What is the customer journey?
The customer journey describes the “journey” that a customer goes through before buying or using a product or service. During the customer journey, the customer has various points of contact (touchpoints) with the company.
Touchpoints are all contacts that a customer has with a company. This can be advertising on TV or on posters, online marketing or social media marketing , personal sales talks, the company’s website or recommendations from customers to interested parties and their reviews and ratings of the product.
The customer journey and the customer’s experiences at the touchpoint are decisive for whether a purchase is made. So that companies have an overview of the customer journey and the various touchpoints, a so-called customer journey map can be created.
Why do you need the customer journey?
The customer journey is an instrument for strategic planning. The journey provides a company with valuable insights into where their customers come into contact with the company and what accordingly convinces or prevents them from making a purchase. By analyzing the various points of contact during the journey, weak points can be identified and processes can be optimized in order to promote conversions (orders, purchases).
The customer journey can also be used to determine customer preferences and behavior, which in turn can be incorporated into the strategy so that it is designed, among other things, for the best customer experience. The customer journey can also be used to optimize communication concepts.
The customer journey – an example
A possible customer journey is illustrated by taking out a Netflix subscription.
A friend tells a prospect about Netflix and what’s on the platform. He googled the streaming service when he was at home to find out more, and went to the Netflix website , where he was immediately provided with all the important information. He’s still not entirely convinced, which is why he’s looking for some online reviews and opinions about Netflix and reading them through. Based on the reviews of others, the interested party now decides to buy. He returns to the Netflix website and subscribes to the streaming service.
Well-known models of the customer journey
There is no one- size-fits- all model of a customer journey , as every company has different touchpoints and marketing activities. Therefore the journeys are to be determined individually by each company. Possible models are shown below .
What phases does the customer journey have?
Due to the individuality, we cannot define all phases across the board. If you look at the different models, however, there is a certain consensus on the sequence, but different terms are used depending on the company. Step by step it looks like this:
- Purchase / conversion
- Service / retention
- Loyalty / advocacy
Customer journey based on the AIDA model
The AIDA model (Attention – Interest – Desire – Action) is strongly oriented towards the customer journey . It describes how a person first becomes aware of the product, develops an interest in it and, in the next step, develops a desire for it before the customer finally makes the purchase. A key feature of the AIDA model, however, is that it primarily relates to the purchase phase. It therefore does not show all sections of the customer journey. The individual touchpoints are also not shown in the AIDA model, which is why this instrument serves more as a rough strategic overview.
Customer decision journey according to McKinsey
McKinsey presents the customer’s purchase decision not as a linear process but as a cycle. The process starts with a trigger, that is, a trigger that draws the prospective customer’s attention to the product or brand . The interested party then takes the product into consideration and begins to evaluate which company or which brand suits them best.
Under point three, the customer decides on a product and makes the purchase. After the moment of purchase, the customer forms his opinion about the product and ultimately also decides whether he wants to buy other products from the same brand or from the same company. If the customer is satisfied, he can flow into the loyalty loop: He trusts the company and its products and the moment of purchase occurs repeatedly.
What is a customer journey map and why do you need it?
The visualization of the customer journey helps companies to recognize the touchpoints, to carry out analyzes and to make optimizations. This graphic representation is the customer journey map. Creating a customer journey map, the so-called mapping, is time-consuming, but in the end it is worthwhile. The entire customer journey must be shown, with all touchpoints but also all channels, formats and content. In this way, the company knows exactly which “journey” the potential customer is going through and which content is being played on and when.
In order to create a meaningful map, the company must ask itself the following questions:
Who is our target group?
Which potential customers does the company want to address with this product and what do these people have in common? Personas can also be used here for clear definitions.
What touchpoints are there?
When does the potential customer come into contact with the company or the product and through which channels does this happen? The number of touchpoints can vary greatly depending on the company and ultimately also determines the scope of the map. The various touchpoints can also be weighted so that certain key events can be highlighted.
In which order are the touchpoints located?
Now it is a matter of structuring the defined touchpoints as they run in the customer journey. Since the individual points of contact do not take place in the same order for every customer, you can work with phases here. The phases can, for example, be taken over by the journey (awareness, consideration, conversion) or even more comprehensive.
How satisfied are the customers with the customer journey?
The customer satisfaction to identify with the individual touch points is not easy. Depending on the department / channel, a different method of measurement is effective. For example, a company can conduct surveys, in person or via email or social media , to get feedback from customers.
And many more
There are now customer journey maps that depict every touchpoint in great detail. Additional points are dealt with, such as: Which IT is used? Which tracking tools are used? What is the customer’s mood curve / experience, etc.
The Customer Journey Map according to Ephraim L. Chiozza is highly recommended , as he has developed a standardized model that takes into account all marketing-relevant points.
Create a customer journey map
Once these questions have been worked out in detail, the mapping can begin. The company can freely design the visualization of the data, but the following also applies here: the more detailed, the more complex, but also more meaningful.
Conclusion on the customer journey
The customer journey enables the company to present its marketing strategy in a different way and to find new insights. Customer needs can be determined using the customer journey and the company can ensure that the touchpoints with potential customers are satisfactory. Creating a customer journey is a complex task, but it enables the company to fill any gaps and find potential in the process.
Customer Journey Template / PowerPoint Template and PDF
We have created a PowerPoint template and the PDF for you for the customer journey . We will provide you with the template free of charge. We wish you every success!