Understanding the Buyer’s Journey
What is a customer journey?
A customer journey is a series of successive steps that a customer will embark on when interacting with your business.
The easiest way to consider it, is to think of it as the story between you and your consumers, each step in the journey represents the customers interactions and experiences with your brand, resulting in the creation of a path, better known as a customer journey.
Responsibility often falls to a marketeer to familiarise themselves with the occasions when a customer will engage with their brand, whether that’s through marketing communications, or purchasing the product or service they offer. Once familiarised with these touchpoints, a marketeer will build a customer journey that effectively and efficiently maximises these interaction opportunities, ensuring that the customer experience is positive, whilst delivering the right messages at the right time.
Every business will have completely individual customer journeys, no two journeys will be the same, and this is due to the fact that each business has their own collection of touchpoints, as well as differing techniques that are implemented to encourage customer engagement. Therefore, making each customer journey entirely unique.
Customer Journey Maps:
Often customer journeys are very visual, many choose to format them as flow charts. This ensures that any and all members of your team are able to refer to the journey if needed. Through creating a visual resource for a customer journey, you are developing something called a Customer Journey Map.
Intilery’s Customer Journey Manager offers you the opportunity to create AI powered campaigns, mapping your customer journeys in real-time, and with a drop-down menu builder, crafting your journeys couldn’t be simpler.
How to create a customer journey:
Below are four quick steps to building your customer journeys:
1. Set Objectives:
Before you start building any journeys, you need to consider the specifics as to why you’re creating this journey and who it is for. Setting clear objectives is key to your success.
Start with considering the customers who are going to take this journey, perhaps they’ve subscribed to your blog, perhaps they’ve added your product to their basket but haven’t checked out.
Now you’ve decided on which customer type you’ll be targeting; you need to figure out what you aim to achieve by taking them on this journey.
Once you’ve discovered who you’re making a journey for, and what your goal is for setting them on this path, you can continue on with planning your customer journey.
2. Determine your touchpoints:
You’ve established your target audience and objectives for the customer journey, now you want to move onto determining the touchpoints the consumer will encounter. Touchpoints are any place a customer will come into contact with your brand, whether that be on your website, social media, online reviews, email marketing etc. Doing this can provide you with invaluable information about how your audience are already interacting with your business.
Think about what the most common touchpoints are, what are the least used touchpoints, is there a trend of customers using too few or more than expected? All of this data can help you to determine what triggers and actions to add to your customer journey.
It’s likely that by analysing your customers interactions with your brand, you will discover flaws or gaps in the service you provide. There is no shame in this, as there’s always room to be improving on what you do. Can you see how gathering data on customer touchpoints can be beneficial to developing your customer journey, and ultimately help to better the customers experience?
3. Create your resources:
Once you have a plan in place, you will need to think about what resources you need to deliver your journey. Do you plan on sending out email or SMS alerts? If so, you should create these beforehand. You can use the Intilery platform to do this, this will ensure that you all of your assets are in one place. Intilery’s Customer Journey Manager allows you to use drop downs to add triggers, actions and assets, having them in one place, ready to be inputted is key to making the building process as pain free as possible.
4. Start building your customer journey:
The more in depth and thorough you can be in the planning stages, the more beneficial it will be to you when you come to build your customer journey. Once you have clear objectives, have analysed all the relevant data available to you and have created any necessary resources, you are ready to start building your customer journey.
As mentioned, using the Customer Journey Manager will enable you to quickly drag, drop and select the triggers and actions you’d like to include, likewise any assets created using Intilery’s platform will be available to input. You are also able to save journeys as drafts and test them before making them live.
The building process couldn’t be simpler to do when using Intilery’s platform.
For more information about signing up, visit our pricing page.
Benefits of customer journeys:
You may be thinking that customer journeys don’t seem beneficial to you or your business. Perhaps you work hard to understand the needs of your customers, and resolve any issues they may have, but stay with us a little longer and you may see how you can use customer journeys to your advantage.
1. Improved customer services:
It’s in the name, customer journeys require you to become customer centric. You have to be constantly focused on your customer in order to achieve, and this is no bad thing. Improving your customer services leads to an improved experience for the customer.
2. Create target bases within your audience:
Customer journeys allow you to break down the different groups you may find within your audience, therefore providing you the opportunity to target them all differently. There is little use treating a loyal customer in the same way as those who often abandon their baskets. Through targeting audience members in groups, it adds an element of personalisation that would perhaps not be achievable on an individual basis.
3. Improved customer retention rates:
No one likes a bad experience with a brand, through customer journeys you are able to work towards making every interaction your consumers have with your business a positive one. Improving their experience will lead to improved retention rates, and this can lead to a number of positive outcomes for your company.
Why not check out our case studies to see the many ways customer journeys can be used to achieve a number of positive results.
Now you’ve been introduced to customer journeys, how they are created and their benefits, you can go forward and start developing your own.