If you have ever made a purchase, you have experienced the customer journey. Think about the last purchase you made. Maybe you saw an ad online for a new product and began to interact with the brand to learn more about it. Maybe you were trying to solve a problem and you began to research solutions. This was the start of your customer journey.
As you connect further with the brand, do additional research, make a decision to purchase, experience the product or service and make additional purchases - you are actively participating in the customer journey.
The customer journey incorporates every interaction a customer has with your business, from hearing about your business for the first time to interacting with a customer service representative. In this day and age, this journey has many touchpoints, across multiple channels, both on and offline. Some of these touchpoints happen on your website or via an ad that you create, and others happen independently, such as a recommendation to a friend on Facebook. As a business, you want to optimize every aspect of this journey - to provide the best experience, to generate revenue, and create long term fans of your business.
What is the Customer Value Journey
In order to optimize the journey you need to define it. This is the Customer Value Journey (CVJ). The CVJ documents each stage in this process and includes the 8 steps your customer goes through as she interacts with your business, moving her from a stranger to a raving fan.
The 8 Steps of the Customer Value Journey
Awareness: Making potential customers aware of your business- what you do and who you are.
Engage: Grabbing the attention of your prospect and encouraging them to engage with your brand. This could mean they are reading blog content on your website or interacting with your social media posts.
Subscribe: Now that your prospects are engaging with your brand, you want them to subscribe so you can continue to connect with them. This means getting contact information.
Convert: Converting those leads into customers is the next stage. You want to get your prospects to invest in your business. This could be a purchase or a trial or demo. They are getting the chance to really experience your brand.
Excite: Now is the time to wow them. Let them fully experience what a great brand you are so they want to keep coming back.
Ascend: During this stage, you want to increase the value of that customer by offering upsell opportunities, a chance to purchase a more in-depth product or membership and to expand their relationship with your brand.
Advocate - How can your best customers spread the word about your business? How can you share their success stories? This is the best way to continue to grow - via word of mouth from your happy customers.
Promote - Create additional opportunities for your fans to promote your business. This could include starting a Referral Program or an influencer program. Make it easy and rewarding for your best customers to promote your business.
Why Define your Customer Value Journey
Understanding your Customer’s journey has many benefits for your business. You will uncover gaps or holes in your current process. Where are prospects falling off? How can you attract more customers who will advocate and promote your business? By defining each stage, you can measure your current results - and optimize the process to improve.
Some of the many benefits include:
- Greater return on marketing investment
- Faster sales cycles
- Gain insights into common customer pain points
- Improve the customer experience
- Define what customers to target
- See where customers interact with your business and are dropping off
- Identify operational inefficiencies
- Discover opportunities for upsell
Ready to Begin?
The first step in optimizing your Customer Value Journey is auditing your current process. No two businesses are the same, therefore each CVJ will be different and unique to the business. Understanding where things stand currently will help you uncover opportunities and give you a solid foundation to build off of. Click here to learn about our Customer Value Journey Projects & schedule an intro call.