Customer Journey

The customer journey is the process of how your potential customers become aware of your product or service, and their interactions with your brand along the way.

Survey Monkey gives a great example of what a customer journey process looks like.



A customer journey example by Survey Monkey

To get a better sense of the customer journey, let’s get inside the customer mindset and we’ll 'ping' you every time you have an opportunity to explore, understand, and improve their experience.  These ping moments are called touch points.  An example of a customer journey is described below:

Your potential customer is shopping downtown and sees your storefront and signage (ping). She walks in and sees the layout of your store (ping). Your employee greets her (ping) and offers her help (ping). The employee is also friendly (ping) and knowledgeable (ping) and helps her pick out a smashing pair of shoes (ping) that’s good quality (ping).

Your new customer is assured that if she does change her mind about her purchase, she’s able to return the shoes, no questions asked (ping). And you collect her email address for future promotions (ping). Later in the day, your customer tweets a picture of her new shoes and mentions your store (ping). She even recommends your store on yelp.com (ping), as she’s feeling loyal toward your brand (ping). A couple of weeks later, you send her a promotional email (ping) that offers her a discount (ping) and reminds her of your brand and its core values (ping).


You can see then from the number of 'pings' above that there are lots of times your brand has an opportunity to interact with potential customers.  If your company is not paying attention or trying to understand the customer mindset, you may end up selling yourself short. 

For instance, If the customer has a frustrating experience while shopping in a store and couldn’t find the product they wanted, the staff were rude, or the atmosphere was uneasy, this creates a negative overall feeling that the person then associates with your brand. 

If the customer wants to purchase the same product again, she may consider going to a competitor’s store where the staff are friendlier, the store is better organised, and the atmosphere more appealing.  Additionally,  the shopper may go on to say negative things about your brand or store.  This negative 'word-of-mouth', either online or in person will have a damaging effect on your brand and result in your potential shoppers going elsewhere.

You see then why it is important to pay attention to how potential customers experience your brand, at every step of their journey from prospect to customer.

PROMOTIONAL TOOLS

Social Media

Blog

Own Website

Email Newsletter

Old Content

Direct Email

Press Release

LinkedIn Mail

Online Ads

Existing Customers

Online Forums

Special Interest Groups

Online Influencers

Direct Mail

Print Media

Sales Representative

Signage

Brochure

Courtesy Call

   

A customer journey map is used to document the full experience of a prospect becoming a customer.  You should produce a customer journey map for each buyer personas that you have created.

There are several major stages a person goes through to become a customer.  From discovering that they have a problem that needs solving to researching how to fix it, evaluating the options available to them, and finally testing and purchasing their final solution.

Throughout each of these stages, there will be a number of opportunities for you to 'ping' your prospect in similar ways to the example above, giving you the chance to explore, understand, and improve their experience by providing the prospect with valuable information about your product or service.

Ensuring that you are providing the prospect with the right information at the right time, will ensure that they complete their journey from prospect to customer.


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