What is a Customer Journey and 5 Ways to Create a Smooth One?

What is a Customer Journey?

When building a business there are a number of things that are very important for the success and growth of your business. Having a smooth Customer Journey is one of these things. 

You might be wondering what a Customer Journey is,  don’t fret, it is a simple concept to understand. A Customer Journey is the end-to-end process that your customers experience when they interact with your brand or buy your product. 

It doesn’t matter if your business is predominantly on Instagram or if you run an e-commerce website or a walk-in store, having a smooth Customer Journey guarantees that your customers are satisfied and, as we know, a satisfied customer is the best kind of marketing tool. 

With a well laid out Customer Journey you are envisioning the different behaviours that different types of customers will take when they come into contact with your business. 

The Customer Journey will also help you understand and anticipate your customers’ needs and wants so you can optimize your marketing efforts in response.  

In this article, we will outline 3 ways to create a smooth Customer Journey map to ensure customer satisfaction, retention and growth. 

  1. Understand your customers’ wants and how to deliver them

The first thing you need to do is learn who your customers are, the importance of this cannot be over-emphasized. When you know who your customers are and understand how they think, you will be able to predict what actions they may take. 

The easiest way to figure this out is by carrying out research, this will give you insights into the thought process, expectations and behaviours of your clients.  When you figure this out, you can create a roadmap to fulfil their expectations and anticipate their actions. 

What this does for you is give a personalised touch to your business. 

  1. Map Out the Customer Journey

After you have learned your customers’ needs and the ways they use your product or service,  the next stage is to draw up a customer journey map. This is basically a map of the different steps your customers take as they interact with your marketing, navigate your website or purchase from your business. 

There are sometimes 6 stages of the Customer Journey. A few important stages are:

Awareness: This is how customers hear about your product or service. You want to ensure that your target market is aware of your business. 

Interest: At this point, a relationship between your brand and the customer starts to form. They are asking if your business will satisfy their needs.

Decision: At this point, the customer has made the decision to purchase, prior to this, they had been flirting with the idea but now they are ready to make a commitment.

Conversion: This is also known as point of purchase, this is defining for you because this is what leads to revenue for your business, the customer’s willingness to make a purchase. 

Retention: After purchase what next? Your customers need a reason to come back. The previous stages and the work you do here determine if you will have repeat customers or not. 

For a more detailed version, you need to consider the different ways segments of your clientele use your product. At these different points in the customer journey, what applies to one customer segment differs from another customer segment. This differentiation is what guides the messaging and communication that you use with certain customers. Doing this also helps you identify what problems currently exist in the customer journey, ensuring that you solve them. 

  1. Plan your Marketing in Line with your Map

After building a customer journey map, the next thing to do is tailor your marketing to match the different points in the customer journey. The marketing you do for people in the awareness stage is not the same marketing you do for people who are at the point of purchase. 

With a well laid out map, you know what kind of marketing efforts to put your resources behind, especially when you realize that potential customers are stuck at a particular stage in the journey. You can introduce specific content, rewards and experiences that are delightful and unique to move them further along the journey. 

Your customer journey is always a good indicator of the success of your business. It is a good idea to look at every step of your customer journey regularly. This will help you identify areas that you could improve and make sure your customers are satisfied with what you have delivered at every stage of interacting with your business