How well are you optimizing your customer’s experience? Regardless of whether you sell pet supplies, car insurance, or construction equipment, all of your clients‘ experiences from the moment they encounter your brand are a story. That journey usually has six distinct stages, and each one can either strengthen or weaken your relationship with the customer. The value of focusing your efforts on your customer’s journey cannot be underestimated. Done right, it makes your marketing feel more like a dating app and creates a lasting relationship between your products and your customers.
Today consumers expect seamless and hyper-personalized user experiences when interacting online with brands, including high-value communications across multiple channels and platforms at every stage of the consumer life cycle. However, it takes a lot of effort and in-depth knowledge of customer journeys.
Surveyed senior marketers and found that 67% of them say creating a connected customer experience across all touchpoints and platforms is critical to the success of their overall marketing strategy. But only 23% percent of marketers are “very satisfied” with their abilities to leverage customer data to improve customer experiences.
Here’s how a customer journey strategy helps you reimagine your relationship with your customers, create a more enjoyable experience for them, and increase your marketing and remarketing results.
Understand The Customer Journey
A customer’s journey is all of the experiences a consumer has with your business. (Note: A consumer can be a patient, a client, a subscriber, a fan, a viewer, a shopper, or an employee.) We use the term “audience” to describe any group of people to who you want to reach out.
Your customers may have different departments within their business that handle marketing, selling, distribution, customer service, and so forth, but they experience it as a single interaction. Companies that put the consumer first and personalize every touchpoint are well-positioned for long-term relationships with consumers.
There are six key stages in a typical customer journey:
Awareness — This is where your brand first meets the consumer. It marks the first time they consider you a potential solution for their problem. Perhaps they see an advertisement on social media or hear of your company from an existing client.
- Acquisition— This is the point at which a consumer becomes a lead through some form of interaction with your product/service. They may follow a link to your site and create an account, download your company’s app, or sign up for your newsletter. They might opt for a free trial or subscribe to an email newsletter.
- Onboarding— Customers who have just purchased from you are at the height of interest in your brand. They’re likely to be highly engaged and open to hearing more about your business. It’s a great time to show how excited you are about building a relationship and getting to know them better. You might have them complete a profile, providing data that will help you personalize your outreach and recommend other features, services, or products. The key is to offer help, not hype. You want the messages you send to be relevant, not intrusive.
- Engagement— This is the longest stage of the customer journey and therefore the most important one to nail down. Building a loyal customer base is key to keeping customers engaged. Are your customers continuing their purchases of old favorites? Do they stay current with the latest releases? Delivering new experiences and highly personalized content keeps the relationship fresh and interesting.
- Retention — This is where we recognize that some members of our audience are at risk of quitting, determine why they’re losing interest, and either helps them stay on the trail or make it easier for them to come back later. Data can help you see when engagement dips and tools such as exit surveys can provide insights into future outreach.
- Advocacy—This is the way your customers talk about your brand. There are no words as powerful as those spoken by a satisfied customer Providing customers with opportunities to provide feedback and review your product or service can give your brand a huge boost.
Even if a customer isn’t actively engaged with your organization anymore, as long as they’re aware of your brand and still have an opinion about it (even if it’s negative), the customer journey continues. Whatever impression customers have of your business, they’re likely to leave with others. Companies must curate experiences and manage their customer journeys as if they’ll never end.
You Need A Customer Journey Map: Here’s Why
The key to optimizing the customer’s journey lies in data. It’s no longer acceptable to send out one-size-fits-all mass emails. Today’s consumers expect personalization from their online experiences across many different channels: email, mobile devices, social media, advertising, and the Web. But you need to collect and track the correct information to deliver it.
To optimize your customer experience, it’s important to start by mapping out your company’s unique business model. A customer journey map shows each typical point of interaction between a company and its customers during the six stages of the customer engagement cycle. To get the most out of your map, your map should be built on what happens, rather than what should happen.
Depending on your industry and the type of products or services you offer, you may need to create several customer journey maps to understand the different scenarios and paths customers take when interacting with your brand. That’s fine. Start with one, and then expand from there. The more different types of buyers you include in your customer personas, the better you will understand which experiences will engage and delight them.
A customer journey map isn’t just a pretty diagram; it’s a communication and collaboration tool. Each internal department will have its unique perspective on the six phases, based on its relationship to the brand‘s products or services. Each will have its unique information and insights to share. A map can help you unify fragmented efforts, identify points where things go wrong, and highlight opportunities for improvements. Each team should list their priorities when contributing to the maps.
- Which customer-oriented data points are vital to monitor?
- What is already being tracked?
