What is the Customer Journey?
The term customer journey refers to the entire path of potential customers through various touch points with brands, companies or products until a desired target action (e.g. a purchase) takes place. In marketing, the Customer Journey – the “journey” of the future customer – is used to map the exact route via these contact points.
- Is the path of the potential customer to the target action
- Can extend over a longer period of time (hours, days)
- Customer comes into contact with product several times before making a purchase decision
- Can be visually recorded in the Customer Journey Map
Goals and phases of the Customer Journey
The goal of evaluating customer journeys is to learn even more about customer behavior. By analysing the contact points, it is possible to deduce how the path from the interested visitor to the conversion can be further improved, so that the desired actions are even more reliably evoked. Among other things, it is possible to investigate the connection between certain touch points. In other words, the customer journey is the complete sum of the experiences that potential customers have when interacting with a company or brand. Rather than looking at only part of a transaction or experience, the customer journey documents the full experience of being a customer. Getting to know the Customer Journey is all about promoting the customer experience. When customers buy a product or service, they often expect a pleasant feeling to accompany the purchase. There is a feeling of satisfaction or at least a good feeling when people find something they want. They can go through the buying process and then finally enjoy what they have bought. Customers feel this experience – either the ease or the effort – even if they do not consciously plan ahead. To get a better feel for the Customer Journey, you should look at the way customers think. There are different approaches to the phases in which the customer journey can be divided. What they have in common, however, is the basic idea that the decision to buy is usually not made immediately by the prospective customer. First of all, a target group must be made aware of the brand or product. Then (ideally) the interest is aroused. If information is taken up by the user, then the desire for the respective product usually arises, which finally (hopefully) leads to action.
Understanding and using the Customer Journey
It is important to pay attention to how customers experience the company, product or brand at every step of the way. You can do this, for example, by creating a so-called customer journey map covering all phases. These phases of the “Customer Journey” are the contact points. They are basically always present when a customer comes into contact with the brand. So on the road, customers interact with different contact points, such as an ad or website, social media reviews, the customer service team, surveys and more. In this context, one should always ask oneself: What does the customer do at each stage? What will encourage (or discourage) customers to move on to the next stage? What kind of emotions do they feel in each of the phases? Where are customers unnecessarily held up? Do they have questions and difficulties finding answers? Could their uncertainties lead them to give up and find another company? What kind of obstacles do customers face in each of the phases? Are costs a factor? What about the right of return? One should consider everything that could lead the customer to give up and not complete the sales cycle as they move through the Customer Journey. You can map the Customer Journey process using charts or by creating a list of scenarios that customers are likely to encounter at each stage of their journey. Note that each customers journey will be slightly different and some customers may skip individual phases. It is important to talk to the customers to find out how they interact with the brand. Investing time in understanding the Customer Journey and documenting thoroughly each time customers interact with the brand helps identify where improvements can be made and make each customer experience positive.