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How to Develop the 5 Stages of the Customer Journey

 March 12, 2020

By  Will

Customer journey mapping has become a favourite tool for visualising the customer’s experience. Today’s consumers engage with brands across many touchpoints and many channels, but a positive customer experience at one touchpoint doesn’t always guarantee a positive transition to the next step of the buyer’s journey.

When you think that 67% of the customer journey is now completed digitally, sometimes even without any involvement on the brand’s part, planning and anticipating every step users take is your only way of removing any factors that could have a negative impact on overall user experience.

Which could be anything; a complicated checkout process. A slow-loading website. Confusing calls-to-action. Your product descriptions could not be compelling enough. I could keep going but you get the idea.

So it really doesn’t matter that your Facebook ad got someone hooked on your products if the user gives up on browsing halfway through a category because the page loading times are horrendous.

Breaking down the customer journey phase by phase, aligning each step with a goal, and restructuring your touchpoints accordingly might seem like an impossible task; how can you possibly anticipate what a customer will do once they set foot in your store or enter your website?

You can. Data is what makes it mapping your customer journey possible. But let’s not jump ahead of ourselves; let’s focus on defining the five stages the buyer’s journey:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Purchase
  • Advocacy
  • Loyalty

Delivering value during each stage of the customer journey has a direct impact on sales and revenue. Let’s take a closer look at each stage and what does it mean for your brand.

Awareness

At this stage of their journey, users are aware that they have a need or a problem and they are now researching information and actively seeking out answers to try and solve their problem or need. It’s your chance to grab their attention with:

  • Blog posts that address common problems your customer experience
  • Whitepapers
  • ebooks
  • How-to guides
  • Social media and Google Ads promoting more specific content

Consideration

By now, users are aware of how your brand can help them solve their problem. But the research isn’t over just yet – it’s time for them to compare your product and service with those of your competitors. This is your opportunity to persuade users as to why they should choose your store with:

  • Blog posts that address specific challenges your customers experience
  • Product webinars
  • Product sample / demo
  • Case studies
  • FAQs

Purchase

Your potential customer is now ready to buy BUT there’s one thing that could jeopardise their decision and that’s trust – you need to earn it. You can do so by sharing the following content with users:

  • Product reviews
  • Customer testimonials
  • Success stories
  • Free trials
  • Free consultations

Advocacy

This is asking your customers to spread the word about your products and turning them into fans of your services and brand. It is achieved by:

  • Encouraging customers to share a review / feedback
  • Asking to follow your social media channels
  • Referral schemes

Loyalty

At this stage, you encourage repeat purchase because your customers are pleased with the product or raise awareness that the product may need to be upgraded or replaced in the future. Loyalty requires nurturing the customer-to-brand relationship by:

  • Loyalty schemes
  • Personalised email marketing
  • User-generated content
  • Incentives
  • Great customer service

Sounds pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? Here’s the thing: once you know who your potential buyers are and what their motivators during each stage of the journey are, delivering value becomes easy.

How do those tips compare to your customer journey strategy? Let me know below in the comments.

Will


Will is a Customer Journey Marketing consultant, specialising in CRO, CRM and Customer Experience. Will has over 7 years experience working across a range of consumer facing businesses and has worked for huge brands such as MyVoucherCodes, Europcar, JackpotJoy, Virgin Games and Virgin Bet.

W,Laurenson

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