The relationship between the buyer and customer journey
A thoughtfully mapped buyer and customer journey should be easy to understand and easy to adapt. You will need to leverage both journeys in your content, sales and marketing strategies, and you will use similar tools and platforms to manage both.
For example, your customer marketing platform will capture emails and automation paths for both buyers and customers. Your buyers and customers may return to the same website over and over for different reasons, but the positive customer experience should be consistent each time.
The journey doesn’t stop abruptly once someone has purchased or signed up, but shifts into the nurture process, for example through a series of welcome emails.
There should also be scope for how an existing customer moves through the sales process when they have new needs or when they make repeat purchases. These needs might take years to materialise, or just a few days.
Take a company that offers an online service where you can upload your photos and create printable photo books. You love the service, and within a few weeks, you’ve got the bug and created lots of books for families and friends. Happily, the company notices your activity, and sends you an email with a useful piece of advice about the extra cool features available in the Pro version of the service. It’s a no brainer – you upgrade right away.
Thanks to a well-considered and connected customer experience, the process is very quick and easy, and you start to make use of the features right away. When you next visit the company website, you don’t see lots of introductory information about How to Start Making a Photo Book – instead, the content is geared towards advanced features in the software.
Customers are unpredictable
This is yet another simple example of how buyers can become customers – and then buyers again. To be successful, marketers need to watch this activity and pre-empt the next move, which isn’t easy when today’s customers can appear fickle in their actions.