What is Customer Journey - Definition
Customer Journey - is a description of the full customer path that a customer takes from their first contact with a brand, through the purchasing process and to the post-sales stage, including all interactions and experiences with the product or service. It is a tool for understanding and analysing how customers engage with a company at different stages of their buying experience.
Customer Journey stages
The customer's purchase path (Customer Journey) is described by different phases, here are typical ones:
- Awareness: the customer becomes aware of the existence of the brand, product or service, often through advertising, recommendation or information search.
- Consideration: The customer considers different options and compares the brand's offerings with competitors, looking for the best solution to their needs.
- Decision: The customer makes a purchase decision, choosing the product or service that best meets their expectations.
- Purchase: The customer makes a purchase, which may include interactions with an e-commerce system, a stationary shop or a sales representative.
- Post-purchase experience: The customer uses the product or service and forms an opinion, which can influence future purchasing decisions.
- Loyalty: If the customer's experience is positive, they may become loyal to the brand, make repeat purchases and recommend products or services to others.
- Promotion: Satisfied customers become brand ambassadors, actively recommending the brand to family, friends and in their social networks.
Customer Journey vs. Customer Experience
Customer Journey and Customer Experience are two related but distinct concepts in marketing and customer relationship management.
Customer Experience, as opposed to Customer Journey, is a more holistic concept that encompasses the overall customer experience resulting from interactions with a brand. It encompasses all aspects of the customer experience - from the quality of the customer service to the usability of the product to the emotional response. Customer experience is subjective and influences how a customer perceives a brand, which in turn can affect customer loyalty and purchase behaviour.
How the Customer Journey mapping process looks like?
Creating a effective Customer Journey map is a process that allows companies to understand and visualise the customer experience from the customer's perspective. Here are the following steps for its creation:
- Define your buyer persona: Create personae that represent different segments of your customer base.
- Identify your customer journey objectives: Analyse your customer's needs.
- List all points of contact: Identify every point at which the customer can interact with your brand.
- Examine the customer path: Analyse the customer's journey from initial interest to purchase and beyond.
- Identify emotions and barriers: Identify what emotions accompany the customer at each stage.
- Develop scenarios: Create scenarios that describe what the customers do, think and expect.
- Visualise the map: Present the entire customer journey in visual form, using diagrams, schematics or narrative descriptions.
- Analyse and identify areas for improvement: Use the map to identify areas that need to be optimised.
- Implement changes and monitor results: Based on the findings of the customer journey maps, make the necessary changes and then monitor them.
Why is the awareness stage in the Customer Journey important?
The awareness stage of the Customer Journey is extremely important because of these few factors:
- First impression: It is at this stage that customers first become aware of a brand's existence.
- Building awareness: Without awareness of the brand or product, customers will not be able to move on to the next stages of the journey.
- Customer education: The awareness stage often involves informing potential customers about the problems that the company's products or services can solve and the benefits they offer.
- Segmentation and reaching the right audience: Allows companies to identify and focus on the right market segments.
- Market differentiation: Companies have the opportunity to differentiate their offering from the competition, which is key in attracting customer satisfaction and interest.
- Laying the foundation for relationship building: Companies that effectively communicate their values and build trust are more likely to increase revenue.
- Influencing purchasing decisions: Knowledge and positive customer feedback can significantly influence the purchasing decisions.
Why is it important to analyse customer experience?
Customer experience analysis is extremely valuable because it allows companies to understand how their products or services are perceived by their audience. This allows them to identify both strengths and weaknesses that need improvement. A deep understanding of the customers experience enables the creation of more personalised and effective marketing strategies. In addition, a positive experience can contribute to increased customer loyalty, which is crucial to a company's long-term success.