Friday, February 22, 2013

Where does the customer journey begin?

If you're selling either a product or service for even a reasonably sized company, its a good bet that someone has looked at understanding the main customer journey or journeys.

For a multi-channel organisation, selling across several devices and physical presence (store, branch, etc.) it soon becomes clear that the customer journeys are numerous and difficult to map out.

To make matters more complex for those doing this exercise, it soon becomes clear that the path to purchase doesn't start at the last physical or digital touch point... But that the user journey actually starts way back when a customer becomes aware and interested in what's being sold. In other words, the channels that create an understanding and desire for the product or service have an influence on the transaction too.

So the question posed as the title of this posting becomes a very important one to answer... Just how far back into the awareness and influence do you go to fully map your customer journey?

For me there's only one answer... As far as you possibly can! The route down the path to purchase must have started with a first step, with several paces forward being made before the transaction was made . If you can identify these and model them, you can build up a better understanding of what your customer is doing and hopefully influence their decision along the way.
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