For customer-centric businesses, customer journey stages are vital to understanding customers and creating customer value propositions. They can be used to identify and anticipate customer needs and create a better customer experience. Read on for more about how they work, what you should include in your business’s approach, and the benefits of doing so.
The five stages that comprise the customer journey (aka consumer lifecycle) often don’t map directly into marketing campaigns or product functions as companies might like them to. Instead, it’s helpful to look at each stage as an opportunity – whether it relates specifically to sales or not – where some sort of interaction with your company could improve someone else’s life.
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The first customer journey stage is awareness. This is when customer are in the early phases of engaging with your product or service, but have yet to decide whether they want to purchase. The customer may be unsure about what you offer and how it will help them achieve their goals. This stage provides a great opportunity for marketing campaigns that outline the benefits of using the company’s products.
This customer journey stage also works well for customer education efforts aimed at helping customers understand important features or functions within your product/service offering before they make a purchasing decision.
You should consider creating content including case studies, success stories, webinars, infographics
The second customer journey stage is consideration. This customer journey stage is when your customer has decided to look into what you offer, but needs more information before making a purchase. You should take advantage of this customer journey stage by crafting tailored guides that serve as educational resources for customers who are weighing their options and preparing to make a decision about whether or not your product is right for them.
You could also use landing pages during this customer journey stage with targeted content aimed at helping people learn how they can benefit from using the company’s products/services.
In addition, there might be some opportunities here for creating highly-targeted advertising campaigns focused on users most likely to want to engage with your brand based upon all available data – including behavioral analysis derived from web browsing activity.
The third customer journey stage is acquisition. This is when customer have decided to purchase your product or service, but are in the process of doing so. During this customer journey stage, you should focus on customer retention with sales and customer success teams who can help customers through their initial onboarding period with the company’s products/services.
You might also want to use targeted advertising campaigns aimed at new-to-product users during this phase
In addition, there may be some opportunities for implementing referral programs (or other similar incentive systems) that encourage existing customers to share your brand with friends and family members – expanding awareness significantly while simultaneously generating additional revenue streams for your business.
While it would certainly benefit a business if all potential buyers went directly from consideration straight into acquisition; there will certainly be some customer who never progress beyond this customer journey stage.
This is why it’s important to invest in your customer success team and help customers find value as quickly as possible through helpful customer education resources, onboarding tutorials, etc.
The fourth customer journey stage is service.This customer journey stage is when customer have made a purchase and are already receiving some benefit from the company’s products/services. They might also need assistance with technical or functional issues that may arise while they’re using your product/service.
During this customer journey stage, it’s important to consider customer service initiatives aimed at helping customers resolve any outstanding problems related to their experience with your brand.
You should also continue working on improving customer retention by providing support options for existing users who want help navigating features or functions of your product offering – especially if you don’t currently offer an active user community where self-help resources abound freely available online .
Creating helpful documentation, video tutorials, etc., can be extremely valuable during this customer journey stage because people tend to learn best through customer education resources that are easy-to-understand and presented in the form of customer stories, webinars, etc.
You might also want to consider investing in a customer service chatbot – which can dynamically respond to customer inquiries 24/365 based upon data gathered from your existing customer base via their website activity.
The fifth customer journey stage is loyalty. This customer journey stage is when customer have become completely satisfied with the company’s products/services to where they’re recommending it to others.
During this customer journey stage, you should continue working on customer retention because these are your brand ambassadors who want to help spread awareness of your product offering through word-of-mouth referrals and other marketing activities – which can be extremely valuable considering that loyal customers spend more money than any other demographic group.
You might also want to consider implementing a referral program (or similar incentive structure) during this phase aimed at encouraging existing users make purchases for their friends and family members. This tactic can provide an immediate short-term revenue boost while simultaneously building out long term sales channels for business growth opportunities down the road.
In addition, customer success teams should be actively involved in this customer journey stage because loyal customers are more than willing to provide input on how you can improve – helping your product offering become even better with each successive release.
Using customer feedback surveys and/or email marketing campaigns aimed at gaining insight into what users love about their experience with the company’s products/services as well as customer pain points that need to be addressed going forward.
Customer Journey Stages in a Nutshell
The customer journey stages are a helpful framework for understanding the customer lifecycle and how each stage is different from one another in terms of customer needs, expectations, goals, etc., which means it’s important to have a customer success team whose primary focus is customer retention and loyalty.
Helpful customer education resources, customer support initiatives, referral programs (or other incentive structures), and customer feedback surveys/email marketing campaigns aimed at gaining insight into what users love about your product offering as well as pain points that need to be addressed going forward all help the company achieve its goals of increased revenue through customer retention and customer loyalty.
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