The five stages of the consumer buying or decision-making process were established by John Dewey in 1910. These stages are: first Awareness i.e. making the market aware of your product, followed by Consideration where the user considers to buy or not buy your product, followed by Purchase and Retention which are fairly self-explanatory and finally Advocacy where the customer spreads the word about your product.
Each stage is important for a business whether it’s B2B or B2C. Depending on the type of business or the stage at which the business is(startup or expansion or an MNC), the focus point might be different for different businesses.
For example, for a startup, they would want to focus more on Awareness and Consideration since they don’t really have a lot of paying customers at that stage and they want to reach a wider audience.
But for an MNC, they might want to focus on retention and advocacy more than awareness since it’s already established and a lot of customers already know about this.
Evolution of Customer Journey
- Starting from the way we used to spread awareness, it has changed. Now there are various channels through where you can promote your product/service
- Various ways to collect feedback for a particular product
- Earlier, let’s say 1980s, a restaurant business used paper surveys to collect feedback which was given out to a small set of customers based on which the restaurant understood if the customers’ liked their food or not?
- While NOW you have Food Ordering Apps which collect feedback from each and every customer in addition to the in-store feedback that the restaurant themselves collect.
- These ratings are then visible to the entire market based on which a new user makes a decision (Consideration).
A classic case of how Advocacy impacts Consideration
- For SaaS companies, one may consider X tool to be the best amongst the other tools in the market based on reviews provided on recognized platforms like g2crowd, capterra..etc.
How can businesses enhance Customer Journey?
For one of our particular clients, which provides SaaS to its customers, they were struggling to understand their existing customer’s pain points and to bring in new customers. We helped them in two ways:
- First we build a Survey for each feature on their platform and collect feedback from customers who used that particular feature frequently. This helped us understand if they thought that the feature was:
- important or not
- Simple to use or not
- Easy to find
We used Pendo and Walkme for this survey
We build a metric ‘Customer Effort Score’ which tells about the effort put into understanding that feature
This helped the tech team to understand which feature needs a revamp or needed better user experience which in turn helped with Advocacy and Retention for the product/service
- We also launched a Referral Program for this client, since for a high-ticket(cost) service, customer feedback is really important and if your customers themselves are advocating your product, it becomes an easy win for you.
It was a simple skill which fetched the report of metrics like Clicks, Impressions through Alexa over voice command.
For Example: If you will ask Alexa:
”Alexa, how many clicks did Google Adwords get me yesterday?”
Ans: “You got 1000 clicks”
As a user, you do not always need to open the app and check for the reports. By enabling this skill, users can get the metric report over voice command and need not to open the app for the same.
As per market research reports, Voice-powered smart speakers like Google Home or Amazon’s Echo will be installed in more than 55% of American households by 2022.
Using a variety of metrics, scores and customer journey adoption techniques, our effort is to build robust MarTech solutions for Customers.
Evolution, Adoption, Growth
Customers are likely to use search, online review sites and social networks as a first port of call when evaluating a possible purchase.
From social media to mobile devices, technologies have given consumers unprecedented power to compare prices, complain loudly, and find the best deals.
This tipping of the balance of power in favor of consumers has been evident for years. In 2009, we declared that the traditional “funnel” model—in which consumers began with a set number of brands in mind and whittled them down until they decided what to buy—had been usurped by what we called “the consumer decision journey.”1 This journey involved shoppers taking advantage of technology to evaluate products and services more actively, adding and removing choices over time. And it included a feedback loop, where customers kept evaluating products and services after purchase, pressuring products to perform and brands to deliver a superior experience on an ongoing basis.
Take new-customer on boarding, for example, a journey that spanned about three months and involved an average of nine phone calls, a home visit from a technician, and numerous web and mail interactions. At each touch point, the interaction had at least a 90 percent chance of going well. But average customer satisfaction fell almost 40 percent over the course of the entire journey. The touch points weren’t broken—but the on boarding process as a whole was.
Adoption of emerging MarTech platforms to influence customer decisions
A customer journey map is just the first step to staying on top of this change. Businesses need increasingly sophisticated processes and tools and that requirement is likely to increase in future – the number of touch points is increasing in number by around 20% a year according to McKinsey. With more touch points comes more complexity in servicing customer needs successfully. A map should help highlight areas where technology can ease the burden and challenges faced by your business.
Automation in Customer Journey
A recent Association of National Advertisers survey found top performers understood the entire customer journey much better than their peers (20 percent versus 6 percent) and had much better processes for capturing insights about customers and feeding them back into their marketing programs to improve performance (30 percent versus 11 percent). They also valued automation as a critical capability to respond to disruption and deliver both consistent and personalized customer experiences (30 percent versus 11 percent).
Jan 08, 2020 (AmericaNewsHour) — Market Overview: The Global Customer Journey Analytics Market was valued at USD 4.56 billion in 2016 and is projected to reach USD 25.39 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 21.02% from 2017 to 2025.