What is the customer journey?

The customer journey, taken from the world of marketing, is often used for companies that want to know more about their customers, especially about their buying process. The customer journey map has been designed to visualize all the steps that precede the consumer's purchase (see below). And it is in this article that we help you understand what the customer journey is.

Article Summary: What is the customer journey?

  1. Definition of customer journey
  2. What purpose does the customer journey serve?
  3. How to make a customer journey?
  4. Quelles sont les différences entre user journey et customer journey ?

Definition of customer journey

The "customer journey" refers to all the steps a customer goes through in his relationship with a brand or an organization. It is a global process that includes the actions an individual carries out before and after the purchase. 

Because before being a customer, an individual is first a consumer. They start by learning about a product, finding out about its characteristics, comparing prices, and consulting reviews, in short: they find out about their next purchase. And this process corresponds to the "buyer journey".

What purpose does the customer journey serve?

The customer journey or user journey describes all the human interactions a consumer has with the brand, product, service and operating systems such as websites, mobile applications, etc. The customer journey helps to understand what customers do, think and feel when they interact with a brand.

The goal of customer journey is to find out as much information as possible about the consumer's buying behavior. How do you do this? With the help of several tools such as GRP (used in radio, TV and OOH) and other tools that allow you to find out, for example, the ideal driving route for a consumer to be attracted to your point of sale (with outdoor advertising as a guide).

The customer journey is often accompanied by a purchase path diagram (also called a conversion tunnel). The latter corresponds to the path taken by a consumer from an advertisement (or an internet search) to the act of buying.

Here is an illustration of the conversion tunnel:

Illustration tunnel de conversion

Here are the 4 steps in detail:

  • The discovery stage: during this first stage, it is above all a question of answering the questions that the consumer has; to discover his needs.
  • The consideration stage: this second stage corresponds to building consumer confidence. The objective is to collect the prospect's contact information and then stay in touch with him so that he becomes a customer.
  • The purchase stage: this stage is about transforming the prospect into a customer, which is what we call "converting".
  • The loyalty stage: what if your customer became an ambassador? This is indeed the goal of this last step. Retaining your customer will allow you to stay in touch with him and thus, push him to order your products or services again. Loyalty also includes reviews of your brand, recommendations given by the customer, etc. Remember one thing: a satisfied customer is a customer who will buy from you again.

How to make a customer journey?

Often illustrated with arrows, icons and text, the customer journey map must be simple to understand, but complete! The most important thing is to quickly understand the user's journey, the points to improve and the changes to make. 

The number of steps involved in completing a customer journey is never the same. However, the main concepts to be addressed are more or less similar:

  • Brainstorming, discussions and classification of the ideas generated to create an enlightening visual story
  • Classify each step in chronological order
  • Choose the target: creating a buyer persona is essential
  • Set goals: choose where the customer journey will start and end
  • Collect quantitative and qualitative data with the help of questionnaires, surveys...
  • Note the actions, thoughts, feelings of the customer at each step: by indicating, with a smiley face for example, how the customer feels

Describing the customer experience means first of all identifying what is important from the consumer's point of view in order to understand their needs, to respond to them and to identify the gaps (to be filled). The user journey allows you to visualize the essential steps at a glance. This graphic representation is easy to communicate to your internal team.

Example of a customer journey

Here is a graphic representation of a customer journey:

Visualisation parcours client

What are the differences between user journey and customer journey?

The main difference between the terms "user journey" and "customer journey" lies in the fact that one is used only for the web (user journey), while the other also applies outside the digital domain. Indeed, the user journey refers to the purchasing experience on the Internet.

In short, the customer journey allows you to analyze all the interactions of the user with your brand, while the user journey focuses more on the interaction of the consumer with your website. Thus the user journey is an integral part of the customer journey.

Therefore, your website must be optimized! Is your Ux Design correct? Are your web pages fast? All these issues must be solved so that the user wants to buy from you.

>>> Learn why it is important to optimize your website in this article

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