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Navigating the Digital Customer Journey: Case Studies from Japan and Korea

April 2, 2024
By : Greg. B

Businesses in the modern digital era that want to increase customer engagement must have a firm grasp of the customer journey. “Digital customer journey” is a phenomenon where customers engage with a business through digital mediums. The top examples are websites, social media, and mobile applications. 

You must understand your client’s path to succeed in today’s wide digital market. Imagine it as a road map where you can alter each stage to make the journey more enjoyable!

Customers should be able to get the information they need easily and have a seamless experience at all digital touchpoints. Because of this, customers will have a favorable image of your brand.

In this article, we will walk you through the definition of the digital customer journey, why DCJ is important for your business, its typical five stages, and the ideal guideline to map your DCJ. We will also see a few examples from successful Asian businesses.

Read on!

 

Digital Customer Journey – What is it?

The Digital Customer Journey, often known as the DCJ, refers to the process that a user goes through. This process begins when a user recognizes a need and ends when they have the means to address that need.

There are five stages to this process or journey: 

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Purchase
  • Retention
  • Customer Advocacy

Throughout these five stages, the user will have a variety of interactions with your business. Their overall impression will determine whether they purchase or not. Remember that a user journey map is the greatest tool for correctly understanding user interactions, customer touchpoints, and all phases. Various touchpoints are present in each step. This word describes the places where the customer and the business interact. 

The purpose of the DCJ is to locate these points of intersection because no two customers will have a similar experience. Since each client’s journey is unique, their interaction with various customer touchpoints will also differ.

The DCJ serves as both a descriptive and practical tool for processes. This is the initial stage of optimizing your process to increase customer satisfaction and benefit your business.

 

Why is DJC Important?

If businesses want to maximize their engagement strategies, they must understand the significance of the digital customer journey. Businesses may improve the efficacy of their marketing and the engagement of their communication channels by understanding the client journey. 

Here are some important aspects of DCJ:

 

1. Pinpointing Touchpoints and Grabing Improvement Opportunities

Organizations may make better decisions to improve their products, services, and overall customer experience by studying customer interactions and feedback at each level. This helps to identify pain spots and chances for improvement. 

By making a map of your current processes and each step of the journey, you can find holes and figure out which parts are the most important. Your efforts to optimize touchpoints may be wasting time on ones that matter very little if you map them out first.

Being competitive in the digital age requires constant progress for ongoing growth!

 

2. Earning Higher Levels of Client Pleasure And Loyalty

Businesses can better connect with their target market by providing individualized experiences, especially when they have a firm grasp of their customer’s tastes and requirements. Customers can communicate their emotions (annoyed, satisfied, happy, etc.) through feedback collected at several stages along the journey. 

This way, customers have a better and more pleasant experience, and staff can fix the real problems. Customers’ trust is therefore increased, leading to lasting partnerships.

 

3. Personalizing Customer Journey

Customers are people, and they have different tastes. According to Accenture, 91% of customers prefer brands that can identify their interests and offer tailored promotions.

Customers in today’s always-on, always-connected environment want experiences that are 100% unique to them. Providing standard fare is no longer competitive. The secret ingredient distinguishing successful companies from failures is the personalization of the client journey. 

Getting to know your customers personally increases the likelihood that they will put money into your business!

 

4. Cut-off Cost

Last but not least, a well-designed digital journey might help your company in reducing costs. You can do this by keeping your website’s help center user-friendly and using chatbots in your contact center to handle frequently asked inquiries (FAQs) without involving real agents.

 

Digital Customer Journey – The Five Stages

Below are the 5 stages of an ideal DCJ that need to be understood for better mapping:

 

Stage 1: Awareness

First and foremost, awareness is the first stage in the DCJ. At this point, customers may have an issue they’re trying to fix, or they may just be starting to see the potential. Before anything pops into your customers’ heads online, they might hear about it offline—in a chat with friends, a store window, or even a TV commercial. 

A customer’s complete journey can, in most cases, begin offline and then move to an online platform. Search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and social media advertising are just a few of the many marketing strategies businesses need to use to have a solid presence online.

 

Stage 2: Consideration

The digital customer journey continues with digital consideration. Here, the user starts to process what they’ve found and decides whether or not to purchase it.

At this point, the search is initiated. Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) content strategy allow the brand to communicate with the user through email campaigns, sponsored articles, reviews on third-party websites, and so on. 

During consideration, when everything is on the line, most organizations pour more resources into the process. To stay ahead of the competition and secure the top spot in the eyes of consumers, the firm must employ various digital marketing methods to entice users.

 

Stage 3: Decision

Customers reach this point and are prepared to buy or do what you want them to do. But there are many things that will push them to change their decision.

Like, if the website isn’t easy to use, they will leave within a few minutes. They can also exit if the process is too tiresome or if their chosen mode of payment cannot be accepted.

A major issue for many online stores is cart abandonment. To avoid losing all of the hard work that has already been put into the company’s digitization plan, it is crucial to optimize the sales process.

