Models, frameworks and flow charts simplify complex concepts. As a business owner, we know people buy from us. At some point in time, they learn about our business, and buying doesn’t happen unless people learn about the business. Sometime in future, some of the customers talk to their friends about our business. This also does not happen, unless their experience with our business has been well north of amazing.
The 5 stages I’m about to share with you, puts the customer journey into an easy to understand model. They flow seamlessly. The challenge every business on the earth faces is as the customers move through the journey, the percentage of customers moving to the next stage keeps decreasing.
Hence, our sole job as business owners is to think, and do all we can in our power to increase the percentage of customers from the beginning to the end of the journey. Everything we do whether is sales, marketing, customer service, product creation, service delivery, all of it and more, is so we can move a greater percentage of customers to the next level in the customer journey process.
With that said, here are 5 stages of customer journey.
Stage 1 – Brand Awareness
This is when your brand is initially seen, creating interest for your target audience. Events and webinars are helpful as an initial introduction as they solve problems for your customer personas. Ads, repetition, and a presence on social media are critical.
KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) include ad traction and social media engagements.
stage 2 – Brand consideration
Think more marketing, and early stages of sales.
They’ve shown interest, gained awareness, and now it’s time to lay the bait. This stage is more complex than simply gaining their interest. It is about showing expertise. Blog posts, videos, consistent campaigns, and visibility will progress them to the next stage.
KPIs include engagement numbers, such as number of views, clicks and likes.
Stage 3 – Brand conversion
Think sales, and more marketing, especially in form of customer service.
They’ve considered you long enough; now it’s time to transform them into paying customers. Build trust from the first purchase, introduce them to email campaigns, promotions, funnels, lead magnets, etc. Make them an offer they can’t refuse.
KPIs include purchases, sign-ups, and promotion uptake.
Stage 4 – Brand Loyalty
Think customer service, and continued marketing to occupy permanent space in their minds.
The first purchase is made. Now it’s time to build a relationship (making them your best friend) and gain their long-term loyalty. Becoming their go-to brand takes groundwork, precise campaigns, and immense strategy. Loyal customers become the greatest campaigners who generate consistent revenue.
KPIs include repeat buyers.
Stage 5 – Brand Advocacy
Think BFF (best friends forever), and tools you can provide to make advocacy easy.
They’ve developed a deep connection with your brand and returned to you repeatedly. You’ve proved to them that their decision was the right one. Now, they tell their friends, family, and peers – generating a steady stream of further loyal customers to your brand, increasing your margins, and exponentially increasing, your bottom line. Consider rewarding them handsomely for their loyalty and advocacy.
KPIs include repeat buyers, re-shares, and referral program uptake.