Updated: Nov 15
Author: Julia Tellenbröker
Date of Publication: 23/08/2022
The customer journey, or the customer experience strategy, describes the path a customer takes until they finally make a purchase. But the customer journey goes further than that.
This article explains the individual steps of the customer journey and gives helpful tips for improving your customer journey and its importance.
What Is A Customer Journey & its importance
The customer journey is a common term in the field of online marketing. In fact, it describes the path that a potential customer goes through until they decide to buy your product.
In the different cycles of marketing there are many touchpoints that represent the connection between the company and the potential customer. Therefore, it is important to align the touchpoints with customers,- and target groups. The more positive touchpoints there are between customer and company, the more likely it is that the customer will buy from this company. So, the aim of the customer journey is to establish and strengthen a new long-term relationship with the customer. This strategy is relevant and important for both new and regular customers.
Description Of Each Phase
There are a total of six phases that the customer goes through when they become a regular customer. In order to achieve this goal, each individual phase must be perfectly adapted to our target group.
The individual touch points relate to the first contact and finally ends with loyalty to the product and the company.
First Phase: Awareness
A specific event occurs when the customer finds out about a specific product or service. The customer searches for information related to this event. Companies already have the opportunity to get a first touchpoint here and to stay in the customer's memory. This can happen by offering professional, qualitative information about their products and services. Also, having good SEA and SEO campaigns helps the customer to quickly find the company being made.
Second Phase: Consideration
In this phase, the customer's focus is no longer on the problem, but on a solution in the form of a paid product or service. He is specifically researching that specific product or service that will help him fix the problem. Initial information on the price and other parameters is very important.
Third Phase: Preference
The third phase addresses the issue of purchase intent. Here the customer is aware that they have to purchase a product or service. So, they compare different offers from different providers.
Fourth Phase: Purchase
The customer has made the decision to buy. Now only contractual circumstances such as payment and delivery conditions can stand in the way of the purchase.
Fifth Phase: After-Sale
The customer makes their first experiences with our product or our service. In this phase it is important to convince the new customer of our company with good service and good product quality.
Sixth Phase: Loyalty
Our new regular customer is very satisfied with our product or our service and gives us a good rating as a company or recommends us to others. In this phase, the customer is very open to new cross-selling offers.
It is important to maintain the relationship with the customer even after the purchase. Thanks to regular newsletters, he will know about offers and promotions.
Goals And Tips
If you know the path that a future customer is going through, the company can act accordingly and create or expand possible touchpoints. The aim is to make the customer journey as pleasant as possible and to improve the customer relationship. This should create a new regular customer of our company. They should have a good experience with your company and then recommend the products or services. In this way, they will create an even greater reach. At the same time, customer churn should be reduced.
In order to achieve these goals, it is important to precisely define our target group. We need to know three specific things:
1. how old our target group is
2. which social networks our target group is on and
3. what external influences there are in general.
Therefore, as a company, you need to know how best to reach and communicate with our target group.
Typical characteristics of a target group definition could be:
● demographic characteristics
● psychographic characteristics or
● characteristics of observable consumer behavior.
Demographic and psychographic describe the characteristics that determine behavior. Accordingly, demographic characteristics can describe age, gender, marital status, occupation and much more. They also include geographic characteristics such as place of residence, region or state. Psychographic characteristics describe the motives, opinions, attitudes and behavioral characteristics of our target group. Last, the characteristics of the observable consumer behavior describe the buying and consumer behavior of our target group.
Therefore, the definition of the target group is an important basis for being able to start improving the customer journey. Now the individual phases are adapted to the target group in order to reach as many touch points as possible. Another goal, though, is to remain in the memory of our customer.
Now it's up to you to build the right customer journey. I wish you success!
Article based on author's school documentation.