When you think about who you provide goods and services to, how do you think they found you in the first place? There is a process that the customer follows that is called the customer journey, and it is inevitable. Everybody has a customer journey in whatever they do in their daily lives. This blog will focus on the customer journey, to you.
What Exactly Is The Customer Journey?
The customer journey is a 5-7 step process (depending on how much you want to know) that leads the customer to make a purchase. It starts from when they don’t know they need something and ends when they come back to buy it again.
- The consumer gets triggered to find what they are looking for. They find a need for the product or service.
- A need in the product or service leads to them doing research and seeking information on the specifics, brands, and other factors that are relevant to them and what they want.
- The consideration step of the customer journey is when the consumer compares their options.
- The consumer has chosen the place that they want to purchase their product or service.
- This is towards the end of the customer journey and where the customer makes their decision to purchase.
- This is the step that you don’t see but is exclusive to the customer. This happens after they make their decision and get to experience their purchase. This leads to whether the customer will continue to the last step.
- The final step in the customer journey is when you see them come back. This may mean buying more products or services, leaving reviews, or referring others to you.
How Do I Use The Customer Journey?
The best way to make use of your customer experience is to take a deeper thought into what they might be asking, saying, feeling, doing, and thinking at each step, along with what their pain points might be. In doing so, you will gain a better understanding of who your customers are, which then, can lead to better customer service, targeting, and promotions.
The customer journey is universal so these steps apply to whatever field of business you are in. Here is an example, using fast food, on how exactly the customer journey works and how to make one.
A Customer Journey in Action
Awareness: The feeling of hunger around lunchtime, before a meeting.
- What are the feelings they might experience when they realize they need something?
Research: Looking up what kinds of healthy options there are to eat.
- What kinds of questions are they asking?
Consideration: They consider cravings, time, distance, and price. They need something fast.
- What factors are important to them?
Decision: Chooses which place they might have never been before, or the same place they always go to.
- How did they decide on what to get?
Purchase: Drives to the restaurant and purchases their meal.
- Was their purchase experience a good one?
Post-Purchase: Eats their meal and feels satisfied.
- How do they feel afterward?
Loyalty: Brings their friends and family to the same place and eats with them.
- Will you see them again?
When you think of the customer experience from their perspective or point of view, you can adjust your marketing strategy or ways of doing things to them.
What we can see from this example is that the customer was worried about their health. You can also see that they were in a rush to get their lunch. By taking these into account, you can add more healthy options to your menu, and figure out the best system that will get their food ready the fastest. This is just some of the information you can gather from doing a customer journey.
Why Do These Steps Matter?
These steps are everything that leads the customer to you. Understanding how your target customer discovers you is one of the most important things you can do. The reason is that you are selling your products and services to them. You need to think like your persona and find out why they chose you. By doing so, you will be able to answer what they need and target them more directly.
Some of the ways that you can get your customer journey are to do surveys, secret shoppers, or doing it yourself from start to finish. These are all good ways to see what your customers are experiencing.
Hope this helps you and your business gain insight into what your customers are experiencing and how their customer journey impacts how they find you.