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The Customer Journey Model – Five Keys to Business Growth
By Vsourz - 20 May 2021
The customer journey provides key insights into the way customers interact with your brand. This is important because it enables you to adjust your marketing activity to do more of what’s working and also identify the areas that need improvement. Interestingly though, the customer journey actually begins even before customers become aware of your brand and then progresses all the way through until they are advocates for your brand or products.
The key to running an impactful marketing programme that allows your business to communicate appropriately with customers no matter what stage of the journey they’re at comes down to your marketing strategy. This strategy needs to account for the 5 phases of the customer journey. You can hire a digital marketing agency to ensure you get it right or use guidance from the article below.
What Are the 5 Phases of the Customer Journey?
The 5 phases of the customer journey are search, consideration, action, love, and engagement. Many businesses focus most of their marketing efforts on the ‘action’ phase where conversions, for example, making a sale or signing up to a mailing list, take place.
But in order to optimise the end-to-end marketing function, other important factors must be taken into account as well. This includes:
Understanding why the customer is searching for a solution.
Uncovering other potential considerations before the customer makes a buying decision.
Gaining insight into what makes the customer love your brand and gets them coming back for more.
Getting to the bottom of what keeps the customer engaged to a point where they become ambassadors for your brand.
With that in mind, we’ll now go through the 5 phases in a bit more detail starting with “search”.
The search phase is where new products are found even if customers don’t know your brand by name. You may have an excellent product range, but if people can’t find you, your business will struggle to survive. Nonetheless, in order for people to find you in the first place, it’s important to tailor your communications for maximum impact at this early stage of the customer experience journey.
This means taking the time to understand why people buy. Generally, it will be to find a solution to an existing problem. Taking this into consideration, you must establish what customers are searching for, how they’re searching, as well as where the searches are taking place. Doing so, will put you in the best position to create messaging that is appropriate and resonates. It will lead to your brand being considered as one of the potential buying options.
At the consideration phase, searchers have found multiple viable solutions to their problem. The first test your products or services must pass to be a consideration is to meet the potential customer’s requirements. Once they’ve established that your offering meets their needs, the next step is weighing this up against the other options – your competition.
This is where your brand must do a great job of differentiating itself and standing out from the crowd. The goal is to meet the customer’s needs – the most. Generally speaking, a lot of the main features and functionality of products competing in the same niche will be very similar. As such, the branding and a company’s ability to connect on a human level with its intended audience often goes a long way. Before you know it, you’ll be fostering the types of strong relationships that even other important factors like price cannot break.
When customers reach the action stage, you have successfully convinced them that you can meet their needs better than everyone else. But it goes beyond that too. In order for customers to follow through with an affirmative action, your business must provide an experience that subtly nudges them towards a pre-determined conversion such as buying a product. The key to achieving this lies in conducting an analysis of how people are interacting with you via your website, app or any other one of your platforms.
When you understand customer behaviour, it’s easier to incorporate user journey mapping and make changes that deliver experiences, which logically lead to conversions. Simplicity and consistency with your tone of voice to this point wins the day. The more straightforward the customer buying journey, including clear triggers in the form of compelling CTAs (calls to action) and the familiar communication methods you’ve used to build a rapport, the better your conversion rates will be.
The digital customer journey does not end with people purchasing your products or services. One of the best ways to achieve long-term sustained growth is to make them fall in love with your brand so that they never feel like trying anything else ever again. But how can your business attain this?
First, it is important to continuously communicate with customers after they’ve converted. This doesn’t mean bombarding them with promotional messages about upgrades or buying more products. It’s more about staying in touch, keeping them updated with relevant information, and generally adding value without ‘requesting’ something in return.
A strategic approach at this phase can also inform future product rollouts. By creating a community where your business actively interacts with customers and also monitors wider brand perceptions, it’s a great opportunity to improve your offering, add even more value, and maximise customer engagement. You can hire a digital marketing agency for creative direction in this regard.
The fifth and final phase of the customer journey is engagement. Hitting the mark with the first four phases can turn your customers into a self-proclaimed marketing arm for your business. Here, your customers will love your brand or products so much that they’ll want to tell their friends, family and anyone else who’ll listen about it.
This is the best form of promotion because of its authenticity. Making customers feel like they’re a part of your brand and not just a number through personalised customer service and open communication that encourages regular feedback, will turn them into advocates. They will carry your message far and wide at their own accord.
And when a customer has a bad experience (which will undoubtedly happen no matter how great your business and customer service is), it’s an excellent chance to turn a negative interaction into long-term engagement based on the way you handle the situation.
Use the Customer Journey Model to Drive Sustainable Growth
By paying close attention to each stage of the customer journey, you’ll be in a position to welcome more engaged customers that amplify growth for your brand. If you’re not sure how to get started, you can hire a digital marketing agency with a proven track record of results to assist you.
Vsourz is a full service digital marketing agency that will work with you to establish a customer journey model, which is tailored to your business. Get in touch today to learn more.
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