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Guiding the customer journey online

When you’re building a website, the most important aspect isn’t the design, or the infrastructure that backs it up, or even the functionality. Points one, two and three on your list of priorities should be the customer journey. All aspects of your site should be developed with the customer journey in mind.

What is the customer journey?

The customer journey is the route your customer has to take in order to take the action you want them to take – purchase a product, book an appointment or share a post. If the journey requires multiple clicks, or discovering content and pages hidden somewhere obscure on the site takes some effort, then the journey is too long and too complicated. If you take a look at your website’s analytics, you might find that certain pages are causing a high drop-out rate. If that’s the case, you may be putting up a road block in your customers’ journey.

Why is it important to guide the journey?

These days, most people are used to navigating websites, so you may think that you don’t need to hold a customer’s hand from the home page to the shopping cart, but this isn’t the case. As we’ve got more used to finding our way online, we’ve all got more impatient. We’re all so used to the convenience of purchasing something at the click of a button or finding what we want straight away on Google that any deviation from that simplicity often leaves us clicking away to an easier site.

How do you decide the customer journey?

The aim is to minimise the number of clicks it takes for a customer to get where they need to go. It’s likely that there may be multiple routes to the same destination. The first step is to work out which steps are essential – a sale, for example, may require product information, payment and delivery details. Putting content behind a request for contact details can be a way of building your database, but many people will simply stop at that point. Ask yourself whether your priority is to build a database or ensure that the content is shared as widely as possible. In the case of the latter, you might want to simplify the route to receiving something like a white paper, skip the contact details request and add tools that make it easy to share the link on social channels instead.

Implementing the customer journey online

Once you’re clear on the steps required, you can start developing your website to put those plans into action. Remember, always, that your audience is impatient – design should be eye catching but not distracting. Keep your copy short because few people take the time to read the detail and it could get in the way – but have that detail easily available for those who do want it by adding functionality to expand the page or simply include a “read more” link. When you’re thinking about the customer journey, it’s important to put yourself entirely in their shoes. It’s likely that some of your traffic is from mobile devices, so make sure your site is optimised for phones and tablets – and on that note, remember that mobile connections aren’t always that fast, so consider the load time of your pages.

The customer journey in the box

From website development, design and hosting right through to content management and branding, we build websites for companies to support the customer journey. We take the time to listen to your needs and understand the needs of your customers before we get to work on a unique site that delivers on your objectives and elevates your business above your competitors. Get in touch to discuss your website requirements.

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