Customer Journey – learn from your customers
What is it?
A Customer Journey is the path a potential customer takes. From a marketing perspective this term means all the touch points a consumer has with a brand, a product or a service. A Customer Journey takes place over a limited period of time. This means it can take a few hours or days. As a rule, the aim of this “journey” is to buy something or place an order or a request.
Touch points can be extremely versatile: There are direct interaction points between customers and companies in the form of advertisements, spots, websites etc. Furthermore, there are also indirect contact points at which opinions of third parties are obtained such as, for instance, on rating portals, user forums and blogs.
By taking a look at the Customer Journey we can view the world through the eyes of our customers.
What benefits do I have?
The Customer Journey Analysis tells you a lot about the behaviour of your consumers so that you can align your marketing activities accordingly. With the help of tracking technologies you will discover the specific benefits of all contact points which arise through marketing campaigns. By means of these insights the interdependencies between the channels and the contact points are revealed to you and you are able to derive relevant optimization potentials from these. At this point you should make sure that the interrelated effects create synergies instead of actually hindering each other.
Through the insights gained from the analysis you are also able to clarify whether the final contact point was decisive for the purchase of a product or whether it arose through the interplay of several contacts and channels. Because during a Customer Journey analysis not only the final contact point is captured but all contact points that take place online.
This new knowledge helps you to distribute media budgets to the individual channels more effectively. As a result, the efficiency of your online marketing activities also improves.
How comprehensive is the Customer Journey Analysis?
Analysis already works quite well in the online world. Almost all Touchpoints are captured and evaluated. The current challenge is to connect contact points of digital channels with contacts from the offline world. The latter include posters, sponsoring and viral marketing, to name a few. Moreover, in marketing we also speak of “steps”. These refer to events which influence customers but cannot be registered. This is, for instance, a moments in which a need arises in the customer.
The current task consists in capturing all channels and contact points in a system and in the same measurement unit. Initial attempts have already been made to try and create a comparable “currency” across all contact points with one brand or product.
Bonus programmes such as Payback, for instance, recognize customers when they are offline and iBeacons are already able to reach the mobile devices of visitors in local shops. On the other hand, customers have a desire for privacy. They don’t want to disclose their data or they expect some kind of compensation in return. Therefore the Customer Journey is not yet comprehensive but well on its way there.
How can I analyze a Customer Journey? What do I need?
There are different approaches to and ranges for analyzing a Customer Journey. The most common practice is to set up a Customer Journey Map. In this sketch you will focus on the customer’s path and specifically highlight his needs/expectations, interaction and emotions. Basically you are entering into the perspective of your customer.
The following points are a rough example of what is required for setting up a Customer Journey Map:
- Create a buyer persona: describe a customer’s specific characteristics for which a product or service is to be customized.
- Define touchpoints and steps: Write down with which contact points and experiences your persona should come into contact with during the journey to your product.
- Design a storyboard: Draw a sketch for every contact point /step. This will illustrate the process.
- Name the channels: Define the channels via which your persona will come into contact with your product.
- Evaluate emotionality: Every step triggers an emotion: positive, negative or neutral. How are the individual steps received by the customer? Are there technical problems or moments of enthusiasm?
- Rate the importance: Estimate the importance of every step. What effect does it have on the life of the customer?
By means of this map you will get a good feel for your customers’ paths. You are able to take a closer look at individual points, change them or extend them.
Modern web-controlling tools and marketing automation systems delve deeper into this subject. They consider complex Customer Journey interdependencies and provide comprehensive analyses of your marketing campaigns. You are able to use these figures individually or enter them into your Customer Journey Map as a whole.
There is no getting around the Customer Journey if you are intent on conducting successful marketing. Your customers are always on a journey and you can decide how pleasant this trip will be for your customer. Only if you know more about your customers and their experiences will you be able to carry out targeted and customer-oriented marketing and sales strategies.
As a first step you will have to put a bit of your budget aside for the introduction of the system and/or the creation of a map, but it will be worth your while. Because from now on you will be making less wrong marketing decisions and serving your customers more accurately.
You’re interested in a Customer Journey Analysis? We are happy to provide you with further information and will show you how the process works by means of a live system. Simply let us know.