A guide to improving your customer journey phases

Every customer who your business deals with will go through five customer journey phases. You may already have a brilliant product or service, but having a well-thought-out, slick customer journey is what will make you stand out from the crowd.

This blog will run through why it’s so important to get your customer journey right, and how to consider each stage. Convert more leads into loyal customers and see your business productivity skyrocket.

You may already have a brilliant product or service, but having a well thought-out, slick customer journey is what will make you stand out from the crowd.
A guide to improving your customer journey phases

The five main customer journey phases

From a finding out about your business to a loyal repeat customer, there are five phases your customer will go through.

1. Awareness

2. Consideration

3. Purchase

4. Service

5. Loyalty

Let’s talk you through each of them.

The awareness stage

This customer journey phase is the first one any new leads or potential customers will fall into. It’s where many businesses focus their efforts – marketing.

The awareness stage is simply how people first find out about your business. Their first impressions of you will leave a lasting feeling.

So, during this stage, it’s when people are most likely to carry out their fact-finding of your brand. They will check out your website, social media, reviews, and anything else they can find by “Googling” you.

The purchase stage

Arguably the simplest stage of the five customer journey phases is the purchase stage. Your customers have already made the decision to buy from you… so you need to make it as easy as possible for them to do so.

Working in a B2B environment, it’s not always as straightforward as a ‘buy now’ button. There can be proposals, quotes, purchase orders, and confirmations to pin down. But there are still ways to make this process as streamlined and stress-free for your customers as possible.

See if anything can be automated to make it slick and efficient for the customer and less time onerous for you. But always make sure any automation is personalised where possible.

The consideration stage

Potential customers have now become aware of you and are considering buying. There are many potential scenarios as to what a consideration stage will be, but it’s just before they buy. The best tip is to make it simple and easy for people to contact you during this stage.

You may have abandoned shopping carts, sales follow-up calls or emails, or in-person contact from these customers as they are seeking answers to their questions.

It’s important to reduce any friction during the consideration customer journey phase, as demonstrating why and how you can solve their problems will help to build trust. This stage is your opportunity to direct them towards deciding to use you.

Confidently explain why this product or service will be right for them and what the benefits will be, making it easy for them to see any frequently asked questions or answers to common queries.

Show your reviews or testimonials on your website and make any costs and processes clear. Providing enough information at the consideration stage will mean your business will end up with more qualified leads.

The service stage

Also called the retention stage, the service stage is where you deliver on your promise. Giving your customer good service is vital within every aspect of the customer journey process, but it’s essential during the service period.

Give your customers a reason to tell their friends about you by giving them excellent customer service. Communicate effectively and give them a positive on-boarding experience.

This will look different for each company, depending on if you’re delivering a physical product or a service. With products, think about how you deliver and package your goods. Make sure you are giving your customers updates and consider follow-up communication to say thank you for their purchase.

What you do during the service period will influence if your customers make it to the final stage…

The loyalty stage

The ultimate goal for any business should be to get ALL of their customers to the loyalty stage. It’s the final step on the customer journey, whereby they have had excellent service, loved your product or service, and keep coming back for more. It’s far more cost-efficient to turn a customer into a repeat customer, than continually looking for new leads.

Not only that, but loyal customers will also recommend you to others and sing your praises. The best way for your new leads to become aware of you is through a word-of-mouth referral. That’s why loyal customers do wonders for your business.

Improving your customer journey process

Now you know what the different customer journey phases look like, ask yourself if you’ve considered what your customers want and need during each step… Think about how you can make every single aspect better for your customers.

Have you been focusing too much on your awareness marketing but not enough on your customer service? One way to find this out is to look at the percentage of your customers that come back and are loyal. If your loyal customer levels are low, you may well need to change your focus.

Here are a few more ideas to improve your customer experience –

· Encourage new customers with sign-up discounts

· Add money-back guarantee offers

· Showcase reviews or testimonials proudly on your website

· Give customers free trials of your service

· Offer customers live demos or instant messaging for support

· Ask for feedback and reviews with surveys

· Offer your loyal customers discounts or referral scheme perks

Most importantly, make the communication easy and regular between you and your customers. Without bombarding them with unwanted marketing emails, make sure they know you are easily contactable and available for support when needed.

Customer journey mapping for your business

Now you have an insight into the five main customer journey phases, you can plan out a personalised customer journey map. This helps you to identify any weak spots and spot opportunities to improve your service. Your map will also help you to automate any areas of the customer service

There are many benefits to creating a customer journey map, fully detailed in our previous blog post ‘why customer journey mapping is important to create a thriving business’.

Improving the customer journey phases will not only encourage better customer experiences, but it can also help to improve the way you run your business internally. By looking at ways to streamline your processes, you can deliver better results and save your team valuable time.

As well as our FREE ‘customer journey guide’ download, we offer half day sessions and consultancy programmes to help you map out your customer journey. We also offer CRM Strategy workshops. Our customised CRM systems help our clients improve, streamline, and grow their business. If you would like any help in any of these areas then please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a chat. Everything we offer is aimed to systemise and streamline your business processes, whilst improving your customer journey phases.

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