Updated on 20/02/2023
In modern marketing, the customer journey is defined as “the complete sum of experiences that customers go through when interacting with your company and brand.” “The full experience of being a customer” is under the analysis of marketers. In fact, the company website, places where customers can leave reviews, or events, or the retail outlet all represent ways that customers can have contact with the organization and where they can collect information about the company, its products, and the value it provides.
As a result, it’s important that each touchpoint is consistent with the company’s brand identity. Modern tools like Doxee Pvideo® makes it easy to communicate with customers at each stage of the customer journey.
A new point of view on customer journey
The moment of purchase is the most relevant interaction the customer has with your business or brand. However, it is only one of the many interactions that a customer may have with a brand; this includes everything from evaluating competing brands to the pre- and post-purchase experience. Marketers have to monitor each of these interactions in order to identify how they resonate with the customer in order to increase the conversion rate and to improve the customer experience every step of the way.
The traditional customer journey is based on five phases:
- Awareness: The consumer has a need and begins to look for available products or services
- Familiarity: The consumer makes contact with a good or a service and learns about its main features
- Consideration: The consumer evaluates the product and the range of available offers from other brands
- Purchase: The phase of acquisition, after an evaluation period
- Loyalty: The customer returns to purchase the item or similar items again, influenced by on the post-sales experience
Marketing is targeted to each phase of the funnel, and touchpoints are designed based on the consumer in that phase. Traditional customer communications are based on a push logic, and all prospects leaving the funnel are considered lost prospects.
According to McKinsey, this model is not adequate to represent the modern customer experience because it does not take into account all of the interactions that can occur with the brand via the web (even if they do not immediately result in sales). In fact, web pages and apps provide users with many interaction points, which underscores the importance of brand reputation and communication for creating new up-selling and cross-selling opportunities.
In the customer decision journey model designed by McKinsey, there are four main phases:
- Initial consideration set: Based on the consumer’s knowledge of the market, the consumer starts the journey with some competing brands in mind
- Active evaluation: The consumer evaluates the brands and can extend the initial set of brands in consideration (therefore, nothing is lost for brands if they are not in the consideration set)
- Products and service selection: The moment of purchase
- Loyalty loop: Based on the consumer’s expectations and post-sales experience, the consumer will make a new consideration set for the next journey.
It must be noticed that firms will want to reduce the time period of the first two steps so that consumers will have less time to compare them with competitors.
The statistics at the base of this new model identify more than consumers. McKinsey identified four common features of the marketing strategies of top American firms:
- Marketing Automation: Investments and technical skills are required to implement automation, but the result is to drive the customer in every phase of the journey.
- Proactive personalization: Every single element of personalization is a step toward customer loyalty. For this reason, videos, micro websites and other personalized content are top trends.
- Contextual interaction: Communication must be proactive at every stage of the customer journey. A typical example is the mail tracking system before delivery.
- Journey innovation: This includes coming up with new ways to link products and services.
These improvements require a significant amount of resources, and firms should not invest in phases where the probability of engagement is low.
How to identify the digital touchpoints?
Hubspot provides some guidelines to analyze digital touchpoints. For a wide range of firms, the website, along with social networks, is the main interface for users. Therefore, it is necessary to have a clear idea of all of the digital touchpoints that a customer could encounter:
- Interaction tools on the website (e.g. chats, etc.)
- Email marketing (newsletters, promotional emails)
- Paid advertising campaigns (on Facebook, Google Ads, or other channels)
- Reviews and other customer feedback
Once you have identified digital touchpoints, it is necessary to analyze them in detail. In particular, marketers should answer three questions:
- Who interacts with the touchpoint: Customers or visitors?
- What kind of interaction do users have on the touchpoint? Are you receiving requests, complaints, or positive feedback?
- What are the next touchpoints in the customer journey? What are the scenarios after the touchpoint?
This scheme is valid also for offline touchpoints: what really matters is to be aware of how users interact with your business. For this reason, businesses should use a complete set of analytical tools for each touchpoint. Tracking tools are typically used to monitor the customer experience and adapt content based on customer feedback.
What makes a touchpoint effective?
Creating a clear map of the customer journey and exploring the opportunities for personalization of touchpoints is a worthwhile exercise for businesses of any dimension and industry.
The Interaction Design Foundation provides some guidelines for building touchpoints with users. Touchpoints must be appropriate for the context and for the interactions that take place between you and your customers, they should be relevant to the customer experience, and meaningful for the entire customer journey.
Personalized videos have a wide range of use, and can be effectively employed at any stage of the customer journey. The insurance company AXA MPS is currently using Doxee Pvideo® to invite current customers to renew the policy using an interactive and engaging video. The video clearly presents the details of the offer, personalized for each customer, and live call-to-actions allow customers to interact with the company immediately from the video to accept the renewal offer data Analytics show that more than 90% of recipients watch the whole video.