Understanding the Customer Journey

Understanding the customer journey is critical in providing your contact with the resources they are looking for at the exact time they need them. By understanding what a customer is looking for, you can tailor your communication and marketing efforts to those specific needs, increasing your conversion rates significantly.

While your business’ customer journey will be unique, there are some common steps we can examine as we build a base understanding. Let’s look at a basic customer journey:

Awareness → Consideration → Purchase → Service → Advocacy 

What do these stages really mean? Let’s use an example to get a good idea; say you run a new restaurant in the busy downtown area of your hometown. 

  1. Awareness: A prospect hears of you for the first time. This could include seeing your business when they are around town, hearing about you on the radio, seeing your logo in the paper, being served an ad on social media, or a friend mentioning their experience. 
  1. Consideration: This prospect, after hearing about your restaurant, looks up your website to find your menu, hours, and location because they are looking for a new brunch spot for this weekend.
  2. Purchase: This prospect is booking a reservation for brunch tomorrow and is looking at your restaurant and another, they chose yours and dine in your restaurant the next day.
  3. Service: This customer has a good experience in your restaurant, decides to dine there on repeat occasions, continues to use your reservation system, and tries the other restaurants you own around town.
  4. Advocacy: This customer posts on social media when they visit your restaurant, mentions your restaurant to others, gives a gift card to a friend for Christmas, and leaves you a review online.

Okay, now that we have an idea of what a customer journey looks like, let’s look at the steps you can take to use this technique when considering updates you can make to your business communication and marketing. 

Step 1

Identify the unique stages for your business and ask yourself the following questions for each stage:

  • What is the customer’s goal in this stage?
  • How is a customer interacting with my business in this stage?
  • How can I provide the answer, service, or outcome the customer is looking for in this stage simply and concisely?
  • What are my competitors doing and saying in this stage?

Step 2

Once you have explored the customer journey, spend time improving your communication and marketing tactics within each stage. Identify key areas of improvement within each stage to make things more clear, easier to use, and so forth.

Step 3

Next, explore how your customer moves from one stage to the next. Strengthen your call to actions, be direct in your email marketing, and show them how your product is the right fit for their needs. 

Step 4

Finally, once your journey is solid, begin exploring how to expand it. How can you bring more people into the awareness stage? How can you increase the number of repeat customers? How can you get more people to advocate for your products and services?

This exercise is good to complete annually, so you are continuously improving your product and providing a better customer experience than your competitors. 

Need help improving a stage of your customer journey? Let our team at Code & Color help you:

  1. Build your website to capture attention in the consideration stage and create a smooth purchase stage
  2. Manage your social media and Google Adwords account to increase awareness
  3. Create email marketing and a mobile app for top-of-the-line service stage interactions
  4. And more! 

Get started today. We can’t wait to help you share your story and grow your business!