Choosing channels for the customer journey

Which phase is the communication to support? Needs and focus differ depending on which phase of the customer journey the customer has reached. Function determines channel and message.

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Examples of channels are drawn from Kundresan – din guide till hållbara kundrelationer (The customer journey – your guide to durable customer relationships).

The latent phase

Before a purchase comes into question, a "no demand" relationship exists where customer and company get to know one another in more depth. Having the company close at hand here makes sure it is top of mind when the need arises. A "no demand" relationship is established, customer and company get to know each other in more depth and become pals.

Examples of channels:

  • Social media – behind the scenes, get to know the staff, competitions
  • Catalogues and brand-building direct advertising
  • Promotion
  • Sponsorship
  • Outdoor advertising
  • Movie advertising

Search and select phase

When the customer moves into the search and select phase, it becomes more relevant to focus on marketing via search engines and advertisements that should include information about price and product. Customers are keen to read reviews and results from different ratings sites so they can make a considered decision – ­especially when it comes to expensive goods.

The need that leads to a purchase can be either palpable or abstract. Find out whether it is simply a matter of needing a new barbecue, or if the decision is based on a desire to be a better cook at home. How is the communication affected if it is one or the other?

Examples of channels:

Search engines

  • Ratings sites
  • Campaigns featuring information about price and product
  • Personal reactivation via SMS, email, apps and/or digital coupons
  • Reviews and independent tests

The purchase phase

Once customers have made up their minds, flexible payment and delivery options can prove crucial to whether the customer makes the purchase from you rather than going to one of your competitors.

Examples of channels:

  • Own website
  • Price comparison sites
  • Push messages via apps, ideally based on geographic location
  • Direct advertising

Post-purchase phase

Finally, customers are interested in confirmation they have chosen the right product, and may need help getting started. This means it is important to use clear communication with few question marks so as to minimize the number of calls to customer service.

When a relationship has been established, there are more chances to be relevant. Offer help getting started, share tips about product care and complementary products, invite customers to come back, and provide inspiration for continued use.

Examples of channels:

  • Customer service
  • Social media
  • Targeted mailings