Costumer Journey – What is your customer’s journey?

Welcome to Jessica Berg Marketing Consulting. My name is Jessica Berg and today I will talk about the customer journey. Take a moment and think about what you last bought.

Did you walk into a store and pick out an item on the shelf? Or did you order something from an online shop? How many steps were involved in this process? Did you look up product reviews, search for a coupon code? Did you explore the company’s website and sign up for their newsletter, or maybe download a case study? Now you get an idea of what I am talking about.

Every time a customer makes a purchase, they go through a journey. Perhaps they see an ad, visit your website to gather information about the offer and then go into the store to buy the product they wanted. But have you ever fully evaluated the impact of all these touchpoints on your brand? What perception does every consumer have of your brand after each interaction? There is a multitude of influencing factors at each stage of the journey. For this video, I´m going to simplify them. Imagine a customer encounters your brand for the 1st time:

He has a positive expectation … for example, from an advert that appealed to him, or perhaps from friends who have reported good experiences. At this point of the journey, the brand has triggered a positive preconception for the customer. Marketing is responsible for obtaining this value initially and to permanently entrench it, otherwise the customer could decide on another product on the shelf or won´t buy it a second time. If your brand is inconsistent across every touchpoint, it could confuse the customer. It may leave them unsettled or disappointed and change their positive perception.

Just consider your favourite restaurant. You go there now, determined not only because the food is so delicious, but also because the service is very kind and the atmosphere is right.

The truth is that the restaurant is succeeding because it found a message that resonated with you. In your perception, the message is consistent – it all fits together. It doesn’t matter if the message is not charming to every customer. The message of your favourite restaurant was made for customers like you. There is an idea behind it, which is carried out consistently. But many businesses seem to skip this step and don´t think of a uniformed message.

Recently, for example … I was in a new burger restaurant. By accident I had found a coupon in a local magazine. The opening offer promised a serving of homemade sweet potato fries with an exceptional sauce. All for free when I order a burger. I needed to go there. When I got there, it was full. It was hectic and the queue was very long. The atmosphere was modern and friendly but my eyes wandered to the tables. Everywhere I could see dirty glasses and dishes. In addition, dozens of colourful flyers were spread all over, which offered different burgers, cocktails and desserts. A wild jumble. But I couldn´t find my sweet potato fries offer.

A part of the cheesy handouts were wrinkled and even lying on the floor. Finally it was my turn; I ordered my burger menu and presented my voucher in anticipation of my beloved sweet potato fries. The man behind the counter looked rather annoyed and simply said “No sweet potatoes fries any more!” without an apology or explanation. I wouldn’t expect behaviour like that in a burger store where the burger costs at least € 7. And the reason why I was there actually; dissolved into thin air.

Although the burger was tasty, I think next time I´ll go back to my old burger store. An appealing message had convinced me to try something new. I gave the novelty a chance. But due to inconsistent appearance and contradictory messages I was disappointed and stay with the old ways now. The new store blew its chance to get a new regular guest/customer. In order to get this problem under control, I recommend running a brand audit.

Seriously, list everything your customer might interact with. And I mean everything. Price lists, your website, even the bathroom signs, other signs and so on. Take pictures and screenshots and make notes in order to get a full understanding of everything your customer sees, hears and smells.

Run a Google search and make a list of every website that mentions your brand. Identify whether you can adjust the information or find the contact information of someone who can. Check your e-mail signature, the subject line you are using and the way you frame or format your messages. Listen to how your inbound calls are being answered. What’s on your voice mail? What is your greeting and the one of your employees? How long does it take until a call is answered?

Look at your business from the road too. Where can customers park and how do they find the way from the parking to you? Can they see if it is closed? Have a look at the links on your website. Do they work? And make sure that your contact form works and what content is contained in the automatic replies. Review any marketing materials you´ve created, such as business cards, flyers, ads or even online text ads. Watch your outgoing mail, even the salutation at the end of the letter. The list can go on and on. I´m just trying to get you to think about how many ways a customer will interact with your brand. When you write the list, you will notice that the journey of a customer is pretty long.

Start changing small things and set goals. The best results come from brands that go the extra mile, even in the smallest of details. Start right now! Prioritise your list!
Make sure that your brand is always represented the way it needs to be to impress your target audience sustainably. My challenge with this video was to start a thinking process in you. Check all your brand touchpoints. Which journey does your customer take? I would be glad if you could grab the key elements for yourself and find room for improvement.

If you need support with your list or if you want to know more about the customer journey, I’d like to hear from you. Please call or write to me. If you enjoyed the video – share or like it. For more about me and how I can help you with your marketing activities read on my website Thanks for watching and see you next time – Jessica Berg.

Yours Jessica Berg