The customer journey is the experience of the customer from the first to the last touch with a brand. It is about things they do, how they experience the communication with your brand and it’s often out of your control – some would go to your offline shop while others will browse online; one reads your blog, another reads review sites to decide. Sometimes the journey even includes negative experiences like having to call customer support or to return a faulty product.
In order to organize these experiences at least a little, marketers divide them into stages of the customer journey:
- Awareness – when the customer first learns about your product and brand
- Consideration – when they start thinking about possibly buying from you
- Conversion – they become a customer
- Loyalty – they buy repeatedly
- Advocacy – they tell others about you
So we can say that during the awareness stage, one potential customer might see a Facebook ad, and another might hear about the brand from a friend. Their customer journey starts and probably will progress differently.
You can try to guide the customer journey but you cannot make it uniform. That’s why we marketers are very happy to see a perfect customer journey when it happens.