The Customer Journey vs. The Buyer Journey vs. The User Journey, Everything You Need To Know.

MM

12/12/2022

11 min read

Marketing jargon, concepts, and techniques are becoming increasingly widespread as more firms enter the digital arena. They are, nevertheless, frequently misunderstood. As if it were a game of Chinese whispers. 

The crux of everything gets sculpted and fashioned into something new to fit the modern-day standard, including the customer journey, the buyer journey, and the user journey. 

It is relatively common to hear these notions used interchangeably since it is presumed that they are all the same. 

Their journey can be intertwined, but each path is unique in itself. In this article, let’s understand how all this fits together within a great customer experience.

What is the Customer Journey vs. The Buyer Journey vs. The User Journey

The significant difference between these journeys is the intended results and timing. 

  • The Buyer journey is a process a prospect goes through to become a customer. 
  • The Customer journey typically retains a business or a process of nurturing the existing customer. 
  • The User journey is a strategy focused more on user Interface/experience, also known as UI/UX
 

In the sales and marketing of your brand, all three are very important for very different reasons and results. Each stage has a different strategy targeted to make the most of the efforts put in. 

Let us take you on a journey to understand each of these paths better to boost your business.

What is Buyer's Journey

Buyers-journey-Brandemic

Have you ever clicked on a BUY NOW button after reading an article or online information based on your problem? There is a whole lot of strategy and thinking that goes behind this action to click. 

The Buyer’s Journey is a well-known marketing and sales strategy to convert readers into buyers. 

There are three steps a buyer goes through before making a purchase.

Three Steps to help

To understand these stages better, let us use an example: 

  • Imagine you wake up one morning and do not feel fresh, every bone in your body aches, your eyes are hurting, and you can barely lift your head from your pillow. While you snuggle back to sleep, you wonder what these symptoms mean. 
 

This stage is called the Awareness stage. You might not know the cause or problem of your situation but are aware of the problem or need. 

  • Once you know your problem, you dig into your phone and start researching. Soon you realize the problem, which leads to finding a feasible solution. 
 

This stage is called the Consideration stage. Herein, the buyer can put a name to their problem and consider looking for different solutions. 

  • After analyzing, researching, and comparing, you devise a solution and finalize it. You realize that you have the flu and the best treatment is to see a primary health care doctor. 
 

This stage, where you are busy finalizing the desired solution’s details, is called the Decision stage.

Who is it for?

This strategy is for everyone who wants to sustain themselves in a competitive industry. Everybody in the market today has a buying process, even governments. So adopting a buyer’s journey as a guide in your sales and marketing strategy can benefit you by streamlining the process. 

We all have problems, and we all are trying to find solutions. So help your prospects solve their problems by providing the information they need to decide. 

In content, the most effective way is to publish quality long-form blogs and articles that cover topics from the awareness stage to case studies in the decision stage. Be consistent, generate plenty of content targeting each step, and lead the reader to your product. Along with all this, do not forget to create a buyer’s persona to target better.

Cost of not considering A Buyer's Journey strategy

If you are a marketing geek or a friend of such a person, you wouldn’t know what the world looks like without this buyer’s guide. If one had to imagine, it could be like playing a dart game with a blindfold on and wanting to hit a bull’s eye. 

The buyer goes through a process of education, research, and comparison before making any decision. Without this system, you will be unable to figure out what information your buyer needs to make a purchase decision. And therefore, you will not be able to understand the content strategy. 

You can shoot in the dark and wait for a miracle to happen, but until then all your efforts are ineffective and bound to be wasted. Meanwhile, your competitors will become a hub of decision-making information, resulting in increased purchases.  

The journey from buyer to customer must be smooth, simple, and easy to navigate. They need to flow like water into the next stage.

What is Customer's journey

customer-journey-Brandemic

The customer’s experience after purchasing from your brand is called The Customer’s Journey. The campaigns are designed to enrich the brand experience and entertain the customers. 

It is a process of deepening and strengthening brand loyalty through post-purchase targeted content of your brand. You must foster the experience and nurture customers into promoters to generate lucrative revenue and increase repeat business. 

The customer journey’s goal is to cement the bond between the customer and the brand for as long as possible because you cannot build a brand without repetitive purchases.

Three steps to help

If you are not spending enough time to retain your current customers, you are missing out on the massive potential for revenue and growth. Below are three steps to make your business a success through the Customer Journey:

Initiate Awareness

Once the first purchase is made, make sure you initiate contact. Make them aware of their value and worth as a customer. Most businesses use automated emails; you can opt for that or send a personalized note. 

You can also make them aware of similar products, up-sell, or cross-sell your product while thanking them for the effort. Do not just make it seem genuine; instead, do it genuinely. Everyone loves a personalized touch.

