Why understanding the buyer’s journey is so important

Why understanding the buyer’s journey is so important

By David Saxon

Your marketing efforts may be measured on a specific set of outcomes, such as more marketing qualified leads, increased sales, repeat sales, or many other potential metrics. Unless you’re looking at the entire customer journey you may be missing out on some key opportunities to grow customer revenue, loyalty, and referral opportunities.

Let’s explore a few reasons why it is so important to understand the entire buyer’s journey.

A single point in time doesn’t show the whole picture

What a difference a phone call can make. Have you ever loved a product or service all through the sales process, but as soon as something goes wrong, the customer support function completely fails you? If that company were to just look at a single point in time, they might think you are a happy customer, but in reality, you’re unlikely to buy their product again, or recommend it to others after your most recent experience.

If you look at your marketing and sales process alone, you might see some similar things. For instance, do you do a great job of educating your customers, only to then have a hard time differentiating your product from your biggest competitors? This is where multi-touch attribution, combined with a more holistic approach to evaluating your customer journey can pay dividends.

Make sure that customers are moving seamlessly from point to point during the marketing and sales journey, and identify points of friction to improve them once you have a big picture view. Start from the outside in, because often the things you know how to improve, or can most easily improve, may not be the areas that actually need the most attention.

While single interactions can make a big difference in whether or not you make a sale, keeping the whole picture in mind by understanding and improving the customer journey will pay great dividends. Customer satisfaction is made up of a string of experiences throughout the journey. Therefore, success at a single stage in the customer journey doesn’t guarantee success. Looking at the customer journey as a whole will help you avoid problem areas that take otherwise happy customers and turn them away.

A holistic customer experience is key to long-term success

It is well understood that customer experience is now a primary point of competition and differentiation among businesses. According to a recent study, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. This includes having a great overall experience, as well as a more tailored one, where 49% of buyers have said they made impulse purchases when receiving personalized offers.

Customer experience is defined as the overall perception of their experience, not the experience at a single point in time. While you may be laser focused on increasing conversions at specific points in time, make sure you can see the forest for the trees. Short term gains can be good, but thinking holistically about building long-term customers, as well as building marketing and sales funnels that perform as a whole can provide even better returns over time.

Make sure that, for all the work that you will do to create a robust customer journey, you always keep the customer first. This helps ensure that you get long-term results, not simply a short-term gain.

Taking the entire customer journey into account can translate into more meaningful, long-term results. This means that customers will appreciate the thoughtfulness you put into making their entire experience easier and more rewarding, and your team will reap the benefits of that through increase sales, better word of mouth, and more repeat purchases. As they say, “it’s the journey, not the destination.”

Attribution can help you take a bigger picture look at your advertising and marketing efforts to make sure that you aren’t losing sight of opportunities to make a bigger impact on your customers’ needs. For more information read more about our product or request a demo.