What Does Customer Journey Mean?

Customer journey is the total experience your customers receive as they interact with or journey through your products and services. As they go through certain vital stages (touch-points) when they decide who to purchase from. The customer journey is like a pathway they take from being aware of your products to make a commitment to buying from you. Therefore, several business experts advise companies to strategically connect all phases of the customer journey lifecycle to turn passive customers into loyal ones for business growth.

Why Do You Need A Customer Journey as A Small Business?

It is a big myth that only big businesses can properly execute customer journey mapping due to their substantial budgets, data collection, marketing, and strategy resources. Your small business which provides a limited range of services and products can significantly benefit from an understanding of the buyer’s journey. 

Understanding from a customer’s perspective why they buy from you gives you great insight. You’ll understand their needs and wants, which can guide you to tailoring your business to meet those expectations. Several business experts recommend listing your products and services to understand what transformation it gives to your clients. Understanding what the “before” and “after” looks like can help you understand your customers better. Also, remember that products can offer a partial transformation. For example, can you create a digital product that gives them a 25% or 50% transformation? Many customers would welcome that, rather than an overwhelming and complex product. Know your audience and if they take to action step by step.

A great way to start for online businesses to track the customer journey is by having lead magnets and opt-ins in their marketing strategy. These are a great way to connect to your potential customers, understand how to best position yourself and create the services or products they want. Within your emails, you can also bring awareness and understanding to potential customers regarding what your business has to offer. 

As such, your business needs a well-outlined customer journey map to understand when and how you can help perspective clients. Discover how they discovered your business, how you compare to your competitors, how and why they make purchases from your website, etc. All this is valuable digital market research information that you can leverage to create better experiences for consumers and boost your business.

Added Benefits of Knowing Your Customers’ Journey

Target Audience

  • One vital aspect of having an incredible customer journey is knowing your target audience well. Knowledge of your audience makes the difference between a successful marketing campaign that appeals to your customers’ needs and one that gets ignored. It’s about strategically getting the right information to the right customers based on their needs/wants and crafting must-have solutions that appeal directly to these needs. As such, your business will be more relevant, have increased demand from the right customers, better lead generation, and improved sales.

Customer Retention

  • Knowing your customers’ journey can also boost customer retention, ensuring that you have loyal consumers who will continuously buy more from you. According to the Adobe Digital Index, repeat customers are nine times more likely to convert than first-time shoppers. Many business experts also say that acquiring new customers requires more effort and costs than keeping existing ones. Facts like this prove that businesses mostly thrive off existing customers instead of new ones; you must retain your clientele and extract increased value from them by making them patronise more. Therefore, having a buyer journey map will guide you concerning how to improve your products, if you can create new product which answers a need, and how to use marketing for the best retention results. If executed correctly, you can transform $50 clients into $5000 clients, leading to increased profits and business growth.

How to Implement Customer Journey

Create a customer journey map

According to the Aberdeen Group Research, companies with a formal customer journey map enjoy a 54% greater return on marketing investment. A customer journey map is a diagram to visualise the stages that your customers go through when engaging with your company. Are you new to this concept? Think of it as a stepping-stone that guides your customers towards higher conversion rates because you optimise their journey to provide an experience that keeps them coming back. A typical buyer journey process has five stages:

  1. Customer become aware of your business due to your marketing efforts. 
  2. Customer consider engaging your business by reviewing your customer value proposition, etc. 
  3. Customer research through comparison and reviews to see if your business is worth patronising.
  4. Purchase
  5. Reviews 

Often as business owners and customer, we see the customer journey process is ideally a linear. Move from one stage to stage. However, this is not always the case. Customers can become aware of your business for only a short while before purchasing your top-end services, even without much customer value proposition.

Keep in mind, however, that this journey takes time. You are working towards establishing a business that retains customers and extracts long-term value from them. To achieve this, many business experts recommend that you go beyond sales focus and work towards creating “true fans.” Measures like improved service quality, building trust, etc., will create customers who will love everything and buy everything.

How Does Customer Journey Differ from A Sales Funnel?

Although they seem similar, they are two distinct models; sales funnels are tactical actions structured towards marketing and sales from your company’s point of view. On the other hand, a customer journey focuses on your business’ entire strategy from the customer’s perspective, moving beyond sales strategies to include retention and increased value extraction.

Modern-day customer buying journeys are continually evolving; consumers have so much choice and so many ways of learning about products or businesses and purchasing them. Many business experts advise that you continuously study consumer behaviour to strengthen your customer value proposition and enable you to make other relevant updates that keep your business competitive. When was the last time you asked your audience what they needed from you? 

Want to understand your customer better but not sure where to start, let’s talk through which approach is best for your business, book a call.

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