Scope for reconsideration

Once you have built brand loyalty, you’ll be able to turn that customer into a brand ambassador. Customers tend to trust other customers rather than the brand. Hence, most buy something only after looking at multiple reviews and ratings. 

Continue nurturing the bond by sending relevant recommendations or content for them to reconsider you. Ensure that the information sent is helpful for them and not spamming the account. 

E.g., If you are into building blenders or mixers, share articles on how to use the appliance better or share recipes from famous chefs. This adds a personal touch and makes the customer reconsider you every time! 

Listen and reward

Once the buyer makes the purchase, send them customer surveys and requests to leave reviews. If they have any negative feedback or suggestions, consider correcting them. Make an effort to change and adapt. Improve your relationship with your customer to improve your revenue stream. 

Another way to encourage your customers or boost customer journeys is through rewards, referrals, and giveaways. Do not think of it as a liability; think of it as a future investment. 

You can begin by giving discounts for every customer referral by implementing a referral program. Or give away hampers during festivals to increase participation and brand awareness.

Who is it for?

The customer’s journey strategy applies to all businesses like the buyer’s journey. It makes no difference if your focus is B2B, B2C, or even business-to-government. 

For every business, the current customer is the most valuable asset. Therefore, any organisation with a client base that has the potential for recurring or referral business should strategize a customer journey plan to optimise the lifetime value of their clientele.

Cost of not considering A Customer's Journey strategy

Did you know? On average, the cost of acquiring a new customer is five to twenty-five times the cost of retaining the current customer. The impact these numbers can have on your business is mind-boggling. 

Increasing the customer retention rate by five percent can upscale your revenue by large. Not only that, it can help you build a brand value that is an intangible asset. 

With points and values like that, how can one not invest in their current customer’s journey?

What is User's Journey

Users-journey-Brandemic

Unlike the buyer’s journey, the user’s journey is crafted. When the buyer is yet to turn into a customer, their journey is created by themselves. 

IOS can be the best example of a user journey. Why do you think customers prefer paying double the value to get a Mac product? It is because of a rewardable user journey.

The user journeys are designed to describe in detail how the users’ navigation is recommended on each page. It is used to discover multiple solutions to assist people in achieving their objectives as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Three Steps to help

A user’s journey is a step-by-step guide to reaching the goal point through design and navigation. This Ideal process needs to be smooth and free of frustration. Here are three steps that can help your users reach the ultimate goal smoothly:

Understand the user

To create a user-friendly journey, it is crucial to identify who your user is through user profiling. Each user has a task or goal they are trying to accomplish on the website. It can be purchasing a product, canceling a ticket, finding contact information, etc. 

A user journey is the steps they need to take to fulfill their task. Depending on the user persona, you can design your interface. However, to begin with, stick to the basics.

Map straightforward journey

Identify the flaws and frustrations, and then tackle them to produce an ideal or most accessible solution. Once the user persona is identified, the web designers can use it as a reference to build web pages/applications. 

Make sure not to add multiple layers to do just one job. If the process can be done in three clicks, don’t make it five clicks for aesthetics. 

Break the language barrier

Try adopting those languages if your product or brand is used in multiple regions or by numerous ethnicities. This will help your users navigate easily and can generate a loyal base of users. 

Take mobile phones, for example; it is not necessary that everyone can speak or write the same language. Therefore, giving options in which one wants to connect and navigate is essential. This will help the brand wider its horizon and visibility,

Who is it for

If you are focused on the experience of using a singular channel that is digital and requires the user to navigate it to reach their goal, then a smooth user journey is for you. 

Almost every brand has a digital presence today; right from a CTA button to taking a survey is a user journey. And one must always ensure there are no bugs in the way.

Cost of not considering A User’s Journey strategy

If your user journey is not smooth and easy to operate, you will lose current and future users, costing your business in the long run. 

With everything going digital, an online presence is a must. Be it applications, web pages, emails, links to reviews, etc.; it needs to be optimised for your business user. A dedicated team and user journey strategy are required to sustain and retain your users. 

With so many options entering the market, a business should leverage all these journeys in their marketing and sales strategies. It will help you streamline the business and gauge a better understanding of your future and your prospects.

Conclusion

In the digital marketing landscape, it’s important to understand the distinct paths of the customer journey, buyer journey, and user journey. The buyer’s journey aims to convert prospects into customers, the customer’s journey focuses on post-purchase enrichment and nurturing loyalty, and the user’s journey demands a carefully crafted navigation experience. Integrating these insights into marketing strategies ensures a holistic approach for business growth and customer satisfaction.

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