Navigating Through The Stages of a Customer Journey

The customer is the prime center of attention for every business. To win customers, it is requisite to retain their interest at every touch point or stage of the customer journey. Moreover, businesses need to ensure that they help the customers build trust and reliability towards the brand throughout the journey. 

Having said this, we also need to acknowledge the fact that it takes a lot of effort and understanding to gain conversions and sales for your business.  Turning a potential buyer into a loyal customer requires calculative consideration and strategic efforts, especially for B2B businesses. For every customer you wish to earn, you must retain their interest at every point of interaction, resulting in a positive and yielding customer success journey

To successfully convert a lead, inquiry, or visitor into a customer, you need to make them feel valued and understood at all stages of the customer journey. The first step towards achieving this goal is to understand “what is a customer journey?” and “What are the five stages of the Customer Journey?” 

This blog discusses the stages and significance of a successful customer journey to help you win conversions, sales, and, most importantly, customers for your business.

So, let us start by knowing, 

What is a Customer Journey?

A successful conversion consists of various touchpoints and interactions made throughout the process across various stages and platforms, whether online or offline. These interaction points gradually lead a customer closer to the prospect of conversion or purchase. All these touchpoints and gradual interactions are collectively referred to as a customer journey. 

It would be important to note that the customer journey is not always linear and instantaneous. More often than not, it tends to be a lengthy and non-linear process. 

However, in order to make the journey tractable and accessible for analytical comprehension, it has been divided into five stages. 

Let us now move ahead and navigate through the stages of a customer journey.

What are the Five Stages of the Customer Journey?

The stages of a customer journey represent a customer’s increasing interest and engagement in a particular brand or business. The five stages of the customer journey model are: 

Awareness

The awareness stage of the customer journey is where it all begins. It is the stage where a customer discovers or learns about your business. A customer could become aware of your existence and services through various ways, like

  • Social Media 
  • Online Searches
  • Marketing campaigns or advertisement
  • Recommendations or References

You need to focus on these mediums to win the customers’ attention in the first place. You need to make yourself visible on these platforms, grab their attention, and present yourself as the most viable option or solution for them. For this, you would need to,

  • Have a robust SEO strategy to secure a top-tier SERP ranking.
  • Ensure our presence on the various social media platforms through efficient social media marketing & ad campaigns. 
  • Help your customers learn about your business and their desired services through informative blogs, articles, podcasts, and e-books (if you must). 

All in all, your ultimate goal at the awareness stage of the customer journey should be to catch the interest of your customers while convincing them of your capability to provide a reliable solution to their pain points. 

Consideration

In the consideration stage, the customer starts contemplating the most suitable options in hand after researching the solution and services. It is the stage where you start competing against other businesses and competitors to come out as the best possible option in terms of:

  • Price
  • Efficiency
  • Compatibility
  • Longevity
  • Features
  • Reviews, and more.

At this point, you need to present and market yourself as the best possible resource in the market and your niche. To move past these stages of the customer journey as a winner, you have to take care of the following aspects:

  • Ensure that your product or service is of optimum quality and can offer unmatchable value to the customers. Highlight the USP of your product in the marketing campaigns. 
  • Make your website easy to navigate and intuitive to provide a high-end user experience.
  • Get positive reviews and client testimonials from your previous customers.
  • Offer flexibility and customization in terms of services and pricing packages. 
  • In the end, make sure to make your product efficient enough to beat other competitors’ products or brands. 

To sum up, in B2B business and marketing, you need to stand unbeatable in terms of:

  • Quality
  • Features
  • Pricing
  • Reviews

Decision

It is one of the most crucial stages of a customer journey. At this stage, the customer moves ahead with making the final buying decision. You can offer your customer a preview or trial of your services or product to confirm your position at this level. It will help them establish an unshakable trust in your brand. This stage is about how you handle your customers and make them feel. 

Once you and your customer reach this stage, you can only move ahead agreeably with the deal by offering them a free trial or demo. Also, try to make the trial experience smooth and engaging for the customer. 

Retention

Retention is the fourth stage in the customer journey model. Congratulations on successfully reaching this stage and making it this far. But you still need to keep putting in effort, unlike most businesses that drop the intensity after making a customer. Your efforts to retain a customer and make them feel valued by being attentive to their needs throughout will make you stand out and keep them coming back. 

It is the time for you to win their loyalty and preferences for a long time. To do this, you can:

  • Keep updating or maintaining the quality of your services.
  • Provide all-around assistance to your customers with your product.
  • Make follow-up interactions with the customer after the completion of the service.   

The performance and quality of your product or services, along with overall customer satisfaction, are the key winning factors of the retention stage of the customer journey.

Advocacy

Advocacy is the last and one of the most crucial stages of the customer journey. Here, you get affirmations, reviews, and testimonials from your existing customers to use as a resource to win new ones. However, it looks like an easy job but comes with its challenges. You need to ensure thorough satisfaction and happiness of your customers with your services, brand, and overall customer experience to get their written appreciation on your website or other platforms. 

You can send testimonial requests to your customers with active follow-ups until you get their feedback. 

Key Takeaways,

The complete understanding of the five stages of the customer journey, shared in this blog, will help you monitor and rule out the loopholes and limitations that might obstruct your conversions. You need to be mindful of the stages and the necessary factors to come out as a winner at all the stages of a customer journey

Let us review the key takeaways of this blog that are requisite to transform the customer journey into a customer success journey

  • Make your business visible on all suitable online as well as offline platforms. 
  • Provide relevant and useful resources to help your customers develop information and interest about the product or the brand. 
  • Take the necessary steps to make your brand/product unbeatable. 
  • Offer free demos and trials to help your customers understand the USP of your product.
  • Be prompt with taking follow-ups and feedback after the completion of the service. 
  • Ask or convince your customers for positive reviews and testimonials. 

It might be difficult for brands to take care of these aspects independently. You can always rely on analytical attribution software to streamline these processes in an organized and efficient manner for optimum results and conversions.  

FAQ 

What are the five stages of the customer service journey?

The five stages of the customer journey are:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision
  • Retention
  • Advocacy

What are the five key components of a customer journey map?

The five key components of a customer journey map are:

  • Persona
  • Scenario
  • Phases
  • Thoughts or emotions
  • Actions & Opportunities.

What are the five steps to map the customer journey?

Five steps to map the customer journey are: 

  • Defining Aspirations
  • Internal investigation
  • Assumption
  • External Research
  • Narrative & Visualization

Interesting Related Article: “What is Customer Journey Mapping?