The Customer Journey
What is the customer journey and how does one successfully use it?
The Customer Journey
On any given website, the user gets an experience when visiting the site. Be that for a purchase, a business transaction, contacting a company, or even an informational site, the customer (or user) undergoes a journey towards the goal they have in mind. This journey is essential for any website design company to comprehend because it drives you to better understand your target market and how to tailor your site to them. At Stradea, this is an area that we work through for all of our projects. We help our clients understand the importance of the customer journey, and we show them what we have created that helps guide the customer through the site.
Having been in over two months of meetings, I see the value our company assigns to the customer journey. When working with a client, one question I constantly hear our CEO refer back to is ‘How does this idea relate to the customer journey?’. When we have open conversations with clients and people are giving their ideas, we do our best to build on those ideas by asking what benefit something would have for the customer using the website. Every idea is valid, but at Stradea, we like to build on those ideas even more and try to relate to the customers as much as possible. I have been a part of many meetings, and it has been fascinating to see how some ideas are built upon to help relate to customer. An example of something I’ve learned from our CEO is that a website’s design should be so accessible that you should be able to get to any destination on the website you desire with a maximum of three clicks. The reason behind this is that the customer using the website might get frustrated or bored with a website if they have to click more than three times to get somewhere. This applies directly to the customer journey as you would like your customer to get full use out of your website in as little time as possible with as few obstacles in the way.
Seeing our homepage designs for our clients in the most recent meeting I have been a part of, it is clearer that our company understands the importance of tailoring to the customer on the website. We provide very clean website templates that allow the customer a clear choice of where to navigate, and that would not take much time to find any point on the website. Seeing the previous designs created by others, it is clear that the customer journey wasn’t the first thing on their mind. Some websites were cluttered and difficult to navigate. I know this because I went through all the previous websites from our clients and copied down the content so we could revise some of the text. In my navigation of some of these sites, I was not impressed by their layout as they did not provide an adequate customer journey.
What an ideal customer journey looks like
When I visit a website, I appreciate being welcomed. Same way I greet people when I see them, I believe that a personal website experience has a greeting page to make you feel welcome. It also makes me more inclined to stay on the website.
Much like the customer undergoes the journey, it is often relevant for a company to have their own story on the website. This always helps a customer feel closer to a brand if they know where they come from. It’s the same way we associate pride to local sports teams. If you know the story of the company whose website you are using, the customer will feel more trusting of the company through their journey.
At the top of the website, where the different web pages are located, I appreciate minimal clutter. Having drop down menus upon drop down menus can really overwhelm a customer because when faced with too many decisions or tasks, we tend not to do any at all. I’ve had experiences in the past where I have no motivation to return to the main page to look for what I want if I initially clicked on the wrong tab.
The last thing I will mention is the importance of images and not being overwhelmed by words. When you watch someone give a presentation, it always looks better when they use images to back their presentation as opposed to a giant blurb of words that nobody really wants to read. The same goes for web design. Obviously, there are instances where you need to elaborate on a website, but as far as the customer journey goes, it is far more appealing to be presented with images and the right amount of words instead of being overwhelmed.
The customer journey is vital to understand as it is what guides the person from your target market to the destination you want to lead them to on your website. It can be to connect or to sell, but in the end, the customer journey is their experience with your website. You cannot have a successful website that people love to use if you don’t think through the lens of a customer and try to tailor the site to them. Therefore, all people wanting to create a memorable website need to familiarize themselves with their target market and create a website that makes the customer undergo an unforgettable journey.