Journey? I thought that was a rock band…

If you’ve been following along, you know I’ve been talking a lot about Customer Journeys. And you probably have some idea what that’s about. I’ve also been talking a lot about digital, and hopefully you’ve got a solid idea what that’s all about. But…what I haven’t done yet is lay a foundation for understanding the whole of a Digital Customer Journey. With that in mind, consider this diagram, because a picture really is worth a thousand words:

Journey Arrows

Each of these arrows represents a “phase” of a customer journey – digital or otherwise. So, let’s think through what each of these phases really is.

Awareness: this is the phase where a customer becomes aware of a company, its products or services. Is it an advertisement? Word of mouth? A social media post? A display in a store?

Consideration: this is the phase where a customer decides whether they want or need the product or service they have just become aware of. What are their other options? Who are the competitors? Is the product even appealing?

Purchase: this is the phase where the customer decides whether to buy the product or service. Is it worth the price? What is the value proposition? If they don’t buy it, what do they do instead?

Retention: this is the phase where the customer decides whether they will become a regular user of the product or service. Did it meet their expectations? Have they come to rely on it? How would their life be different if they didn’t continue with it?

Advocacy: perhaps the most powerful phase of all, this is where the customer decides whether they are pleased enough to actually recommend the product or service to others. Do they think highly enough about it to tell the world about it? Or are they so disappointed they want to warn others against it?

decisions

So you can see that there are lots of decisions customers make along the way. They have a lot of power over a company’s products or services. The good news is, companies have the opportunity to influence those decisions with “touchpoints”, which I’ll discuss in an upcoming post. Meanwhile, as an analyst, it is imperative that you understand the customer and all the decisions they will make along their journey. With digital, it’s a bit more esoteric, though, because we’re talking about all-digital, non-physical interactions. I encourage you to approach your daily digital transactions with this perspective, and develop your own observations of what works well and what falls short in terms of your own digital customer journey.

Until we meet again – don’t stop believin’!

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