Customer journeys have become increasingly complex in recent years due to the number of ways consumers interact with businesses. Most customer journeys these days are omnichannel, spanning digital and physical touchpoints. This makes tracking the modern journey a challenge, but it remains critical to do so because there are often unique needs and behaviors tied to each touchpoint. Companies with a strong understanding of their omnichannel customer journey can more easily identify pain points and, in turn, have the ability to provide a seamless and consistent experience.
The Challenge of Mapping Omnichannel Customer Journeys
Even though the number of channels and touchpoints has increased, the customer journey still follows the same general steps.
- First, customers become aware of your product or service. This can be through any traditional or online marketing channel, like TV or social media.
- Next, you want your customers to consider your product, or be top of mind when it comes time to make a purchase.
- Following consideration, customers then make a purchasing decision. There will be many options for sales channels, including physical stores, online marketplaces, and social media.
- After purchasing your product, customers will evaluate their experience. Providing after-sales support and follow-up messaging can help reinforce a positive interaction.
- Hopefully, their positive experience will lead to repurchases and customer loyalty. This could be a good time to introduce them to related products and keep them engaged.
- If customers need any support, customer service is readily available. This could include a purchase follow-up email, or an easily accessible route to customer service through chat, email, or phone calls.
These steps may seem straightforward, but the number of channels and paths consumers can take makes tracking customer journeys a major challenge.
So how are companies supposed to deal with an increasingly complex customer journey? The answer lies with the devices consumers carry with them wherever they go, their phones. Smartphones are ideally suited to collect data along each touchpoint in the customer journey because they travel with consumers throughout their everyday lives.
Using Mobile Ethnography to Track the Omnichannel Journey
Benefits of Mobile Ethnography
Most surveys, interviews, and focus groups are conducted days to weeks after a customer has made a purchase or gone through a touchpoint. After such a delay, it’s difficult for customers to accurately describe their experiences. This is commonly referred to as the recall effect, which can distort the data. Mobile ethnography allows researchers to collect feedback from customers in-the-moment, which results in more authentic data and brings researchers closer to the moments they’re studying.
When you consider the timelines and budgets required for traditional ethnographic studies and in-person research, mobile ethnography becomes an easy choice. Since mobile ethnography is remote, it significantly reduces travel costs and increases the geographic diversity of your sample while providing rich contextual data.
A Better Understanding of Personas
Customer personas are crucial to understanding and creating strategies for omnichannel experiences. Your customer segments likely use different combinations of channels as they move through the marketing funnel. To create an effective persona, you should know five key points:
- Their goals, motivations, and objectives for using your product or service.
- The preferred channels for each step of the customer journey.
- Their shopping and searching behaviors.
- Their attitudes and beliefs, more generally, their psychographics.
- And demographics can give more information about their profiles.
With this information, you can create customer personas and map out their journeys from the awareness phase to the post-purchase experience. Knowing the preferred channels, needs, and behaviors of each persona along the customer journey will help you align touchpoints to their unique needs more effectively.
Customer journeys will only become more complex as new channels like the metaverse emerge. So companies must adapt by leveraging new tools and methods like mobile ethnography if they want to keep customer satisfaction and loyalty high.