How To Craft Consumer Digital Journeys
Capturing a better understanding of customer behavior is the underlying goal of any successful Customer Experience measurement program. Describing this path to purchase in great detail has become commonplace across virtually every industry, because it helps organizations provide enhanced value at each individual step of the journey. Traditionally, these customer journeys describe how a customer discovered, researched, sought out, purchased and used a product. In doing so, brands can better understand what actions are needed to enhance the experience at each moment throughout the journey. Organizations should apply this same approach to consumer digital journeys if they hope to provide a leading Customer Experience online.
Now that so much of the business-to-consumer relationship takes place online, leading brands are applying the same journey-building approach used for brick-and-mortar stores to the digital world. Consumer digital journeys can help your brand more accurately define the different paths an online customer is taking to find your brand. In practice, crafting these consumer digital journeys can be more challenging, because the journeys are completed in completely novel steps. There are many more ways that a consumer could potentially learn about your product online than traditional customer journey creation, and to be an industry leader your organization must be supremely aware of which avenues are preferred by your target customer base.
One of the most popular starting points for a consumer digital journey is understanding your brand’s search engine optimization capabilities, and how that impacts the way consumers discover you online. Google is the first place to go to conduct discovery searches, and create a list of popular industry search queries is essential to a successful consumer digital journey initiative. Once you have established what the most common parameters of these searches are, the next step is optimizing your website to the best of your ability to show up on these searches, whether that is through paid or organic search practices.
After you have described the attraction phase in great detail, the next step in constructing the consumer digital journey is understanding what actions consumers are performing once they have already reached your site. Analytics are key to crafting this phase of this online journey, because it helps provide quantifiable data about what specific actions are being taken, helping brands create more direct pathways to purchase. Once you have established the typical pathways that consumers are traveling within your site, your brand will be able to better encourage more site-visitors to eventually land on pages that drive customer action like an eCommerce store or webinar sign-up page for example.
In addition to crafting the different potential ways that a customer can navigate throughout your site, a key phase of creating the consumer digital journey is understanding where, when and how your brand is reaching out and communicating with customers once they have already discovered, or even purchased, the product or service. Whether that is an automatic chat-bot, call-center help line or FAQ-page, it is important to understand what kind of questions customers are asking, and how to answer them in a way that contributes towards advancement along the journey. Personalization is a key aspect of this phase, so it is important to map which moments along the journey offer opportunities to personalize. Use data collected about each individual, whether it is actions they performed on the site, data on how they reached the site, or demographic information collected along the journey as opportunities to provide personalized messages and deals to the consumer.
Understanding consumer behavior is an inherently challenging task, and it gets even more challenging when digital factors are added into the formula. Brands who are able to effectively capture this information and translate it into accurate consumer digital journeys are putting themselves in a better position to provide value to customers along each step of their path to purchase, resulting in longer customer relationships, a better Customer Experience, and higher overall growth potential.
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