More and more startups are entering the market and the number of competitors is increasing. It’s more important than ever that your customers know how to find your brand, time after time. You want to make your customers love your brand. You want to discover the way to their hearts. An optimal Customer Journey is crucial in achieving this.
The Customer Journey is the journey a customer takes from the very first contact with your brand to the final purchase of your product and/or service. The goal of the journey is to build a strong, personal and lasting customer relationship. Much like a roller coaster ride, a customer journey is full of twists, highlights, and challenges. It’s a journey full of emotions, expectations and interactions that influence how customers perceive your brand.
In this blog, we tell you more about the importance of a good Customer Journey and we take you through the different phases. Make sure you’re comfortable, because we’re about to embark on this exploration of the Customer Journey!
The stages of Customer Journey
The journey a customer takes to purchase your product or service consists of five phases:
- Usage & Experience
- Evaluation & Loyalty
It is important to map out the journey per phase, because it provides insight into the needs and expectations of your customer. In addition, understanding these phases is very valuable because it can help you improve the customer experience and create new value. We will explain all phases and give an example of a brand that excels in each phase.
Stage 1: Awareness
The customer journey begins with awareness. In this first phase, the customer has its first encounter with your brand. For example, they discover your brand through advertisements, a recommendation from a friend, or through Google. In this phase, your goal is to grab the attention of potential customers and make them aware of your product or service.
Coca-Cola is a brand that is very good at creating positive awareness. They have a strong brand positioning and spend a lot of time, money and attention developing advertisements to grab the attention of potential customers. For example, they advertise on television, social media and at events. Coca-Cola’s advertisements are often creative, emotional and aimed at creating a positive association with the brand.
Stage 2: Consideration
After customers know who you are, they will consider different options. They compare products, read reviews and collect information so they can make an informed decision. That is why it is important in this phase to provide relevant information with which you can convince the customer to choose your product or service.
A brand that does this very well is Lush, particularly through their flagship store. This is a physical store where customers can test all Lush products and can get advice from the Lush specialists. This way they can consider different options and collect the right information before they decide to buy the product or service.
Stage 3: Purchase
This is the moment when the customer makes the purchase. The purchase can take place online, but also in a physical store or through another sales channel. At this stage, it is very important to make the purchasing process simple and hassle-free so that the customer can check out with confidence.
You see more and more brands offering their products through a subscription model. Take, for instance, the coffee bean brand Roast. You receive coffee beans every month for a fixed amount. This way you never have to queue in the store again and you can be sure that you always have coffee beans in stock.
Stage 4: Use and experience
After the purchase, the product or service is used by the customer. This stage plays an important role in the future purchasing decisions of the customer. That’s why you want to provide a positive user experience and resolve any issues quickly.
Apple is known for its user-friendly products, such as the iPhone, MacBook and iPad. They strive to provide a seamless user experience where the products are easy to use and integrate well with other Apple devices. What if the device stops working? Then you can always go to the Apple Store to have it repaired.
Stage 5: Evaluation and Loyalty
The final stage in the Customer Journey is the evaluation of the customer’s experience. This happens after the customer has used the product or service. The goal is to make sure that the customer is happy with your brand because then they are more likely to make repeated purchases. It is also important to actively collect customer feedback and use it to further improve your products or services.
Starbucks has a strong focus on building long-term relationships with its customers. They offer a loyalty program, called Starbucks Rewards, that allows customers to earn points for every purchase. With those points, they can then receive rewards such as free drinks and discounts. In addition, Starbucks ensures that each customer receives a personalized experience by writing their name on the cups and listening to specific preferences.
Get started with Customer Journeys
You now understand why Customer Journeys are so important. You also know the different phases of a Customer Journey. From awareness to loyalty, each phase plays a very important role in the success of your brand. Having good insight into your Customer Journey, and that of your competitors, helps you discover new opportunities that you can capitalize on.
To design a good Customer Journey, it is important to properly map out the needs of your customer. Our Customer Discovery Guide is a unique tool that helps you to gather valuable insights to optimize your Customer Journey.
Understanding and optimizing the Customer Journey is a continuous process. It requires constant monitoring, analysis and adjustment to respond to changing customer needs and the changing market. Stay Future Proof is specialized in designing and optimizing Customer Journeys. Are you curious how we can help you? Then contact us here.