We all know the typical customer journey in three stages (discovery, consideration and conversion), but do you know the Consumer Journey ? This diagram of the journey undertaken by the consumer places more emphasis on the customer experience and loyalty …

The “Consumer Journey”, What is the difference with the conversion funnel?

The McKinsey consultancy firm offers another type of route under the name of “Consumer Journey“. This strategic tool offers a circular representation of the customer journey during the process of purchasing a good or service. It schematizes the different interactions of consumers with the brand. This journey begins when the customer realizes that he has a need and begins to research in order to find a solution.

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The Consumer Journey represents an alternative to the basic conversion funnel in three stages: discovery, consideration and conversion. This type of journey goes further, because it takes into account previously neglected contact points such as post-purchase experience and loyalty. Its goal is to understand the customer and their behavior during the purchasing process. The different “touchpoints“Placed at his disposal will make it possible to analyze his needs and expectations. This will help develop better channels to improve their experience as a customer.

The key to success is to help andsupport the consumer to find what he’s looking for along the way. It is necessary to provide content adapted to the consumer and to his position in the purchasing process. It is therefore essential to know the profile of customers.

The initial consideration: the prospect has a need

The first phase of Consumer Journey is the initial consideration. It corresponds to the discovery stage in the conversion funnel. The consumer realizes that he has a need that he would like to satisfy. He will therefore express a problem and will begin research in order to find a solution.

Consumers tend to have a series of brands that come to mind when they do research, this is called notoriety “Top of Mind ”. This consideration is based on their perception of brands and the different touch points they have recently encountered. This is probably the most expensive step, as you will need to set up a budget to improve your popularity in order to position yourself within the flagship brands.

This includes, in particular, generating traffic to the website, social networks and the blog which are full of useful information for the consumer. Search engines are the consumer’s gateway to your brand. Before contacting your business, consumers will visit Google or another search engine when they start their first search. It is therefore important to have good visibility and this also applies to social networks. You have to capture the prospect’s attention with impactful formats.

It’s important to provide useful information about your business and how it can help them. You have to answer the questions that the prospect is asking. Blog articles, white papers, explanatory videos are welcome at this stage of the journey. Consumers will be better able to fill out forms to receive more information if your brand already answers many of their questions.

Identifying the problem through active assessment

Active assessment allows the prospect to clearly identify and name their problem. He will therefore take into account the information he has already found on the subject and assess what he has at his disposal. Now that he understands his need, he will begin further research. The consumer is proactive. He is the one who researches and “pulls” useful information to him. Prospects take control and decide what they want to see or not.

This stage of Consumer Journey allows to position oneself as a “leader” and to show the consumer that the brand is the solution made for him. It is therefore important and necessary that the company is located where the prospect conducts his research. Presence on social networks, a blog provided, opinions of other consumers, the reputation of the brand from word of mouth, etc. will be necessary for him to understand what the brand can do for him.

Landing pages play a very important role and must offer something to the prospect. Not all consumers will fall directly on your home page. This is why it is important to take care of the internal pages as well. The consumer must therefore come into contact with a educational and quality content anytime.

Decision-making for the purchase

During the purchase, the consumer has evaluated all the possibilities available to him and will be able to make a decision and thus take action. He chooses the brand that best meets his needs. This is the conversion stage: the prospect thus becomes a client of the company.

The call to action, free trials, product demonstrations, customer reviews, etc. are all ways to encourage consumers to take action. Give him good reasons to choose you among all the other brands he has visited. You have to show him the value he can get from this choice.

It is interesting to analyze and understand how a consumer behaves when faced with a personal information form, validating their basket, their payment option, etc. It is necessary to analyze his behavior in order to optimize the experience of a future client.

The post-purchase experience: the key to a successful customer experience?

Placing support at the heart of the experience

Customer support after buying it is a crucial moment in the Consumer Journey, and that’s what sets it apart from regular shopping routes. It is necessary to guide the consumer in order to best answer their questions. This phase can take different forms: a competent and available after-sales service, a satisfaction questionnaire to improve the customer experience, a platform bringing together articles and videos so that the customer always has an answer to the questions he arises, etc.

The client must feel listened to and he must be reassured about his choice. This stage of the journey will have an undeniable impact on his desire to take action again. A satisfied customer is one who is more likely to come back to you in the future. The watchword is therefore consumer satisfaction.

It is therefore strongly advised to personalize the customer relationship. The client will feel more involved if they are contacted using their first name, for example. It is a question of addressing with the message most suited to their needs and expectations. By studying their behavior and consumption habits, you will be able to anticipate their actions and offer them relevant experience. Again, knowing the customer is important at every stage of this process.

How to build a reputation through word of mouth

A satisfied customer will tend to share their experience with potential prospects and in a way become an ambassador for your brand. This will create notoriety and a good reputation for the company. It’s a simple way to make yourself known positively. The positive word of mouth will, of course, have something to do with the support experience from the previous step. A smooth journey will increase the possibility that the brand will find itself in the initial considerations of potential prospects.

If the support and customer experience have not been conclusive, a bad reputation could result. A business’s reputation is fragile and largely based on user feedback. The brand has no control over what is said on it. It is up to her to be attentive and to react quickly when the need arises.

The culmination of the journey: loyalty

The trigger to revive the urge to take action

The “trigger”Is based on triggering marketing actions at a certain point in the customer’s journey based on their behavior. It can take different forms such as a personalized email reminding the consumer of inactivity for a certain period of time or a promotional offer adapted to their needs. This is done in particular thanks to the marketing automation. An up-to-date and quality database is essential in order to achieve an effective marketing trigger. Its goal is to make the client want to take action again.

The loyalty loop and off you go!

The last stage of this journey is called “loyalty loop“. It’s the culmination of the customer’s journey. Thanks to the trigger, the consumer goes back through the buying phase and thus goes back into the post-buying experience phase. This creates a loop in the process.

Understand the journey to improve the customer experience

The breakdown of each contact point of the Consumer Journey allows you to discover the friction points encountered by customers. His understanding will allow you to adapt your means of communication and thus build a solid global strategy including “touchpoints”Optimized and designed for the client. The content offered must be qualitative and educational. Customer experience is increasingly important in the journey of a consumer. Successful support will have a more than positive impact on the brand and its perception with consumers.