The customer journey or customer sales journey refers to the whole process a customer goes through to purchase a product or service from an online store. It starts with brand awareness and ends with after sales support if applicable.
For a restaurant website designer, the customer journey starts when a consumer enters the website, while for a SEO consultant, the customer journey starts, when a consumer searches for a local restaurant. Hence, even though the starting point differs from different perspectives, the whole journey is pretty much the same.
Table of Contents
Customer Journey phases
Generally the customer journey consists of five touchpoints. By defining these touchpoints specifically for your business, you can figure out when, where, why and how a customer approaches you, so you can respond accordingly.
When a customer becomes aware of a need or a pain that needs a solution for. At this point, the customer starts to search for the best solution. Once the customer enters into the initial phase, it’s the time for you to generally increase the audience awareness about your product or service.
At this phase, the customer is ready to get information about your product or service and evaluate other suppliers’ offers in terms of quality and pricing. The prospect is ready to take action through your website, if your offer is competitive enough.
Here is the phase where you convince the prospect to choose your offering by taking action through a dedicated call to action element. The action can be to buy, to sign up or to subscribe.
If the customer is happy with your product or service, they will get back to you and make more business for you. More business means more profit. By providing quality services, loyal customers are made for your business.
A loyal customer can bring more customers for your business by recommending to their friends and relatives, leaving testimonials and sharing your content on their social media platforms.
What are the benefits to map out the customer journey
To understand how users go through the purchasing journey, how they interact at each phase and anticipate their behavior across the whole pathway, it is essential to map out your sales journey and predict how customers interact with it.
- Improves your marketing strategy
Mapping out the customer journey helps you to analyze the results and make changes to your marketing strategy if needed.
- UX enhancement
By mapping out your sales journey in detail, you will be able to accurately analyze the actions that customers must be taking to convert. This will give you the capability of spotting the areas that need improvement from a UX perspective. As an example, you might have consumers in your ecommerce store who do not have any idea about what is payment gateway in ecommerce. Even for this type of customer, you must have a plan in your customer journey map.
- More loyal customers
By precisely mapping out your sales journey, you would be able to identify spots that need improvement for increasing the likelihood of retention. By making changes in favor of user experience, more loyal customers will be created for your business.
How to map out your customer sales journey?
- Set your goals
As the first step, you must set your goals for creating a customer journey map. The goal can be increasing sales, improving UX, making loyal customers and a lot more. By doing so, you can create your customer journey map aligned with your objectives and goals.
- Create customer persona
A customer persona refers to who your targeted audiences are, why they need your products or services, how they behave when they need your products or services and what their desires and pain points are. By creating a precise customer persona, you will be able to reflect it into your customer journey map. For instance, if you are providing services like commercial real estate web design in Dubai, your targeted audiences are pretty much real estate brokers in Dubai who are looking for luxurious and innovative website design services. .
- Identify the touch points
There are multiple touch points across the sales journey that users will be interacting with. Some touch points are mutual for the majority of business types while some touch points are business specific. The touchpoints must be identified and defined with care, so nothing will be missed. Once the entire touch points are in hand, you can focus on improving the process of interacting with them and enhancing the UX.
- Users emotion
By having your targeted audience’s persona and the touchpoints that must be interacting with, you will be able to identify users’ pain points and improve them as best as possible. Users’ emotion plays a pivotal role in how your business performs in terms of conversion. If users feel comfortable with the processes that usually concern them, your conversion rate starts to improve.
- Analyze the opportunities
Once the customer sales journey is mapped out, you will have a visualized insight into the journey that a customer must go through to convert. The map gives you the capability of identifying the areas and spots that prevent users from going forward and converting. You must analyze the issues and modify the process accordingly.
Having a customer sales journey plan in place, helps businesses to not only reflect their business goals in the plan to take their steps in the right direction, but also makes them capable of focusing on users’ needs.
Today, it is essential to create a customer sales journey and review it from time to time to make sure that the process within your website is working well and in line with customers’ preferences and desires.