Subhakar (Stanley) Rao Surapaneni

Investor *Sales and Marketing Pioneer * Author* Technology Champion *Philanthropist * Leadership Mentor

The SEVEN steps of a customer journey

build-customer-loyalty-consumer-loyalty

  1. Need: Desire is the starting point of a customer journey. A customer feels the need of something and he/she wants to fulfil it. Or he/she may want something because it is cool or stylish. It is always difficult why a customer want something in the first place. No wonder – the standard question: Sir what are you looking for? We hardly ask: May I know Sir why you are looking for this?
  1. Research: As soon as he/she realises the need, he/she swings into action looking out for brands which can fulfil his/her needs. This is the awareness phase of a customer. He/she will come across many brands offering what he/she is looking for. Or sometimes there might be no product/service matching his/her exact requirements or needs.
  1. Selection: He/she analyses all the options available in the market. And then the customer will weigh in all the options available in the market. He/she compares one product/service of a brand against another one, catalogues its advantages and disadvantages and selects the best as per his taste, choice and price.
  1. Purchase: After the selection is made, he/she will buy the product/service. Point to remember here: Purchase decisions are greatly influenced by two factors – customer’s preference over a product or service and his/her budget constraint.
  1. Usage: Post purchase, the usage of product/service begins. This is a critical phase in customer journey. This phase is that moment of truth when customer builds relationship with the product or service he/she is using. Customer satisfaction/ dissatisfaction are mainly created in this phase.
  1. Repurchase: This is not as obvious it seems. Normally people believe that if a customer has liked the experience of a product or service – he/she will go for repurchase. But this is not the case always. Mere customer satisfaction is no guarantee that a customer will re-buy your product or service. That’s why we need active customer engagement.

 

  1. Recommend: This is the utopian phase of customer journey that every brand is looking for. In this phase a customer moves beyond satisfaction phase and actually starts loving a brand. The customer becomes a vocal brand evangelist and recommends it to his/her family and friends. He/she becomes a loyal customer and brings in more customers to the brand.

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