Customer Journey is a marketing research methodology that allows you to study in detail the process of choosing a product or company by the customer, from the idea to the final decision and purchase. A detailed understanding of the customer journey allows you to correctly build communications at all points of contact with the potential customer and fix existing sales bottlenecks, thus increasing conversion between the stages of the sales funnel.
Various marketing tools are used to attract the customer, but for advertising to be truly effective, you need an accurate understanding of the customer journey.
Customer Journey consists of:
- Emergence of a need;
- Getting to know the market, researching information about the product or service;
- Choosing a supplier or place of sale;
- Making a purchase;
- Forming an opinion about the product or service (level of satisfaction).
When the need is repeated, depending on satisfaction with the cooperation, consumers make a purchase from an already tried supplier or repeat the iteration of the search for a suitable one. Understanding the customer experience allows you to build a long-term collaboration model where the customer chooses you again and again.
Customer Journey Map
This is a detailed description of the customer journey, which is often not linear, from the moment a need for a product or service arises to the moment a purchase is made.
The main purpose of building a customer journey map is to identify all points of contact with the customer and vulnerable places where it can be lost. Building scenarios of human behavior is a complex procedure.
The map is made on behalf of the buyer and takes into account his values, emotions, goals, fears, prejudices. Understanding this allows you to identify sales weaknesses. This methodology is especially valuable for companies that sell high-value goods, services, real estate, etc., as this process allows for certainty in management decisions. Often companies in the b2b segment, where the value of each customer is high, turn to this service.
Qualitative types of research, such as customer development, focus groups, etc., are used as a research method.
When to use CJM?
Maps allow you to understand why customers go to a competitor, how the interaction with the customer is carried out. Customer Journey Map is used to:
- To adjust marketing communications;
- To optimize sales performance;
- To improve product, business efficiency.
Working with a map allows you to optimize communication channels. Mapping allows you to know:
- Points of customer contact with the product (call center, communication with the sales manager, a visit to the sales outlet / company office, advertising, company image on the Internet, word of mouth, website, etc.);
- The process of interaction of different customer segments with the company;
- The goals of users and the stages preceding the purchase.
- The ease of transition from one stage to another;
- Difficulties (from choice to purchase);
- Emotional components at each stage.
To make a CJM, it is necessary to divide the target audience of the product into meaningful segments, and then study each of the segments separately.
The main stages of developing the map:
- Gathering information – study the audience and make a collective image of the buyer, which should have clear goals and real qualities. Visualization of human characteristics is based on patterns of customer behavior, ranging from gender and age, to interests, place of work, customer experience;
- Points of interaction – where the customer gets information from (online, offline, informal interaction). Also note the actions of users that act as tools to achieve the goal;
- Critical points – finding barriers and ways to overcome them. It is necessary to identify the points at which the client receives negative emotions from the process of choice. It should be taken into account that the imposition of two barriers is often a refusal to buy;
- Removing barriers. The goal of CJM is to create a comfortable user journey to the point of purchase. Therefore, it is necessary to select optimization methods that will improve service, make interaction points more comfortable, or completely redesign the customer journey. The cost of removing barriers is taken into account.
The importance of constructing a path map is due to the ability to visually see the problems that arise before a purchase is made, directly through the eyes of the customer.