Customer Journey in Business - what to know and how to design a customer journey map.

The customer journey in business is a complex marketing process that encompasses the entire customer experience with your brand, from initial contact through offer consideration and purchase decision-making to post-sale service and loyalty, dependent on multiple factors such as product type, market, and business strategies, requiring effective analysis and optimization based on quantitative and qualitative data and the use of tools such as Miro for mapping to help understand and improve user interactions across different business models, including e-commerce and B2B.

customer journey

What is a customer journey?

The customer journey is a complex marketing process that encompasses all the stages and experiences a buyer goes through, from initial contact with an organization through the purchase process to post-sale service. It is a key concept in marketing and customer relationship management, emphasizing the continuity and multidimensionality of contact between the customer and the company.

What are the stages of the customer journey in business?

The customer journey in business consists of a series of interactions with a brand, each of which has a unique meaning and influences the purchase decision. The stages of the customer journey range from awareness, consideration of an offer, decision to purchase, the experience of using the product or service, to loyalty and eventual recommendations. Each of these processes includes customer touch points that can be optimized to improve the overall user experience.

What is the goal in online marketing?

The goal of the customer journey is to increase customer satisfaction and the effectiveness of marketing and sales activities, but also to generate leads, especially in the context of online marketing. In the process of the journey, especially at the awareness and consideration stages, strategic marketing efforts are directed at attracting potential buyers and encouraging them to leave contact information. This allows companies to build valuable relationships with users early on, which contributes to more effective conversion and loyalty building.

What does the customer journey depend on?

The customer journey in business is variable and depends on a number of factors, such as the type of product or service, the specifics of the market, the target audience, and the individual business strategies and goals of the organization. Each journey is unique and should be tailored to the specific needs and behaviors of a brand’s consumers.

The customer journey is a recreation of the process a user goes through, while the customer experience is the user’s overall impression of and reaction to the process. The journey can be mapped and optimized to affect a better experience. Experience, on the other hand, is the result of the entire interaction with the company and the impressions the company creates at each stage of the user journey.

The customer journey directly affects the customer experience, shaping their perceptions. From the first contact, through the buying process, to after-sales service, every point of customer contact is critical to overall satisfaction.

In the awareness phase, the quality of communication and first impressions are key to generating interest. In the consideration phase, the availability of information and feedback influences the evaluation of an offer. In the purchase decision phase, the simplicity of the purchase process and price transparency are key. Finally, the post-sale process, including the quality of service and products, influences retention and willingness to recommend. By effectively analyzing and optimizing the path based on quantitative and qualitative data, organizations can improve the buyer experience and achieve better business results.

How to design a customer journey map for a business?

Customer journey design begins with the creation of a customer journey map that visualizes each stage of the experience with an organization. The mapping provides an understanding of how buyers interact with a company, from their initial awareness of a product or service to purchase and reuse. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are then identified that address the specific business goals and needs of the target audience.

In the process of creating a customer journey map, data is collected from various touch points, such as company websites, social media, direct service, and other channels. Then, based on this data, a detailed assessment is conducted. It is important to study how consumers’ impressions at these points affect their purchase decisions and overall perception of the brand. KPIs, such as satisfaction rate, engagement rate, conversion rate, or retention rate, help measure effectiveness and indicate where improvements can be made. Regularly analyzing and adjusting strategies based on these metrics enables companies to improve customer experience and increase business efficiency.

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What does the template include?

The customer journey template for businesses includes common elements such as awareness, consideration, decision, purchase, and then use and loyalty. However, how a buyer moves through these stages varies depending on many factors.

Companies often create their own customized process models using market research, analytical data, and survey feedback. The goal of these models is to understand how buyers interact with a company along different paths and what their needs and expectations are. This enables companies to better adjust their marketing and sales strategies to increase user satisfaction and the efficiency of their operations.

What are the points of contact in a digital marketing 4.0 environment?