- What other information would be beneficial?
- What are the critical indicators of success?
- Which signals should be cause for concern?
- What are our goals — both high-level and granular?
Mapping out customer journeys allows stakeholders to see the bigger picture and reminds them of how their efforts impact each other. It can also help you create consistent experiences across the customer journey. For example, if each department supports customers using their interface, it can be jarring to customers.
Make sure to give the map-making step proper attention. If you don’t have an incomplete customer journey map or if you don’t have enough data, you might get yourself into trouble. Not having a customer journey map at hand can lead to data being kept in silos, missed opportunities, and disconnects between different internal teams.
Maps ultimately allow you to build logic into customer interactions and automatically move customers through different paths based on their profile, buying history, location, expressed preferences, or any other indicators. Different paths or branches on the map may show different experiences that might trigger based on customer behavior.
Customer journey maps should always be updated periodically. Journey analytics will help us understand what is and isn’t working so we can continually improve our interactions and design a better user experience. Customers who are satisfied with their purchases are more likely to recommend brands, which means they’re less likely to switch to another brand.
Map Your Customer Journey
1. Identify Your Audience
Before you can take customers on a meaningful journey, you need to know who they are, what their pain points are, and how you can help them.
By mapping out your customer journeys around specific buyer personas, you can put yourself in their shoes and walk through the experience they’re having. Any facts about who your audience is will help you understand their behavior and cater to their needs and wants.
To start your customer journeys, identify your current customers first. What do you want to achieve? Who else would you like to reach with your content?
Some of the questions you might want to ask yourself include:
- What are the demographic details that unite them?
- What is a day in their life like?
- What are their goals and challenges, both at work and home?
- What do they want?
- What frustrates or disappoints them?
- What channels do they use to engage with businesses?
- How do they make their buying decisions?
- What problems can you solve for them?
- What information are they missing that you want them to know about?
You want to understand who your buyers are in their natural state. Your marketing team may already have done so. If you’re not part of the marketing team, asking questions about buyer personas and talking about this issue is a great place to start connecting and building some bridges.
2. Define The Steps
What is the typical progress through each phase of a customer journey for your specific brand? Identify all of the interactions between a typical customer and your product/service during the pre-purchase phase, usage phase, and post-purchase phase.
A typical customer progression might look something like this:
- Defining a need
- Searching for information online
- Visiting a brand website
- Exploring features and benefits
- Comparing brands and prices
- Making a purchase
- Setting up/unboxing
- Initial usage
- Continuing usage
- Needing to upgrade
- Researching options for upgrade
- Comparing brands and prices
- Deciding to stay or leave
3. List Your Brand’s Touchpoints
Where do your customers experience your brand? For example, if you’re a restaurant, they might experience your brand at your restaurant, online, or through They’re all opportunities to leave a positive impression of your brand. But they’re not all equal.
Your brand may not necessarily have all of these, however, they’re common touchpoints for most brands.
- Google search results
- Digital ads
- Traditional ads: billboards, print, mailers
- Referring links
- Your website
- Mobile app
- Social media
- Customer support call center
- Payment portal
- Review sites/directories
- 4. Identify The Data You Want To Track
To improve your customer experience, you need to know exactly where your clients are coming from and which ones are most likely to convert.
- First, list the customer data types you currently have. This could include demographics, communication preference, purchase history, browsing habits, click-through rates, and so forth.
- Circle the data types that you use most. What do they tell you? How can you use this technique to improve the user‘s experience?
What Other Types Of Data Would You Like To Have?
- Be bold. Do you know how long customers spend on different pages on your site? How they enrolled: Was it through a pay-for-click ad, social media post, lead-generating email, or elsewhere?
- What methods are you currently collecting data through? What methods are you planning to use to gather information in the future? What is it stored in?
- There are many ways to collect data. For example, you could test different types of content, interview people who interact with your product, ask them for direct feedback, sell leads through lead forms, listen to customer conversations, use social listening tools, or mine data.
Teams and departments within an organization need to share their insights. Customer-provided data should be available across all touchpoints, which means that the customer doesn’t have to provide the same data multiple times. As your business grows you can invest in growing your data.
5. Think About Your Content
Great customer relationships are not usually built on a hard sell; they’re built on trust. Customers want information that they find genuinely interesting, helpful, relevant to their lives. Think about what you can offer your audience and how you can provide value to them.
What kind of content has worked for you in the past? blogs, quick tips (how-to articles), podcasts, webinars (live events), social media posts, newsletters (newsletters), ebooks
What content do your clients want or consume most?
What drives people to interact with your brand? How can you improve on it?
Do your customers see you as a valuable and authoritative resource?
