So, what does the online discovery journey of a new user/customer or user look like?

For those who find themselves fully immersed in the world of online marketing strategy, it’s always important remain in the shoes of the end-user. Hence, an accurate customer journey map is so important. After all, as the anticipated route from engagement to conversion, this map helps forms the basis for a marketing strategy. Yet, the customer journey map is often over-simplified, and thus less insightful.

Okay, the online experience (for most people) looks something like this:

Land on website > Browse content > Share and/or make an actionable decision The end

Well…sort of. 

Really, the journey from discovery to purchase is far more complex. To be sure, the magic of a useful map lies in the path to customer conversion and ultimately customer advocacy.

This is called the Complete Customer Journey.

Huh?

The Complete Customer Journey is a robust way of viewing all of a single user’s engagement. Hence, lead generation experts who use this method put themselves in better position to grow awareness, retention, CLV (customer lifetime value), and sales.

2014 report by McKinsey & Company found that, when taking the complete customer journey into consideration, companies have the potential to increase customer satisfaction by as much as 20 per cent. That’s a lot of percent!

Why is this important?

It’s all about creating a more defined picture of the service you’d like to provide to your user by anticipating their journey. Whether you’re a freelancer, consultant or account manager, this picture is invaluable. Because, in the end, the customer perspective determines whether or not they remain loyal to your brand – or go elsewhere.

When mapping the customer experience, the following elements should be taken into account:

Awareness of your product or service > Evaluation Process including high-level & in-depth research > Purchasing your product or service > Repeat Purchasing with user feedback is welcomed and accessible > Advocacy/Renewal of your product or service

Each element  will probably have one or a number of corresponding touchpoints that influence how successful the experience is for the client! From visiting your website or trying to access your company via phone, to face-to-face interactions. If you’re responsible for your customer’s satisfaction, then it’s imperative to know the quality of the experience they have at each of these touchpoints.

And as we all know, a satisfied customer is tantamount to a competitive edge.

To infinity…and beyond

As we go further into the mobile revolution, users expect engagement and usability to integrate to new technologies. Businesses, online and offline, need to place mobile UX, geo-sensitive marketing and customer support at the heart of the complete customer journey.

In a blog entry entitled, The Digital Transformation of the Customer ExperienceWall Street Journal contributor Irving Wladawsky-Berger, cites a 2014 study on Digital Transformation by Altimeter – a research and advisory firm that makes important observations on how digital is transforming the customer experience.

Of note, the report states: 
To truly deliver a 360-degree customer experience, businesses must integrate the data in marketing and CRM systems to connect the dots between touchpoint, business units, and customer expectations.

To this, Wladawsky-Berger notes:
Companies must thus be flexible and align their various touch points to better match the preferences of each individual customer.

The Altimeter report concludes: 
In its own way, digital transformation is making businesses more human. As such, digital transformation is not a destination. Instead, it’s a journey that continually seeks out how to use technology in ways that improve customer experiences and relationships.

Ultimately, the better the data, the more accurate a journey map can be. And so, the importance of an insightful map (one built off the customer experience) cannot be understated. Too often, marketers let their bubbles make the decisions…let your data do that for you.

Happy map making, and feel free to get in touch if you need an extra hand!