Touchpoints refer to various points of customer interaction with your brand. Here are some of the key consumer journey points in a digital marketing 4.0 environment:

  • Company Websites and Online Stores: The first point is often a website or online store, where visitors can learn about your offerings, read product descriptions, and make purchases.
  • Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, where visitors can follow news, participate in discussions and learn more about the offer.
  • On-line advertising: On social media, search engines (e.g. Google Ads) and other sites, they can be the initial contact with the company or serve as a reminder.
  • Email: Including newsletters, special offers, new product information or surveys, are an important element, allowing direct communication.
  • Customer service: Including live chat, hotlines, email, social media, and offline stores where you can ask questions, get support to better understand the product and solve problems.
  • Opinions and Reviews: Product feedback and review sites where you can learn about other users’ experiences and recommend products to others.
  • Content: Blogs, articles, tutorials, videos and other content created by the company that provide valuable knowledge, build customer engagement and retention.
  • Mobile Apps: Company apps that can be used to make purchases, track orders, gather product information or use services.
  • Events and Webinars: Online events where contact with the company occurs.
  • SEO and Organic Content: Search results on Google and other search engines that direct to company websites.

What are customer pain points in the context of the digital customer journey?

Customer pain points are any obstacles, challenges, or problems they experience at various stages of their journey. They represent areas of friction or dissatisfaction that may prevent them from continuing their journey or achieving their desired outcome. These pain points can include everything from difficult website navigation, long wait times for service, and confusing product information to complicated e-commerce payment processes. Identifying pain points on customer journey maps allows organizations to focus on areas that need improvement to improve the overall buyer experience.

How detailed should the customer path be?

The customer path should be detailed to match the complexity of the interaction with your company. Every point of contact matters because it can enhance or spoil the perception of the company and its offerings. A single bad experience can lead to abandonment of the journey, underscoring the need for careful management and optimization. A good path covers all possible points to ensure a smooth and positive journey, increasing the likelihood of a purchase.

How to create a customer journey map step by step?

The journey mapping process is a multi-step process to understand and optimize your contact with the organization. Here are the steps to take:

  1. First, define your business goals and understand who your customers are. Create personae or profiles of your ideal buyers, describing their demographics, needs, goals, behaviors and motivations.
  2. Identify all points through which a user can interact with your organization. This includes both online (online store, social media, email) and offline (stationary store, point-of-sale service) points.
  3. Divide the journey into key stages, such as awareness, consideration, decision, purchase and post-sale. Each episode should be analyzed in terms of behavior.
  4. Conduct research on how users interact with the company throughout the journey to understand their needs. Use data from market research, surveys, feedback, analytics data from websites and other sources of information.
  5. Based on the information gathered, create a visual map that shows the stages of the journey with points of contact. This can be done using graphic programs such as diagrams or infographics.
  6. Analyze the map to identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities to improve the consumer experience. Look for patterns, problems, and opportunities for innovation.
  7. Develop strategies to improve the journey, such as personalizing communications, streamlining the sales process, or strengthening after-sales service.
  8. Implement changes and monitor their impact on satisfaction. Regularly update your process map to reflect changing customer needs and expectations and market dynamics.

How to analyze the customer journey?

Customer journey analysis requires both quantitative and qualitative data monitoring. Quantitative data from sources such as Google Analytics includes measurable metrics such as the number of transactions, conversion rate, number of returns, time spent on the site, or traffic to the company website. This data allows an objective assessment of the effectiveness of each step of the journey and is typically collected through analytics programs.

Qualitative data, on the other hand, allows us to understand experiences, opinions, and motivations. This information is collected through questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, analyzing opinions on social media platforms, or direct communication. Online questionnaires can be used to gather feedback after a purchase or after contact with service. Face-to-face interviews, whether in person or by phone, can provide deeper insights into buyers’ experiences and expectations.

Combining quantitative and qualitative data provides a more complete picture of user behavior. This allows organizations to not only measure what’s happening on particular paths but also understand why. For example, quantitative analysis can show where the greatest user churn is occurring, and qualitative data can explain the reasons why. This comprehensive approach to process analytics allows marketing, sales, and operational strategies to be more effectively aligned to better meet customer needs and increase customer satisfaction.

What is the customer's intention when contacting the brand?

Customer intent at the time of contact with a brand refers to the motivations and expectations that drive a customer at the time of contact. In the context of the customer journey and lead generation, intent is key to understanding what drives a customer to take a certain action, such as clicking on a link, signing up for a newsletter, downloading materials or completing a transaction.