What types of content can help your customers discover and understand your brand better?
What problems can you help your customer solve?
What kind of content can support and inform your customers’ buying decisions?
What content is best for each phase of the customer journey?
Consumers today don’t want to be sold to; they’re open to communication that adds real value to their daily lives Think about what information would be useful to your customers when it would be most helpful to them, and the best way to provide it.
6. Choose Your Channels
You’re most likely to connect with customers if you meet them where their needs are. Knowing which platforms they’re using every day can help you plan your strategy.
- What channels are you currently using? (ex. email, mobile, social, web)
- Which perform best?
- Are there channels where you struggle with engagement?
- What channels would you like to use, but need help getting started?
- How can you create meaningful moments?
- How can you make the biggest impact?
The best customer journeys involve seamless, personalized experiences across multiple channels.
Use Data To Improve Your Customer Journey
The easiest way to customize your customer experience is to use a digital platform that integrates your data with machine learning and artificial bits of intelligence. Today’s digital marketing tools are designed to leverage data across the entire customer journey in a user-friendly and scalable way.
Here are some examples of how you can leverage data to optimize each step:
1. Generate Awareness
Each customer journey begins with a question, usually revolving around finding the best product or service for a particular need. Knowing when this question tends to come up and where customers are looking online can help guide your marketing activities.
The following data sources give you a pretty good indication of how people typically discover new brands and where there are gaps in awareness:
Ads Impressions And Clicks
— Awareness campaigns are usually built around paid display ads on social media platforms like Facebook, Google, Instagram, and Twitter. They will all tell you how many impressions they delivered and how often people click on their ads. By comparing how different ad campaigns perform, you can get an idea of which messages are most effective.
— Analyzing keyword searches can help you understand whether people are interested in your product or service. You can monitor searches related to your brand, variations of your brand, your products, your blogs, a catchphrase or a slogan, and anything else related to brand awareness. Google Analytics can help you learn which keywords people use to find your site, for how long they stay on your site, and how much traffic comes from organic searches vs. paid ads. driven by pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, and the visitor’s geographical location.
— Today’s digital marketing tools can monitor the major social networks and keep track of the volume of mentions of the brand, the sentiment of those mentions, and the reach of these mentions. You can see which items get discussed the most and learn what people think of them from the discussions. It’s just as important to be turned into grumbling as it is for you to monitor enthusiasm.
Share Of Voice
— Many brand awareness campaigns focus on increasing the share-of-voice (SOV). Social listening tools are used to monitor conversations about products, services, or causes. You can measure what percent of those conversations involve mentions of your brand. your competitors.
Engagement On Social Platforms
— An increase in the number of followers, shares, likes, and comments is a good sign that more people are aware of your brand.
Domain Authority (DA)
— This is a rating on a scale of 1 to 100 that indicates how trustworthy your website is considered by search engines It is based on various metrics including external links to the domain. Websites with.edu or.gov domains are considered more authoritative than those with.com or.net addresses. Higher domain authority means your site is more likely to appear on search engine results pages. This can have a huge impact on your brand awareness.
— Quality Score is Google’s ranking of your ad’s quality and relevance to your keywords. If you have a good-quality landing page that is relevant for the keyword and the text in your ad, your cost-per-click will be lower. Lowering your cost per click (CPC) means you’ll be able to reach more people.
— Overall mentions are an easy way to see if your content has been well received by readers. The more times your brand is mentioned across all platforms, the greater the awareness of your products or services is. It’s important to keep an eye on sudden peaks and troughs. Short-term fluctuations in the number of mentions for your brand may be caused by seasonal trends, news events, or memes, but a sustained drop in mentions could indicate that it’s time for you to ramp up your outreach efforts and get more creative about reaching out to your audience.
2. Acquire Customers
You can use data for discovering new audiences and nurturing leads by sending personalized messages with dynamic content to tell them about products or services that may be useful. These data sources may be useful at this point:
Overall Website/Mobile App Traffic
— Overall traffic gives a bird’s-eye view of how many people consider your brand. The longer people stay at your site and the more web pages they view while they’re on your site, the better.
Channel-Specific Website Traffic
— Your visitors may come to your site from different sources. It’s essential to know whether they’re typing in your address directly, coming through a social media platform, searching for you, or being referred by an advertiser or media outlet.
New Vs. Returning Visitors
— Ideally, you’d like your site to attract both returning visitors and new visitors. New users who have recently discovered your brand may be viewing your offerings for the first time. Returning visitors might be intrigued and think about whether you’re a good solution for them.
