Customer Journey

/ˈkəstəmər/ /ˈjərnē/

This term describes the full process a customer—or potential customer—goes through from the moment they become aware of your brand, until they convert into a purchasing customer or a loyal long-term user.

Definition

In days of yore, customers could be tracked through a traditional funnel that almost always followed a model of awareness > interest > desire > and action. The advent of new tech, and changing business goals, have made this process—known as a customer journey—vastly more nuanced and complicated.

Today’s customer journey isn’t a direct trajectory, and it also isn’t about one purchase and bye-bye. The path a user takes through their experience of your service or brand can still be tidily summed up into different stages, but these stages exist in no particular order. The modern digital customer journey typically touches on: loyalty > activity > lapsing engagement > and sometimes inactivity. These new stages vary from person to person, and while customers may touch on all four, they’ll rarely happen in this order every time. Nor is it necessarily predictable from user to user. It’s important to understand your typical customer journey, to have ideas about your ideal customer journey, and to have systems in place to track and capture a user’s attention at each stage.

“For most companies, today’s customer journey isn’t a straight line—and it’s not about getting people to make a single purchase, either.”