Let’s talk about customer journey analysis. The customer journey is a series of stages throughout the sales process – from awareness all the way to advocacy.
Starting at a customer’s initial contact with your brand, every interaction and communication impacts their overall journey and opinion. Customer journey analysis uncovers common pain points and selling points, giving you the insight to optimize sales processes and ensure customer satisfaction.
THE FIVE STAGES
Some might say there are three stages of the customer journey, others will say eight, but five is the most widely accepted number. Each stage details a specific point in the sales process, and requires a different strategic approach and stage-specific communications.
1. Awareness – First impressions
At this stage, potential customers know they have a problem to solve or goal to achieve and are looking to understand available solutions. They might hear about your brand through word of mouth, social media, online research or advertising.
2. Consideration – Purchasing evaluation
After some initial research, customers have a better understanding of their options and expectations. By this stage, they’ve likely narrowed down the list to a few competitors and are seeking out more detailed information and pricing to make a decision. They are actively considering your brand.
3. Decision – Makes purchase
Congratulations! You made the sale. The buyer has found your brand, learned about your offerings and made the decision to buy. This might feel like the end of the journey, but trust me, we’re far from done.
4. Retention – Uses product
Now that your prospect has become a customer, it’s time to follow through on the promises made during the sales process. It’s crucial you encourage and aid your customer in using your product or service so that they find value. If all goes well, this customer will repurchase, resulting in increased customer lifetime value.
5. Advocacy – Spread the word
Not only do happy customers result in renewals or repurchasing, but they tell their friends too. Now you have the opportunity to leverage satisfaction through recommendations, testimonials and customer referrals. Unfortunately, the inverse is also true. If customers are not satisfied, that negative opinion can discourage others from buying.
CUSTOMER JOURNEY ANALYSIS
All customers will experience this journey no matter what product or service they’re dealing with. Understanding your customers’ experiences with your brand is essential to streamline sales processes, increase customer lifetime value and decrease churn.
For example, you might want to understand what information pushes a customer from consideration to a decision. Or how customers are finding your brand. Is it through media? If so, push social advertising. During the decision stage, are prospective customers routinely deciding not to purchase because a competitor is cheaper? Consider lowering prices or increasing value.
Every consumer insight that is found through customer journey analysis has a clear action to improve customer acquisition and retention strategies. These insights are specific to your customer base and will ultimately enable you to optimize your sales process.
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
Customer satisfaction surveys assess – you guessed it – customer satisfaction. This metric is used to measure how a consumer feels about your overall brand after a specific interaction.
Customer Effort Score (CES)
Customer Effort Score is a metric used to gauge the amount of effort required from the customer when dealing with an issue, asking a question or any interaction with your brand. This is a great way to measure difficulties or pain points along the customer journey.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Net Promoter Score is used to understand how likely a customer is to recommend your brand. It measures promoters, detractors and passives to determine overall brand performance from a consumer perspective during the advocacy stage.
Text analysis takes this mass of unstructured customer feedback and provides an objective view of your data, highlighting trends and topics that customers are speaking about with no need for manual analysis. Relative Insight elevates this technology by analyzing feedback through a contextual lens. By comparing a textual data set against a baseline or competitor, we can see what opinions or preferences make an audience unique.
This form of customer journey analysis can be used to uncover voice of customer insights. For example, Relative Insight can compare feedback at the advocacy stage against the decision stage to see how opinion has changed over time. This will tell us how consumer opinion evolves from buying to becoming advocates or detractors – ie. what results in customer satisfaction.
These customer journey analysis insights have actionable value and can inform sales, marketing and communications strategies. Optimizing the customer journey to its most efficient and effective form will bring in qualified leads who will advocate for your brand and you are more likely to retain.