It can be extremely challenging for your organisation to get into the minds of your customers. You may be wondering why a customer spends so long browsing your selection, adding products to their cart just to close down the tab or why it’s taking your customers a number of different steps to get from Point A to Point B when it should just take one. Whatever the confusion could be, the root cause is that you probably don’t have a clear-cut grasp of the customer journey. The customer journey is the manner in which a customer relates to a company so that they can achieve a goal.
Today’s consumers work together with brands in ways which are tricky to pin down. From growing awareness of a brand via social media, through getting a “thank you for your purchase” email after a fruitful transaction, there are often many and varied steps in between.
This isn’t something that you can assume or predict based on your internal perspective. A customer journey is quite specific to the physical experiences which your customers have. This means that the best way to understand the journeys of your customers is just by asking them.
What Is The Customer Journey?
Think about the customer journey as a roadmap which details how a customer becomes cognizant of your brand, their interactions with your brand and everything in between. Here’s the definition of the customer journey:
The customer journey is the entire sum of experiences which customers go through when interacting with your company as well as your brand. Rather than looking at just a part of a transaction or experience, the customer journey details the full experience of being a customer.
Understanding the customer journey (as well as overall customer experience) isn’t as tricky because it seems once you get organised. And it is important.
The Traditional Customer Journey
Traditionally, organisations have taken a touchpoint approach towards understanding the customer journey. This means recognizing key points of customer interaction (i.e., marketing materials, point-of-sale as well as support episodes, etc.) and measuring/monitoring the efficacy of them. Metrics on each are used in order to identify problem areas as well as initiate positive change.
While the intention here may be to establish overall customer experience, it could be argued that this approach does the opposite.
Firstly, the touchpoints are defined by the organisation, regarding their goals, not the customer. So, what if these touchpoints aren’t the ones which really matter to the customer?
Secondly, you are at risk of putting all of your customers into one bag:
- One bag,
- One set of touchpoints,
- One order, and
- One journey.
This overlooks every crucial nuance of the journeys followed by differing personas: details that are the difference between a mediocre customer experience and an excellent one.
And ultimately, what you are looking at with this attitude is a snapshot of performance from each touchpoint as a single independent entity – what if the experience you are creating at one point isn’t matched by the experience at another? What is the knock-on effect?
If you would like to learn how to master the customer journey, then you need to do our Digital Marketing Course. Find out more here.
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