Every point along the path, from entering a company’s website to contacting technical support, can be analyzed for intent. Understanding these intentions throughout the journey allows you to tailor your communications and offers to meet buyers’ needs and expectations. For example, a visitor to a product review site may be looking for confirmation of quality before making a transaction, while a visit to a pricing site may indicate a desire to buy.

Identifying and understanding the intentions of target audiences at different points allows companies to target their efforts more effectively. This, in turn, translates into more effective lead generation, as the company can deliver content and offers that are more relevant to the user’s current needs and state of mind. In addition, assessing intent enables a better understanding of the entire buyer path, identifying key decision moments and streamlining processes to increase conversions.

What tools for creating customer journey maps?

There are many tools that can be used to create customer journey maps, including Miro, which is a popular choice because of its versatility and collaborative features. Here are a few that may be helpful:

  • Miro: offers comprehensive features for mapping customer processes. It has templates, drawing utensils and real-time collaboration capabilities, which is useful for teamwork.
  • Microsoft Visio: This is diagramming software that can be used to create complex process maps of customer interactions with your organization. It allows you to create detailed visualizations with the ability to integrate with other Microsoft products.
  • Lucidchart: An online diagramming platform that allows you to easily create and share sales process maps. Offers plenty of templates and customization options.
  • Canva: Although primarily known as a graphic design program, Canva also offers the ability to create simple maps using templates.
  • Smaply: This is specialized software for creating professional maps of your entire journey to better understand your processes. It offers advanced features such as creating personas, contact maps and journey maps.
  • UXPressia: It is a user experience (UX) and customer experience (CX) software for mapping paths, personas and other user experience diagrams.

Adobe XD: Adobe XD, although a UI/UX design software, can be used to create interactive user journey maps.

What path for an online store (e-commerce)?

The consumer’s path in e-commerce consists of several key stages: awareness, consideration, decision, purchase, delivery and after-sales service. A customer first learns about a product or brand, then considers a purchase, makes a decision, makes a purchase, waits for delivery and uses the product or service.

In the first stage, awareness, buyers discover the brand through various media like SEO, social media platforms and email. In the consideration stage, detailed product information, reviews and easy website navigation are important. In the purchase decision, transparency in pricing and the buying process is key. Next, in the purchase, a simple and secure payment process is important. In the delivery phase, communication regarding the status of the order and delivery date is important. Finally, in after-sales service, post-purchase support and returns management are important. An effective user path in ecommerce requires continuous monitoring and optimization of these stages to increase satisfaction and promote customer retention.

What is the omni-channel customer journey all about?

The omni-channel customer journey is about creating a consistent and integrated shopping experience across a variety of channels and platforms. In an omni-channel model, all points of contact with the brand – from stationary stores to websites, mobile apps, social media and direct service – are fully integrated with each other and provide a consistent experience.

In practice, this means that a customer enters his or her journey with a brand at one point, for example, browsing products on a mobile app, and then continues at another level, such as a stationary store, where he or she can make a purchase. In an omni-channel model, it is crucial that user data is synchronized between different paths. This allows an enterprise to deliver personalized recommendations, offers and service, regardless of which point a person uses.

Studies show that users using the omni-channel approach show higher retention and are more likely to make purchases. For example, according to a Harvard Business Review report, omni-channel consumers in retail stores spend an average of 4% more during an in-store visit and 10% more online than those using a single channel.

What is the customer path in B2B?

The customer path in B2B is characterized by a lengthy decision-making process involving multiple participants and based on detailed analysis and negotiation. The process consists of several steps, from awareness to purchase and long-term cooperation.

In the first step, awareness, potential B2B customers learn of a company’s existence and offerings through avenues such as industry trade shows, content, recommendations, SEO, and social media. Then, in the consideration phase, buyers conduct a deep analysis of the offerings of various suppliers, comparing product specifications, prices, reviews, and case studies. Here, the availability of detailed technical information, white papers, case studies and expert opinions is important.

Consideration is followed by a transactional decision, which often requires lengthy negotiations and approval at higher levels of the organization’s hierarchy. In B2B, these decisions are made by groups of people, such as the board of directors, who consider not only price, but also long-term value and post-purchase support. Once the decision is made, purchasing follows, which may include contract negotiations, delivery schedules and implementation details.

