What is a customer thought journey?

October 28, 2013


What is a “customer thought journey” also known as a buyer’s journey.  The concept is very simple. For each of your target personas, put yourself in your prospect’s shoes and write out the steps they took to become a customer. I will map out my thought journey for a recent purchase of software for AB testing called Optimizely.

  1. I heard about AB testing several years ago from a client. I looked it up and read information about it on blogs targeting web developers and marketers.
  2. I  conducted some AB tests using some free tools.
  3. I got a request from a client to conduct an AB test that I didn’t know how to do (a multi-page test) with my free tools.
  4. I conducted some searches and read about Optimizely on WordPress.org.
  5. I went to the Optimally website to learn more.
  6. I looked at the pricing
  7. I started a free trial to see for myself how it worked.
  8. I read help documents and watched a video and learned how to use the software.
  9. I calculated the ROI and determined that the price was “worth it”
  10. I entered my credit card information to become a customer.

After performing this exercise for each of your target personas you will start to see areas of your website that can be improved. For instance:

  • Do you have content for all levels of knowledge on the topic — from beginners to experts?
  • Do any thought journey steps take place on a mobile device? Do you need responsive code to make your website easier to use?
  • Are any parts of your site only accessible to paid customers (knowledge base, support, forums)? Should those be made public?

What is the best way to get started? Why not ask some of your best customers what their thought journey was? Looks at your analytics package or keywords tool and see what terms customers are using to reach your site. Your sales team can probably provide insight as well.

Finally, don’t forget to revisit this exercise as your services and products evolve.


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