Creating an amazing customer journey could be as simple as -
Nowadays, B2B and B2C businesses are keeping the company’s content relevant through the implementation of SEO but in the process, many executives forget the essential part of the equation, which is the king - The customer.
Let's take a look at everything you need to know about how your customers act each time they connect with your brand.
5. What are the 7 phases of the customer journey?
Think of the customer journey as a map showing you how your customers become aware of your brand, their interactions with it, and much more. Here’s the customer journey definition:
Customer journey is the experience that customers go through when interacting with your company and your brand. Instead of looking at it as just a transaction with a customer, we should make an effort to know more about their experience of being a customer.
Mapping customer journey enables businesses to better understand and be educated about how customers view their products and services, what their intentions and values are and how a customer interacts with the brand or business at different touchpoints.
While product owners bring in their perspectives and biases about how things should be, a customer journey map brings in real-time evidence and helps decision-makers understand what’s really happening.
This ensures that the brand and customers are on the same page about what needs to be done and their focus remains on building better customer experiences and satisfying customer needs.
Customer journey mapping helps identify these touchpoints and areas where maximum friction and struggles occur, enabling you to improve these touchpoints and optimize each channel based on real-time, high-quality data.
The more valuable you make your interactions, you improve your chances of creating loyal customers, who may, over time, become brand ambassadors advocating on behalf of your business without you having to ask for it!
Using a customer journey map helps to analyze user behavior and also helps an organization understand how their customers travel through the entire sales process and how they feel during their time there.
This approach provides two major benefits:
Even if you have the best marketing team, and your customers aren’t happy, you won’t get anywhere.The best way to explain customer journey mapping is to look at it like a post-it note that everyone on the team should have on their walls.
Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes and planning everything with that perspective in mind will take you a long way. Remember, the customer is the reason you exist.
Many a times, companies forget this important detail and focus on marketing, SEO, social media, and branding. Yes, these are all critical aspects for running a business, but you cannot forget about the brand positioning of your consumers.
Are the customers satisfied with the experience? Is your website easy to navigate? And does it have all the information a customer needs?
Every time a customer comes in contact with your brand, whether it’s before (an ad), during (visit to a store or website), or after (positive or negative feedback/reaction, return experience), you have a chance to increase your sales.
These interactions are known as touchpoints.
With this information, you can identify and tackle the obstacles that appear in the customer’s journey.
You can start by categorizing the touchpoints into three common stages -
(i) Before purchase
Common touchpoints in this stage are different marketing tactics such as; ads, direct mails, landing pages, testimonials, seminars, product reviews or social media activities. Keep your website updated, as it is one of your most important windows to the world. Don’t forget to follow up on your previous customers; finding out why you did not win is probably the best way to improve for the next time.
(ii) During purchase
In this stage we have your actual point of sale, which could be your physical store, online shop, resellers, sales representatives, catalogues etc. The customer is most likely to come in contact with your sales team, frontline staff or call centre.
(iii) After purchase
This stage includes touchpoints depending on your type of business. Common touch points typically include onboarding processes, customer service, billing, returns, after-sales evaluations,etc.
If you are not sure what your customer touchpoints are, it might be a good idea to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and take a look at your purchase process from an outside perspective.
This step should not be too complicated, but it must include both analytical and anecdotal research data. It will be highlighted when customers stop interacting or when they get frustrated, so your team can adjust its strategy accordingly.
There are many options in any given transaction, so it’s impossible to anticipate every possible scenario. But understanding where the loopholes are is crucial.
A graph is handy to understand customer behavior, fixing the problems, and evaluating the successes as well.
Using Emoticons (sad, angry, neutral, happy, or excited) helps to quickly understand the customer’s state of mind at any time.
In this phase, the customer is looking to improve their business.
They want the company, department, or team to be more productive and efficient. At this phase, they may not know how to achieve these goals, but they are open to inspiration and motivation.
The Action phase begins once the customer uncovers the opportunity to grow their business. It could be that sales are dropping or customer complaints are growing so these indicators act as a trigger for changing the way they work.
Once the customer identifies a solution to their problem, they will begin their research. A project group, involving all stakeholders will be formed to identify the top brands in the market, to provide scope to the project, and to review key functionality and technical requirements, thus leading to a long list of solutions.
The long list shortens once the initial brand review is complete. The customer will then contact each vendor and invite them to a meeting or demo. After the demo, the customer will consider solutions based on trust, expertise, and scalability.
The customer chooses a salesperson, agrees on a solution and signs the contract. The implementation process begins and an internal “climb” team is formed. With support from the solution provider, the consumer outlines the success criteria, KPIs, and the launch timeline.
The customer wants to get the solution running quickly and for the launch to be as effective as possible. This involves making sure all users are well trained and have access to the consultant or the account manager for support.
After the initial “climb” the customer is happy to see fast results. The provider continues to follow up, implementing the solution company-wide and thus continues to help the customer reach their goals.
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