The final stretch is post-sales support and relationship maintenance, which are key in B2B. Here, companies focus on providing technical support, managing the customer account and building long-term relationships that can lead to further purchases and recommendations. In B2B, it is especially important to understand specific needs and decision-making processes, and to create a personalized experience.

Customer journey map template for online lead generation

A customer journey map template for the lead generation process, the details of which may vary by company, industry, and specific activities:

  1. Display advertising or search engine SEO. The intent of the buyer is to get information, or make a transaction, the intent of the company is to attract attention and direct to the website to provide information or a transaction.
  2. The landing page on a company’s website. The user’s intention is to deepen knowledge, or complete a transaction. The intent of the landing page is to provide an educational and transactional path leading to a form.
  3. A contact form on a landing page. The intent is to contact the organization directly, get an offer, or sign up for a newsletter.
  4. Email, phone call, or chat. Direct communication, responding to an inquiry, via email or chat to complete a transaction or direct to a lead nurturing path.
  5. Purchase, or transaction via email or online store. The company sends a price quote, or a transaction is made online.
  6. Follow-up or remarketing via email or display ads. If a transaction is made, a thank you is sent to direct to the aftersales path. If there is no transaction, communication continues to warm up the lead.
  7. After-sales support. Ensure satisfaction through after-sales support via email and chat.
  8. Personalized remarketing. Encouraging repeat transactions. The company serves personalized ads to the customer to encourage them to return or other desired actions.

Which customer journey software for lead generation?

The best customer journey design software for lead generation are HubSpot and Salesforce. Features in these programs track customer behavior at predefined touchpoints and trigger marketing activities to get them to the next point. For example, an automation system can immediately send an email thanking them for their interest and offering additional related resources. If the user then opens that email and clicks on a link to another resource, the system can automatically send an email or SMS message a few days later offering a product demonstration or consultation.

What is the role of e-mail?

Email tools enable businesses to deliver relevant content at the right time on a customer journey, helping to increase engagement and build customer relationships. Analytics and data segmentation enable the delivery of personalized and relevant content, such as product information, special offers, tips, or updates. Using emailing, companies can effectively influence decisions through the awareness, consideration, and decision phases to purchase and loyalty. Email is also an important element in keeping in touch with buyers after purchase, offering support and encouraging repeat purchases, which contributes to increased customer satisfaction and long-term brand loyalty.

What is the role of CRM?

Customer Journey ties in closely with Customer Relationship Management (CRM), as the information gathered along the various segments of the journey is used to build and maintain long-term relationships, which are particularly important in B2B processes.

What is the role of the customer journey in service design?

In Service Design, the customer journey plays a central role, as it is a key tool for understanding and designing the entire customer experience along each part of the purchase path. A journey map is used to visualize how people interact with a service, allowing designers and managers to identify touch points, problems, and opportunities for improvement.

serivce design

Key Takeaways

  1. Customer Journey in business is a process that covers all points of people’s interaction with a brand, from initial contact to after-sales service.
  2. In the initial part of the path, awareness is built through various channels, such as content and social media.
  3. In the consideration phase, a person evaluates an offer, where the availability of information, reviews and ease of navigation are key.
  4. The purchase decision is the critical moment of the purchase path, where price transparency and ease of the purchase process are important.
  5. Your company’s after-sales service, including the quality of your customer service department and product, affects customer retention and willingness to recommend.
  6. The buying journey is variable and depends on many factors, including product type, market and company strategy.
  7. Effective analysis requires a combination of quantitative data of the purchase process (e.g., transaction count data, returns) and qualitative data on the customer’s purchase path with the brand (feedback, questionnaires).
  8. Mapping the customer journey at each stage of the purchase path is supported by tools such as Miro and Lucidchart, which enable visualization and analysis of the customer path.
  9. Consumer paths (consumer journey) differ depending on the business model, where ecommerce has a more immediate and quick decision-making process, and B2B is characterized by a lengthy and complex decision-making process.
  10. In an omnichannel approach, the customer journey allows you to provide a consistent and positive experience of the entire customer journey through a variety of paths and platforms, which requires synchronizing your customers’ data and interactions.