The Customer Journey, an expression that literally means consumer travel, indicates the path that a consumer takes before and during the purchase decision and includes the points of contact between the customer and the brand.
These touchpoints , known as touchpoints , alternate between moments of interest and moments of decision and – today – can occur both offline and online.
The Customer Journey, therefore the journey of the consumer and the relationships between the customer and the brand, begins when the former manifests a need and ends with the purchase, which has the aim of satisfying that need.
Touchpoints represent the stages of this journey, which is increasingly difficult and complex today. Before the advent of digital, McKinsey had identified 5 touchpoints. Here they are!
Customer Journey: the touchpoints theorized by McKinsey
These are the 5 key moments of the Customer Journey theorized by McKinsey:
1. Awareness (Consideration)
It is the moment when the customer is aware that there is a product capable of satisfying his need and the brand enters into his consideration. Through various online and offline channels (Google, Social Networks, blogs, TVs, radios, newspapers) like: Photography Services he learned that there are several companies that produce the product of his interest.
2. Familiarity (Familiar)
Of all the products, one in particular becomes familiar to the customer, it is most recognizable because – according to him – it is the one that will best satisfy his need.
3. Consideration (Consideration)
It is the phase of the Customer Journey in which the customer searches for information, documents and compares the different brands. Here the news it finds, the perceived reliability of the brand, the quality and the price of the product play a fundamental role.
4. Purchase (purchase)
Here, the prospect is ready to become a customer. He made his choice and buys the product. The brand has achieved its first goal: sales.
5. Loyalty (Loyalty)
This is the second important objective of each company: to retain the customer it has conquered, so that it can reiterate the purchase over time and the marketing investments can be optimized. In this phase, customer service, after-sales assistance, the dialogue that the brand maintains with its customers, the ability to offer related products and ad hoc offers, which make customers feel lucky and precious for the brand.
Customer Journey between online and offline
Today this path that the consumer takes has become much more complex and fragmented. How many times do we document ourselves first offline and then online, and then go back to buying in a physical store?
And how many others, following the advice of a friend, do we deepen our research on industry blogs and social networks and then decide to make an online purchase?
The web, with its universe of testimonials, reviews, viral word of mouth, videos, blog posts and specialized websites, has made it much more difficult to define a precise Customer Journey. But, precisely for this reason, even more important for brands is to understand how their customers and potential customers move and how to profitably intercept them.
In this journey the consumer, over time, has become less and less passive consumer. Today more than ever he is not only an active information researcher but also, in turn, an active producer of information concerning the specific brand with which he came into contact, testifying his experience and influencing other people . This is a mechanism that companies must be well aware of.
Following the advent of the network, purchasing decisions have become increasingly aware and autonomous, increasingly studied and deepened. An epochal change for all businesses.
Why it is useful to study the Customer Journey
It is very useful for brands to study the Customer Journey of their customers and produce the Customer Journey Maps, that is, the representation of the consumer’s travel journey and the various touchpoints.
What is this study for? A number of important reasons why it allows you to:
- Know your customers in depth;
- Understand how their customers behave;
- Understand the competitive advantages most appreciated by customers compared to competitors;
- Analyze the customer’s shopping experience;
- Meet the expectations of potential customers;
- Analyze customer satisfaction (or dissatisfaction);
- Build very precise and detailed Buyer Personas;
- Improve the sales funnel and marketing strategies;
- Improve re-marketing strategies;
- Optimize investments.
Customer Journey Map
The Customer Journey Map, which can be made in video, excel, word or as you prefer, requires a careful and in-depth analysis phase and must contain indications relating to the times and times of the purchase path, the description of the Buyers Personas, the touchpoints to be included.
A long and complex job that is worth doing. The advantages are precious for all brands!