The customer’s journey is the experience that consumers take from the first contact with a brand to the action of purchasing or closing the sale.
Your construction is based on different stages, each one is defined by an action that your client has with your brand. The journey tells the whole story of the customer, from the phase in which he identifies the need to purchase of a product or service, through the processes of searching information, consideration, and decision to buy.
To better understand this, let’s imagine a hypothetical situation: the journey of person shopping for a barbecue at the supermarket comparing, at the same time, with the path a customer takes during a purchase in e-commerce. Keep your customer in mind every step of the way!
We separate the journey into a few main steps:
Learning and discovery:
Often, what leads a customer to find a brand is the need to purchase a product. Let’s use a simple example: a person who wishes to have a barbecue. This person is attracted to the market by the need to buy goods, or can also choose to find a specific product and perform this in an online search until he finds the ideal website to buy what he needs.
However, for those who don’t actually have a need to buy, it is necessary to attract them using some channel of communication, either through social media or a banner, or even creating that need.
The client starts his journey in the supermarket by taking a cart and going straight to the butcher’s queue. At that moment, it’s long and he gets bored, which makes him think about going to another supermarket. In an online situation, we could have the same issue! For example, if the website has bugs or takes too long to load the pages, they usually give up the purchase.
Recognizing the problem
At the supermarket, the consumer decides to buy meat already cut, and while doing it, he finds nearby, a brand of garlic bread that would fit well on the barbecue. He ends up putting it in his cart, and chooses the one with the best appeal and price.
In online shopping, you should suggest products that would combine well with others, show all the details and advantages that the person would have when buying your product. These are two of the marketing strategies that are very useful to convince the consumer to purchase.
Consideration and purchase decision
Finally, the customer has everything he needs and proceeds to payment (which on the website would be the time for conversion).
He goes to the self-checkout, as they don’t have a queue and offer the fastest payment solution. This is very important during an online purchase! The uses of resources such as a guest check out, and easy payment turns the payment process into a positive experience.
During the payment, the client accumulates discount to spend on his next purchase at the supermarket. This is another strategy that can also be used online, making your customers loyal.
The importance of this journey is to understand the route taken by the customer on the website and their experiences. You can understand how to improve the experience as much as possible.
Another purpose, is to understand the points of contact that the brand can use to communicate with its clients, and what are the right time and channels to communicate. Such as the garlic bread that was strategically placed next to the meat.
Whether in a supermarket or online shopping, the process of buying products or hiring services has become more complex. Until the deal is closed there is still a long way to go for the customer, both offline and online.
To map a journey, it’s necessary to conduct research, create a persona, and find the points of contact. It’s essential to understanding the journey of the customer, and also knowing how to communicate with your client, to move him from one phase to another.
One thing to keep in mind….
Special attention must be taken in the after-sale because the relationship with the customer cannot end with the purchase!
You need to create a long and lasting relationship with your consumer to keep him loyal to your brand. The relationship you are building needs to be is mutually beneficial. What ensures a good consumer’s journey, is knowing your customer, which is the key to any business.