If you’ve ever tried to learn about business marketing, chances are you’ve come across a smorgasbord of buzzwords that made no sense to you – and potentially put you off your endeavour once and for all!
But there’s no need to panic. Like any industry, marketing has its own unique vocabulary that needs a little explaining to wrap your head around.
What we’ll be going over in this article are two easy-to-mix-up aspects of business marketing strategy: customer journey and customer experience.
They sound like the same thing, right? And on a very basic level, they are. But we believe a good marketing strategy is above all things comprehensive, so we like to treat customer journeys and customer experiences more like different sides of the same coin.
Ok… so what is a ‘customer journey?’
A customer journey is quite literally the physical and mental journey a customer would take in finding your product or service. It’s all about what your customers are feeling and doing on their way to finding you.
It’s easy to understand if you think about the steps you yourself might take when searching for something you want or need (in a B2C sense) or something you might need to procure for your workplace (in a B2B sense).
Say, for example, you need a new refrigerator at home. Once the thought has occurred to you, you might start paying a little more attention to radio advertisements for white goods stores. Then, you might spend some time Googling brand recommendations or fridge reviews. After that, you’d probably weigh up a few options and make an informed choice in favour of the brand with the most benefits – maybe they had higher ratings or more suitable features for your needs. Next, you’d place an order online or head into a store to make your purchase. Then you receive the fridge, install it, start using it, and maybe if you love it, you’d tell your family about how wonderful your new fridge is.
Years down the track when your aunt needs a new fridge, she might consider the one you bought – because she recalls all the great things you said about it!
There are proper terms for those different steps – generally as follows:
- Awareness – when you started paying attention to whitegoods advertising
- Interest – when you started actively searching for an option
- Consideration – when you narrowed your selection to a handful of choices
- Purchase/Conversion – when you made your choice
- Loyalty – when you loved your choice
- Advocacy – when you told your aunt all about your new fridge!
That, all up, is a customer journey. And it’s the ideal one – it’s simple and smooth, so as a business owner, it’s the path you want your customers to take.
Ok, got it. So what’s a customer experience?
It’s easy to plan out your customer journey and then design ways to ‘get in front’ of those customers wherever they are in their decision-making. That’s old school marketing – thinking about what people are doing and then throwing out ads yelling at them to pick you.
At Roobix, we don’t advocate for that kind of marketing – and this is why. Think about your journey toward purchasing a new fridge again. Just because an online retailer throws an advertisement at you on Facebook, doesn’t mean you’re going to purchase the fridge from them. Just because you enter a white goods store and see a large sign advertising a specific brand of fridge, doesn’t mean you’re going to purchase from them, either. Even though those advertisers have tried to reach you at opportune moments – the interest and purchase phases respectively – they haven’t given you a good reason to pick them.
And as a business, when you yell at a customer to pick you without good reason, you’re wasting your breath.
That’s where customer experience comes in. It’s all about improving your product, improving your service, and improving the way you explain your business – not to convince the customer to pick you, but to show them why they should.
It’s about incorporating small things that make their customer journey better – like showing up with a thank you gift, or offering free installation. Quite simply, it’s about giving your customers the kind of experience that you yourself would be delighted with – and yes, the kind you would rave to your aunt about! In the advocacy phase, a customer who had a great experience will advocate for you – and that in turn creates new customers. Then the customer journey starts all over again.
When you put customer journeys and customer experiences together, you get one all-encompassing strategy for better business.
So that’s pretty much it!
If you’re still a little foggy on the difference between customer journey and customer experience, reach out to Roobix for a chat – we love to translate technicalities!