List Growth Rate
— Grow your email list so you can send direct messages to them. Your list growth rate measures the number of new contacts added to your list minus any unsubscribe or spam complaints.
— Whether you’re competing nationally or in a specific geographic region, it’s important to know who your competition is and how your sales volume compared with theirs. As you expand your reach, your competitive position should get better.
Email Open Rate
— What percentage of emails you send get read? This tells you how well your content is performing.
Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate
— If your email subscribers are sharing or forwarding your emails, that’s an excellent sign. You’re not just connecting with the recipient, you’re also spreading the word to others who might be interested.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
— This is the clickthrough rate (CTR) for an email or ad. It’s a good indication of how interesting and appealing the content of your email is.
— The bounce rate indicates how many people left your site after viewing just one page. Each page of your website can have its bounce rates. A high bounce rate tells you whether your site content is relevant for a particular search term, but if it’s not, and if it‘s not appealing and easy to navigate, then it doesn’t matter.
— In the end, the task of any marketing professional is to persuade and convert. The conversion rate is defined as the percentage of people who convert into actual customers after being exposed to content or advertising. Usually, this means paying customers, however, you can also define a conversion to mean signing up for a free trial, creating an account, completing some other desired action, etc.
Customer Acquisition Cost
— Divide your marketing expenses by the number of customers you gain and you’ll have the customer acquisition cost. Not all outreach will be equally cost-effective. This statistic can help you focus on the most worthwhile channels.
— Monitoring referrals lets you see which sources are driving the highest volume of traffic to your site, which keywords are driving clicks, and which websites you need to focus on for future content creation. A spike in referral traffic can show you how well a particular campaign is working and whether a piece of content is resonating with your audience.
— User experience (UX) scores can tell you if people are having trouble using your product or service. How long does it usually take people to complete desired actions? What is the error rate for each task? If there are parts of your customer journey that feel confusing or poorly designed, then you need to identify them. If you have a high time-on-task (i.e., if you spend most of your time working) and a low task success rate (i.e., you don’t complete tasks
Cart Abandonment Rates
— Shopping cart abandonment is inevitable in e-commerce, but knowing what caused a potential customer to add items to their shopping cart and leave without completing the sale can help you recapture them later. Did they balk at delivery charges? Did they enter coupon codes that didn’t work? Is a competitor offering a lower price? A good digital marketing platform should help you retarget those consumers and potentially win them back.
3. Onboard Customers
Your first impression matters. After people give you their information, everything that happens afterward is part of the onboarding process. Once your customer has crossed the threshold, it should be easy for them to begin interacting with your business. Whether they sign up, buy a product, or download an app, how well you introduce customers to your products and services and help them understand their benefits will often determine whether your relationship lasts or not.
— The number of contacts you’ve made through your marketing efforts is a testament to how well your marketing has been done and how attractive your product or service is to potential customers. Acquiring new customers is an important step in the journey, and it is just as important for you to retain them.
— Once a new user signs up for your service, you want them to take a look at what you have to offer and decide if they would like to use it. The more features they access, the better.
Interactions with content – Most brands want to communicate regularly with their customers – especially early in the relationship The more you can encourage people to interact with your content and learn about your offerings the better. It can be important for you to know the percentage of people who tried your service and liked it enough to pay for it after their trial ends, and the more you can learn about them, the better you can recommend features, services, and other products. After they fill out a profile, having them complete an additional survey can provide you with valuable data.
Customer service inquiries—How often do people contact your support team? They’re asking what they’re inquiring about. Do they have questions about how to use your products or services? Keep track of those details so you can stay on top of any potential obstacles to sales.
4. Engage Your Customers
To keep customers engaged, you need to be top of mind when they’re looking for solutions to their problems. Data can help you personalize your customer experience by sending them highly-personalized messages that add value to how they’re using your products or services. You can keep customers interested by providing them with fresh content, tips, or interesting new features. Some of the useful measurements at this stage include:
Time Spent Using Product/Service
— Do your customers sustain their use of your product/service? Can you track how they’re using it and how much of their time they’re spending? If the data is available, that data can then be used to trigger automatic emails with tips or suggestions.
Email Open Rate Over Time
– Email is still one of (if not THE) most powerful way to communicate with customers. Segmentation and intelligent tools can help you send targeted messages to the right people at the right time. You can measure engagement using metrics like whether your messages are getting read and whether customers click on any of the content in them.
— This is information collected by websites when they track their visitors’ activity. It includes things like which pages were visited, how long each page was viewed for, and whether The more you know your customer’s interests, the better you can provide them with relevant content.
