The Customer Journey is Just Like Your Own
David Ogilvey said “The customer is not a moron – they are your wife.” In the same way, the customer journey is not a mythical quest. We all take customer journeys – multiple journeys – each and every day – and sometimes we sit on two trains going in different directions at the same time.
The Customer Journey “refers to the customer’s path, via touchpoints, to their decision to purchase an item.” https://en.ryte.com/wiki/Customer_Journey
The customer journey does not stop and start – it’s always happening. It’s like wanting a coffee or a doughnut – people want something – but we shop differently so our journies are unique. We don’t buy a car on a whim at the check-out counter. On the other hand some people plan their coffee purchase as part of their commute each and every day. They don’t think about it at all. After a sale, before a sale, in between sales – it’s all a part of the Customer Journey.
We don’t wake up in the morning and say “I have intent.” It’s not a thing. People don’t think about it.ThinkwithGoogle – Justin De Graaf, Head of Research and Insights at Google
What IS the Customer Journey anyway? If you are like me this concept peeps up in every meeting and project plan. However it isn’t like understanding bread, or understanding quantum physics. It isn’t finite or static. It’s something unique for every product, every medium, every person, every minute of the day.
Companies have long understood their customer’s “journey” and how to use different tactics to move them towards a purchase. Mobile has really changed that – now that we can shop any time and anywhere it’s more about “micro-moments” than a planned journey.
At the heart of it all is simply one thing – need. Satisfying a need. Solving a problem. If you understand that, you understand the Customer Journey. You understand “intent”.
What is a Customer?
eCommerce and the Mobile Internet is redefining the Customer Journey, and specifically our interactions with each other; but wait, who are our Customers, or our Users?
Creating a Persona, is the first step in understanding a Customer Journey. Who are Customers? Where do they come from? Customers are either, Existing, Potential, Employees (of our company), or they are Multiplicators (influencers, family, friends).
As a Customer we want basically one of four things. We want to Buy Something, we want Information, we want be Entertained, or we want to Communicate – be a part of a Community.
What we used to expect in the way of Customer Satisfaction is morphing into a demand for Customer Delight.
We have all heard of the Marketing Funnel. It is our journey through this funnel that influences, and is influenced by, our Intent. Traditionally we saw the Marketing Funnel as a linear process – We saw an Ad, thought about buying the Product, purchased the Product, and then Shared our experiences with others.
The Internet has changed all that – more specifically, the Mobile Internet has. The Marketing Funnel, has become the Marketing Cycle. We don’t just stop our relationship at the sale. We continue our connection with after-sales service, recommendations, and by integrating ourselves into the life journey of our customers.
With a phone in our hands we are constantly informing, judging, buying, returning, sharing, caring, hating, products and brands. In fact, we have become in many cases our own Brands! And Google can explain this much better than I – and with some nifty graphics:
OK. So where is this heading?
We already said that eCommerce and the Mobile Internet is redefining the Customer Journey, and specifically our interactions with each other. We only need to remember a few years back when we would hear of a restaurant from a friend and maybe go based on their experiences. Now we can make that decision based on the instagram feed of a Korean tourist.
Digital is redefining our customer experiences, the value chain, fullfilment processes, marketing, sales, and customer loyalty. As we become more catered to and become more demanding, what we used to expect in the way of Customer Satisfaction is morphing into a demand for Customer Delight.
The Customer Journey is effected by countless Micro Moments – which makes marketing very tricky. What are micro moments, what influences them – how do we identify them?
A new breed of consumers have arrived. Empowered by mobile, today’s consumers can get exactly what they want, instantly and effortlessly.ThinkwithGoogle
While a customer journey is the sum of experiences that customers go through, micro-moments are touchpoints at which customers are acting on a need.
The SEO of your website, social media, mainstream media, advertising both onine and offline, as well as actual contact with people, labels, smells, tastes, jingles etc at bricks and mortar stores, on the train, the bus … the touchpoints are ubiquitous.
Cross-device and Crossmedia Marketing try to be at the right place at the right time in any Customer Journey – without ruining it with to many ads, at the wrong time, or in the wrong place.
Successfully understanding the Customer Journey means understanding the right mix of your Paid, Shared, Owned, and Earned media. It means understanding how to leverage our customers and users so that they become ambassadors of your brand or product.
The Marketing Cycle means focusing on serving the needs of your customers and users in such a way today, so that they trust you enough to serve them tomorrow. Digital allows us to do this in an easy and manageable way, giving us more time for the important things – customer loyalty and increased customer lifetime.
Monitoring what steps your visitors take on your website, and what events make up conversions on your web shop, can be a lot of work. I use both Google Analytics, and Matomo in my projects.
Whether you are a small business just starting out in SEO, or an organisation with multiple funnels on the go, either of these systems can help you make sense of it all. I can also assist you with in-house training and analytics monitoring.