyer’s journey in order to be invested in a certain product or service. Instead, brands have smartened up and figured out a way to trigger the impulse to buy. Case in point: Marketers have begun taking into account the power of smartphones and social media. Both these advancements in the digital marketing age have helped change the way businesses interact with potential customers.

 

The new decision-making journey is more of a loop than a set of stages, according to McKinsey & Co., and includes the following:

 

  1. Consumer considers an initial set of brands, based on brand perceptions and exposure to recent touch points.
  2. Consumer adds or eliminates options as they evaluate what they want.
  3. Consumer chooses a brand at the moment of purchase.
  4. After the purchase, the consumer builds expectations based on past experiences to inform their next decision.

 

While this new decision-making journey may work for many of your customers, you have to remember there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to any of this. Treating your customers like equals will only work against you. Instead, think about coming up with more than one customer decision-making journey to suit the needs of all your customer; after all, we don’t all shop the same, learn the same or make decisions the same way.

 

Different customers have different journeys, so you’ll likely be making a customer journey map for every buyer persona. Each journey will provoke different emotions and have different effects on each of your customers, so keep that in mind when crafting yours.

 

The Mobile Landscape


These days, consumers are always glued to their smartphones, albeit to check email, watch videos, pay bills and connect with friends via social media, among other things. More and more, companies are learning the importance of factoring these new advancements into their customer journey maps.

 

According to Forbes, only 35 percent of organizations investing in digital transformation have studied the modern customer journey, a significant decline from prior years. This means marketing professionals are realizing how outdated the old model has become.

 

The landscape is changing, and companies are starting to see the value in incorporating these new advancements in technology to create a new and improved customer journey map. The idea is to capture what the modern consumer values, as well as how and why they do the following:

 

  • Make decisions
  • Learn new things
  • Use technology
  • Like to be engaged online
  • Become and remain loyal customers

Social Media Explosion


Today, the average person spends 1.72 hours per day on social media sites, according to AdWeek. That’s why it’s worth studying consumer behavior online, because consumers aren’t just forwarding memes and watching videos on social media.

 

Companies that have discovered this are influencing these consumers every day by exploring new ways to delight and engage them in unique and innovative ways via Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr.

 

Managing all these communication channels can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be with the help of a cloud call center.

 

What’s a Cloud Call Center?


A cloud call center is an online platform that allows you to handle customer calls and exchanges. Additionally, it can help make two-way conversation between your business and prospects easier and more successful. Controlling all interactions with prospects via text, email, phone, chat, and social media is now streamlined into a single software program.

 

Moreover, the traditional marketing funnel took prospects from initial product awareness to point of purchase. However, since people these days generally spend more time online, they’re making purchasing decisions earlier in the customer journey, sometimes without even being aware they’re going to make a purchase.

 

Consumers are also able to interact directly with companies online now, which has a huge impact on how they view that brand, which leads to increased customer loyalty and higher potential for a sale, among other things.

 

Target Your Prospects Accordingly


The traditional customer journey map no longer works — and big brands know it. That’s why many brands rely on social media in their marketing campaigns and are ready to make further adjustments based on their prospects’ online behavior.

 

So take the time to think about and observe what your potential customers are doing online and tailor your approach accordingly. With a deeper understanding of how and why they do the things they do, you can target your prospects at the right time with the right content and keep everything organized with the help of a cloud call center.

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