The modern consumer is very sophisticated and demands an excellent customer experience from start to finish. The brands who are serious about taking their business to the next level take the time to invest in developing a ‘customer journey map’ in order to deliver a superior experience. But, what is meant by the customer journey, and why is it so important in the modern marketplace?
What is the ‘customer journey’?
The ‘customer journey’ refers to the path of interactions that an individual prospect has with your brand and products / services. It measures the whole experience, from the cognitive, sensory, and behavioural responses at each stage of the funnel, from pre-purchase to post.
Think of a customer journey map like a visual storyline that details every form of engagement that a customer has with your brand from the moment they discover you exist, through to their (hopefully) positive conclusion when they sign up / make a purchase and remain loyal to you.
Why is the customer journey so important? What are the benefits?
The customer journey is paramount because it determines what kind of experience new customers have when they discover and interact with your brand. Obviously, the more you invest in making the experience as smooth as possible, the more likely each new prospect will be to convert into loyal paying customers.
Here are some of the ways in which mapping your customer journey can benefit your business:
- You can walk in your customers’ shoes: when you collect real-world insights into the experience that people have when they interact with your brand, you’ll be better positioned to make positive changes. Empathy in business is incredibly valuable.
- Identify any needs that are not being met: the most successful businesses pre-empt and account for every possible need their prospective customers will have. Mapping out the journey will enable you to see what you are getting right and where you are going wrong.
- A bird’s eye view of multiple customer touch points: new prospects will discover your brand through a multitude of touchpoints, such as via Instagram or direct from Google searches (e.g., SEO Singapore). When you have a wider view, you can gain powerful insights to refine the on boarding experience through each channel of engagement.
- Visualise customer emotions: the best customer journey maps can help business owners visualise what their customers are thinking and feeling at each stage in the journey. These important insights can help you understand your audience’s deeper needs and adjust your services accordingly.
- Personalised experiences: while you may have a rather distinct target audience, it’s worth segmenting your customers even further, creating unique buyer personas. With customer journey mapping, you can gain excellent insights to help you create multiple media ads and content streams for different audiences (e.g., tailoring different ads for your male and female customers, etc.).
As you can see, when you continue to expand your online marketing strategies (i.e., social media marketing / SEO / PPC / email marketing, etc.); you will invariably attract a variety of different customers from a multitude of sources. As such, it is incredibly valuable to understand what they are thinking and feeling at each stage. That way, you can refine each interaction and perfect your sales funnels in order to achieve the best possible results when converting these prospects into loyal paying customers.
As the saying goes: “It’s not the destination that matters, it’s the journey.” Of course, the destination is important to you (your website’s checkout), but if you can bolster the customer journey, you’ll have a great deal more customers ending up exactly where you want them to be!