5. Retain Your Customers
Data can help you be proactive when customer behavior has changed, helping you re-engage customers who are starting to drift off. If your email open rate is starting to dip, or if people are spending less time on your product or service, then some of the following data might be able to help you reduce churn:
— Sometimes, the most effective way to know why a user is drifting away is to simply ask them. A short questionnaire or survey might help you understand why the customer’s engagement has dipped.
Customer Lifetime Value
— The lifetime value (LTV) of a customer is generally calculated by taking into account the total amount of money spent by a customer throughout their relationship with your company. Some customers will have a higher CLV than others.
You should not assume that every customer has the same value. You should treat each customer differently. Treating each customer differently means that you are not just one size fits all You are unique and so is every single person. Every person has their own set of strengths and weaknesses. You should not expect yourself to be perfect at everything.
You are not expected to do everything perfectly. Just get started and see where things go from there. You’ll learn more about yourself and your business along the way. It’s never too late to start. You might have missed your chance but there are plenty more opportunities ahead. You have nothing to lose. Brands should take special care to keep high-value customers.
Renewals Reorder, Cross-Sells, And Upsells
— When a customer has just renewed or ordered from you, it’s an excellent time to remind them of your brand’s value proposition. You might want to consider sending an email offering a special deal. This is a high-risk time for cancellations, which means using your data to strengthen your relationship with your customers can help boost customer retention.
Likelihood To Repurchase
— What are the signs that indicate a customer may be likely to buy again? Analyzing the behavior patterns of current and past clients may help you predict whether they will stick with you in the future.
— You can gain some important insights by studying your unsubscribe requests, particularly if you get people to tick a box saying why they are opting out of receiving emails from you.
— No business likes processing refunds, but there is some important data that can be gleaned from refund requests. Why did the customer change his mind? Does there seem to be a mismatch between what you’re promising and what you’re delivering? How can you manage your expectations so you meet or surpass them?
6. Turn Happy Customers Into Advocates For Your Brand
You may be using your customers’ assets without fully realizing it. Many people like to share their good finds. Word of mouth is one of the most effective types of advertising. Brands can use data and outreach techniques to encourage customers to become brand advocates. Here are some of these metrics that are useful for measuring success:
Sharing content—By placing sharing buttons on your content so that customers can easily share your blog posts, email, tips, and other types of content with their friends, you make it easier for them to spread the word about your business. You also make it easy to track.
Content sharing can be used to help you foster advocacy for your brand. A customer survey asks people one question, “How likely would you be to recommend this product to a close friend?” Promoters rate their likelihood of recommending the product at 9 or 10; passive users rate theirs at 7 or 8; detractors rate theirs at 6 or lower.
If you offer referral incentives, then you can track the number of referrals received from customer supporters each month. You can monitor this over time to see which referral campaigns or techniques work best. Referral programs usually have a high return on their investments.
— Actively encouraging customers to write online reviews can give your business a significant boost, especially if you use data to reach out to the people who are most likely to have favorable comments at the time when they are most likely to be satisfied.
– There is powerful psychology behind the social proof. Whether it’s an expert, a celebrity, our friends, or regular relatable users who endorse a product, consumers tend to be reassured and influenced by the opinions of others. You can encourage this by highlighting subscriber counts, endorsements, average ratings, and other data in your outreach. You can also use testimonials strategically.
- Influencer endorsements —Today’s marketing tools can help identify the influencers whose endorsement is most likely to sway your target audience. It works well for niche audiences. Technology can help you find just the right person to move the needle for you.
There is an overwhelming amount of data available, so you need to put it into context. The right data can tell you which channels to use, which messages to send, which audiences to target, and how many times to expose them to get the sale. Once you have a user, data can help you improve your relationship with them, increase their engagement, and keep them from leaving. But you shouldn‘t just measure things for no reason.
A digital marketing platform that integrates information and puts it into dashboards can make it easier to pull actionable insight from your data and optimize the customer journey, ultimately improving business outcomes.
Choose The Best Digital Marketing Platform To Optimize Your Customer Journey
Put your customers first. Digital marketing platforms were initially designed to help companies build and maintain relationships with customers. Over the past decade, they’ve evolved into robust tools that analyze data and help brands create personalized customer journeys.
A digital marketing platform helps companies find new leads, nurture prospects, gather data, and deliver curated messages throughout every stage of the customer lifecycle When choosing a platform look for one that offers customizable dashboards that can be tailored to your specific business model.
It should allow you to create contextual experiences for customers based on customer profiles, buying histories, location, expressed preferences, or any other indicator. Journey analytics should help you understand what is or isn’t working, so you can continually improve your processes.
If you’re looking for influence, here are My Blog Poster articles that may help.