Author: Tom Cottrill | Date Posted: May 4, 2022
Having a strong customer journey is a crucial part of marketing and conversion. Every person every day faces too many choices to have to think even more about how to find a product or service. They will typically take the easiest route, especially when it comes to products or services that are high dollar amounts and take more research. It takes a mental toll on them quickly, so knowing how to make the journey easier for them can be the difference between a visitor bouncing from your website and becoming a customer.
Many companies strive to always offer more choice, and this often translates into a website that is complicated and offers too many options in navigation, services/products, and even contract options. While this covers a wide range of potential customers, it boggles the customer’s mind, gives them way too much information to process, and usually leaves them frustrated and looking for a simpler option.
When a customer realizes they have a need and starts researching a product or service that will solve a problem or fulfill this need, they eventually stumble upon your brand. Once they find your company, this potential customer will have a string of interactions with your company, starting with the path they took to find you in the first place, leading into the trip through your website or social media, and eventually (hopefully) leading them to contact you and experience your company’s customer service. This will end in this individual either becoming a customer or venturing off to look into other companies that give better customer journey options or better services.
The customer journey even goes beyond the purchase, because retaining customers has a much higher ROI than having to continuously get new customers, so making sure a customer is happy once they have purchased your product or service is also a crucial part of the customer journey.
The entire customer journey includes everything from strong marketing, excellent customer service, a good product or service, good reviews, and even strong communication with customers that may have issues with your product or service after purchase.
The customer journey has adapted to the increase in digital interaction and technology. Now companies are easier to reach than ever (or at least they should be), and information should be easier than ever to find. It is also much easier for a customer to spread the word about a brand, whether they liked or disliked them.
The stages of a customer journey are:
A company’s website and digital presence should allow for ease in all five of these stages because losing a potential customer or customer at any level of these stages will result in loss of business in some form or another. The entire process should be simple for the customer and require very little effort on their part to get information, get the product or service, and help spread the word of their great experience after they have made the purchase.
Customer experience in the journey is crucial. According to SuperOffice, “1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience,” and “customer experience is set to be the number on brand differentiator in recent years.” So, if your customer’s journey is a weak one, you are already behind your competitors, regardless of how good your product or service may be.
Customer service is not the same thing as the customer journey, so make sure that while your customer service should be good, you should also be focusing on the journey as a whole. Improving your customer journey requires having a clear customer experience vision so you know exactly what path your customer will be taking to get to you and you can determine the simplicity of this path. Here are 3 ways to improve your customer journey:
By understanding your customer, you are able to determine precisely what kind of purchase process they will tolerate, what information they need to help them make the purchase, and what kind of support they may need in the process. For example, a dress manufacturer will need to have an easy-to-use shop with high-quality images, a clear price, and details about the sizing, materials, and shipping. A more complicated service, however, such as business coaching, will need to offer significantly more website information with more prominent contact information to discuss next steps.
Create a buyer persona that will give you specifics about your ideal customer so you can better understand them and what they want in the customer journey. By focusing heavily on your customer and who they are, you can help simplify their customer journey while also providing all the information they need. A dress purchaser may want more choices (colors, sizes, styles), but a person shopping for business coaching doesn’t want to see 20 different package options with confusing titles and details.
Strong analytics are absolutely essential for improving your customer journey. By understanding where your customers are finding your brand, how long they’re staying on your site, what information they are focusing heavily on and what they seem to be stopping at can all help you determine your strengths and weaknesses.
A heat map will help you see where the customers are spending the most time on your site and where they are reading and then leaving. It also shows clicks and the entire website journey. Analytics can help you determine exactly what platforms are bringing in customers and how many of those customers are converting. If you are bringing in 10 visitors a day to your website but only converting 1 every few days, you know you have an information or navigational issue on your website.
All this information really helps you get into the head of your customer and understand what makes them tick. This helps you tweak the entire process from branding to marketing to the sales process.
A website has the ability to provide all the information a customer may need as soon as they are looking for it, but it also has the ability to overwhelm and frustrate that same customer.
Make sure your website has a clear message about your brand, what you do, and how to reach you. It should convey all the necessary information to clearly answer your customers’ questions that are simple to answer without contacting you, and it should do so in a simple manner.
Don’t let your homepage overwhelm the visitor with every iota of information you could possibly offer. Instead, give the basics and provide clear navigation to where a customer might want to go. The dress customer may want to go right to the shop, while the business coaching customer might want to go to a Services or FAQ page.
By providing options without providing too many options, you give the customer the idea that the process is built just for them. When you know your customer that well, you’ll know precisely what information they will be looking for and in what order so you can intuitively set up your website to follow those patterns. Then, by giving clear contact information and responding quickly, you will be able to show them you value their time and will provide great customer service throughout the process of their purchase.
The customer journey includes the whole sales process, so make sure your website, social media, customer service, email sequence, review requests, and every other part of the process makes the journey simple for the customer while providing everything they need. First, understand your customer inside and out so you know what they do need in the process. Start by surveying some of your past or current customers and determine what they were looking for when they were shopping for the product or service you offer, and go from there. Look to your competitors to see what information they are offering—and do it better.
Since 2013, Ignitro Studios has been working to blend marketing and technology in support of agencies and other marketers. By understanding both sides of web development, we have a unique perspective and advantage within the industry. We provide design, development, project management, QA, and strategy, driving the bus so our clients don’t have to. We will work with our clients to get results while also empowering them to do their job better. Learn more about Ignitro Studios.