Customer journey

Definition

The customer journey is the path a person follows from being unaware of an organization to becoming first a customer and eventually an advocate of its products and services. In other words, it’s every interaction an individual has with a brand leading up to an initial purchase and crucially every interaction following that first transaction.

For this reason it shouldn’t be confused with a traditional sales or customer funnel which is about getting a customer to become aware your company; consider its products and services; make a preference; and finally make a purchase. The customer journey doesn’t stop there, it is continuous and holistic, and is about what happens next: satisfaction; retention; and advocacy. And a customer will only complete those stages of the customer journey if the product or service on offer meets expectations and is supported with a level of customer care that sets it out from its peers –how easy is it to get support when there’s a problem, if a purchase needs to be returned or if there’s a need to upgrade or downgrade a service. It’s these types of post-sale interactions that drive customer retention and eventually to brand advocacy.