We live in a world where we have more options and information at our disposal than ever before. This has allowed people to engage in an increasingly nuanced process of deciding which products and services they will choose. In most situations, people do not decide on a purchase all at once. Instead, buyers take their time to research options, learn about the companies offering these products/services, and evaluate reviews from other customers. After careful consideration, people finally arrive at a decision regarding which company to support.
This process is referred to as the customer journey. It starts with gaining awareness of a brand and includes many steps before the purchase is made. Optimizing this customer journey is crucial to your ability to attract new customers and retain existing ones. You need to tailor these journeys to the specific experiences of your audience, and you must continue to nurture a relationship with them from the moment they become aware of your brand until well after they’ve become a customer.
While this process may be complex, it is an important tool for modern marketers. Without compelling customer journeys which respond to the specific needs and pain points of your target audience, you will find it challenging to stand out from your competitors, much less keep up.
At Webolutions, we’re driven by our purpose: To Empower Passionate People to Thrive. We live this purpose in everything we do for our clients. One of the ways we empower our clients to thrive is by helping them create engaging journeys that will deliver a powerful experience throughout every stage of the buying cycle, allowing our clients to not only stay top of mind for their audience, but eventually convert them to customers once these people are ready to make a purchase.
In order to better understand the essential components of creating a compelling customer journey, we recommend reading the following article from Harvard Business Review:
Key Takeaways from this Article
This article outlines four critical components necessary to build compelling customer journeys:
- Automation – This refers to the digitization and streamlining of steps that used to be performed manually to ensure smoother, more consistent implementation. When done effectively, automation utilizes back-end functionality to create an engaging front-end experience that gets delivered to your audience at the precise intervals you specify.
- Proactive personalization – While your target audience may have a variety of qualities in common, no two people are motivated by the exact same triggers. Effective journeys will take the information gained from prior interactions with an individual and customize their experience to create more engaging interactions in the future.
- Contextual interaction – Customer journeys follow a linear path. You must take the cues and knowledge you have about a person’s current place along the journey and use this information to continue driving them towards the next interactions you want them to engage with. By driving your audience forward through the journey, you can strengthen their experience at every stage and improve overall engagement.
- Journey innovation – If you want to nurture a long-term relationship with a customer, you will need to provide them with new sources of value over time. You can gain the insights necessary for this new value by experimenting with variations in your journey. Conducting A/B testing to compare alternate versions of content, designs, and delivery methods can help you to better understand which solutions resonate best with your audience.
Each of these components are interconnected and when implemented properly, increase the likelihood of drawing in your audience and converting them to long term customers.
The Importance of a Dedicated Journey Specialist
Creating compelling customer journeys is part science and part art. It takes a creative flair to identify and understand what will engage your audience and motivate them to take action. However, you must also continue testing and refining your strategies to ensure your journeys are creating the powerful experience that will hold your audience all the way through their buying cycle. To ensure this process is handled properly, it’s crucial to have a dedicated specialist managing your customer journeys.
If you are a very large company with the resources to handle this in-house, you may want to consider hiring a dedicated journey specialist (or potentially a team of specialists if warranted). However, creating an in-house position simply isn’t feasible for many organizations. Fortunately, these journeys can be managed by a marketing partner. Most of the top digital marketing agencies offer customer journey services and have specialists to help you craft the compelling journeys that will address the unique needs of your audience.
Additional Resources to Help You Understand Customer Journeys
We recommend the following articles to further expand your knowledge of how to create compelling customer journeys that will grow your business:
- How to Create an Effective Customer Journey Map – Discover the important role a customer journey map plays in effectively implementing your journeys, as well as how to create these maps.
- How to Analyze (and Improve) Customer Journeys – Discover how to leverage analytics data to better understand the impact your journeys are having on customer experiences at every point in the buying cycle.
Putting this Information into Practice
Creating compelling customer journeys is a complex process, but well worth the effort. Most businesses, regardless of the industry they are in, face an extremely competitive landscape. When you implement well optimized customer journeys that keep your audience engaged every step of the way – from the start of their buying cycle through their time as a loyal customer – you will create a competitive advantage that allows you to more effectively grow your customer base and maintain their loyalty over time.
The first step in creating compelling customer journeys is to understand your audience. What are their pain points? What messaging will resonate with them? How do they process information? What are the steps they go through as they evaluate solutions to address their needs? This information will help you map out the framework for your journeys.
Let Webolutions Help
At Webolutions, we have extensive experience creating compelling customer journeys for our clients. We work with businesses in a variety of industries, and we understand the important components required to optimize your journeys for your unique audience.
When we start working with your business, we will engage your team in a Market Positioning process. This guided discovery journey will help you understand the real transformations you create in order to establish your true marketplace differentiation. At the end of this process, we’ll provide you with a Market Positioning Action Plan™ that helps you to more effectively connect with the needs of your target audience. We’ll use this information to craft compelling customer journeys that will create an amazing experience for your audience throughout every stage of the buying cycle.
Webolutions is a full-spectrum business consulting and strategic implementation company. We help businesses across the country identify and effectively bring their unique story life, allowing them to scale faster, smarter and easier.
Our specific areas of expertise include:
- Differentiating Brand Development
- Marketing & Communications Strategies
- Customer Journey Planning & Implementation
- Enterprise Website & Application Development
- Systems Integration
- Organizational Development Strategies
- Team Alignment & Performance Solutions
- Business Performance Intelligence Systems
To speak with one of our experts about how you can create an amazing customer journey for your company of at least $5 million in annual sales, call us at 303-300-2640 and request a free customer journey evaluation. During this 60-minute introduction, we discuss your audience, your specific customer benefits, share ideas and insights, and help you start outlining your plan. You can also email any questions to email@example.com.