The Customer Journey

March 11, 2021

If you’re about to close a deal with a prospective customer, odds are you’ve worked with them long enough to know how they found your company. If not, it’s never too late to find out. Understanding the full scope of the customer journey, from awareness, to consideration, to close, is essential for a successful business. With so many different options and channels for customers to find you, it is especially important to know your customer journey and have it mapped out. This knowledge will give you a better understanding of your customers and gives you the opportunity to improve and provide customers with the best experience possible.

What is the Customer Journey?

The customer journey is the experience customers go through when interacting with your company. Customers interact with your company in three phases:

  1. Before a purchase: Customers will experience your online advertising, email marketing, social media, and more.
  2. During a purchase: Customers will interact with your sales team and your website.
  3. After a purchase: Customers will interact with training material, follow-up inquiries, and customer marketing communication.

The best way to understand your customer journey is to create a visual representation of it. With a customer journey map, you will be able to see the complete picture of your customers’ needs and pain points.

Understanding Your Customer Journey

Before you can start mapping your customer journey, you’ll need to fully understand the experiences your current customers had before they purchased your product or service. You can gain this knowledge by interviewing your current customers. Questions to ask your customers include:

  • What was your research process for finding a new product?
  • How did you find our company?
  • What made you choose our product or service over a competitor?
  • What are the goals you want to achieve with our product or service?

With these interviews, your goal is to make sure you understand each experience your customer had that brought them to you and why they ultimately made that purchase.

Creating a Customer Journey Map

With all the knowledge you gained from your customer interviews, let it inform your answers as you follow these steps to map out your customer journey.

  • First, map out all possible touchpoints, or places customers interact with your brand. This could include your website, social media, paid ads, email marketing, and more.
  • Next, list the actions that your customers can perform at those touchpoints. This could be opening an email, clicking on a link in a social post, reading a blog, or requesting a trial of your product or service.
  • For each action, note the emotional driver that compelled your customer to take that action. What goal is the customer trying to accomplish by doing this?
  • Finally, note the obstacles that customers are facing at each step. What are the roadblocks that occur for them? Are they being hindered by cost or lack of information?

Remember that every customer journey will be unique. Not all customers will follow every step, some may jump ahead to purchase right away, and others may take their time gathering information.

How Can You Use the Map to Improve Customer Experience?

While this process of gathering research and mapping your customer journey may seem tedious, remember that the goal is to improve overall customer experience. Speaking to your customers and looking at the journey as a whole will show you if there are any gaps in your current strategy and if there are any areas that prospective customers are struggling.

Use your journey map to predict what your potential customers will need from your marketing, sales, and customer success teams along their journey and be ready to provide it. Evaluate your current journey to see if you are providing everything that your customers need. Make improvements throughout to make each customer experience positive.

It’s also important to keep your customer journey up to date. As interests and research patterns shift, you may find that your customer journey has changed over the past few years. Customer behavior patterns change as trends come and go. Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate your customer journey on an annual basis to ensure that your customers are getting the best experiences possible.

Ready to Get Started?

Insightpath has the tools you need to make your customer interviews a success. With our guided templates, meeting recording and transcription, and qualitative data analytics tools, you can easily gather data to understand your customer journey. Contact us today to start a free trial.

More Resources