Below are five key universal stages of the Customer Journey. We take a look at each stage to highlight how you can build stronger relationships between your business and your customers to increase conversions.
Every person that comes across your company is beginning their own unique customer journey, which is probably happening a lot more than you imagine! Only a small percentage of these people actually reach the purchase stage, which is what many businesses label as their end goal. The most successful businesspersons, though, recognise the importance of pre-purchase AND post-purchase behaviour too.
The Customer Journey Map has five stages in total, with customers dropping off along the way. It is therefore also known as a ‘funnel’ as the volume of customers decreases throughout the map.
Just as it suggests, this is the initial stage of the funnel, where your potential customers become ‘aware’ of your brand. It is also the widest part of the funnel as it develops your company’s potential customer pool. Look at your current marketing strategy and how you increase brand awareness and, if possible, analyse its success. For online activity, utilise your Google Analytics which gives free data on acquisition, behaviour and conversion.
Remember to include activities such as word of mouth, social media and organic searching; methods of which you may overlook as acquisition channels.
This stage covers those people who have become aware of your company and continue to consider business with you. Here, customers compare pros and cons of your company against an alternative, such as going to a competitor instead. This highlights the importance of promoting your company USP’s, giving your business the edge over others. Customers also value reviews and testimonials as other people’s recommendations are deemed valuable and trustworthy. During this stage, the aim is to retain as many people as possible!
This is essentially the financial transaction between yourself and your customer and what you’ve been working towards. Hurrah! However, there are still ways that you can better the service to your clients to increase satisfaction and retention rates. The purchase needs to be secure and delivered with good customer service, for a start. Additionally, this is an opportunity to cross sell other products or services by introducing ‘add-ons’ or recommendations. Ensure that you serve your customers’ needs as a primary objective, as this is ultimately the most important thing. Making simple changes to avoid losing customers at this vital stage will make a considerable difference to your business.
During the usage stage of a customer’s journey, the customer is continuing to develop their overall opinion on the product or service they have purchased, and ultimately, your brand. Good opinions are crucial as they form your company image and can lead to repeat purchases and loyalty. To further develop your company reputation, it is necessary to focus on good customer service throughout the entire process. This can positively or negatively taint customer satisfaction, irrespective of the product’s success.
Could you consider contacting your customer following a purchase to see if there is anything else you can help with or with an offer, for example?
An advocate of your company is a highly valuable asset, and some argue the most influential form of marketing. An organic recommendation from a trusted source is a powerful tool, so if you can get your clients to shout about you – you’re in for some money! This can be a personal recommendation, a motivated referral or simply word of mouth. This not only increases customer acquisition; it increases brand awareness and improves your brand image. If you take one thing from this blog post, it’s that the further along the customer journey a person is, the more valuable they become – so don’t ignore those all-important post-purchase stages!