Businesses must prioritize creating a smooth and hassle-free experience to make this process easier.

Here is what you can do:

  • Simplifying the checkout
  • Offering different payment options
  • Providing outstanding customer support

 

Stage 4: Retention

Moving on to retention is the next step after the transaction is completed. It will be a piece of cake to keep customers if your past interactions with them are pleasant. 

How’d you do that?

Your marketing and customer success team can use different strategies to establish lasting customer relationships. This may involve establishing an online community for customers, sending out supplementary materials to improve the purchase, etc.

For example, customer experience (CX) professionals could conduct online surveys to evaluate current brand satisfaction, send out additional materials to enhance the purchase, or establish an online community for customers.

The Retention phase is about making the client feel valued by the company. 

 

Stage 5: Advocacy

Finally, we rely on these happy consumers to promote our business in a positive manner. Here, it’s crucial to pay attention to the VOC (voice of customer). Customers and their opinions are front and center in this approach.

 

Guide to Make a Path Map for Your Digital Customer Journey

To start, realize that you can’t influence every step your customer takes throughout the journey. When clients want to make a purchase to their satisfaction, they will go anywhere they want, using whatever device or platform they desire, and negotiate the various touchpoints along the way. 

You are responsible for creating an omnichannel strategy to foresee their needs and help them achieve their objective. This is what you can do:

 

1. Use Your Sales Funnel as a Springboard

You likely already have your online sales funnel—the four stages of awareness, interest, decision, and action—in place, which will serve as the foundation for your digital customer journey. This guideline will help you find a framework for outlining your clients’ various points of contact and how they lead to one another.

 

2. Consider Yourself a Customer

Observe the points of contact as you walk a customer through each sales funnel step. You might need to pay special attention to the following:

  • Which social media platforms would they use to communicate? 
  • Does your website provide all the important and correct information? 
  • How easy is it to reserve a product or service?
  • Is the after-sale service good? 
  • Does the loyalty program seem appealing? 
  • Are you comfortable promoting your product?

3. Make Your Touchpoints Unique

To make sure your touchpoints are working efficiently and in a unique manner, make sure you have control over the following:

  • The top social media sites for reaching your demographic.
  • Showing that your business cherishes its customers’ opinions by using the greatest method to reply to reviews.
  • The steps to take when purchasing.
  • The quality of your after-sale service.
  • The ways to reward consumers for their loyalty. 

These are the points of contact that are unique to your business. Attaching them to your customer journey map and gathering feedback on each will help determine if they meet your expectations.

 

4. Develop Fictional Characters

Maintaining track of individual clients as businesses grow becomes even more difficult. This is the point where we introduce personas. 

Personas are fictionalized representations of actual customers created from demographic and psychographic data. Such as age,  lifestyle, interests,  gender, socioeconomic status, views, preferences, and attitudes. A business can learn to appreciate the variety of its customers by creating customer personas who take a somewhat different path through the buying process.

 

5. Invest in Customer Journey Mapping Software

Modern customer journey solutions can track your consumers’ online interactions with your business. They can also provide real-time representations of their journeys leading up to and including purchases. 

Software powered by AI will identify any point of contact where consumers are having trouble and draw attention to any points where they abandon the purchase. You can address the mistakes right away and observe the impact on the bottom line of your company as a result of better customer experience.

 

Case Study: Casio’s Digital Client Journey through Alibaba Cloud’s Data-Driven Transformation

Introduction

In Japan, Casio is among the three most recognizable watch brands. For a long time, young people have connected with the Casio brand because of its image as being dynamic, youthful, stylish, and multipurpose.

Challenge

Casio had to change its digital marketing strategy from one that relied on personal experiences to one that was data-driven because of the constant change in consumer habits and societal norms. 

Why Alibaba Cloud?

Casio went with Alibaba Cloud because of the solid groundwork it has laid in cloud computing and AI. To thoroughly examine customer behaviors, tastes, and societal tendencies, the two groups worked together to construct an omnichannel data gateway as part of their DCJ.

Solution

  • Casio achieved digital transformation in all business areas by building online consumer assets with Dataphin, a key component of Alibaba Cloud’s data mid-end.
  •  With Dataphin, Casio consolidated and streamlined data indicators, such as transactions and after-sales, giving them a flexible, adaptable, and up-to-the-minute view of customer interactions.
  • Using the data mid-end of Alibaba Cloud, Casio was able to simplify the complex fan labeling in their online store, allowing them to target the right customers for certain products.

End Result

Achieving 1.7 million views during the live broadcast of the Double 11 Cloud Conference was a success for Casio. The success of the data-driven strategy was demonstrated by the 3.17 million store visits and the 2.97 million transactions resulting from the event.

 

Wrapping Up

In this post, we learned that the digital customer journey is the steps a customer takes when engaging with your brand to solve a problem. 

Users undergo five phases that start with awareness, proceeding to the consideration decision to purchase, followed by retention, and then finally, advocacy. Because they serve as the starting and ending points for all consumer interactions with your business, touchpoints are an integral aspect of a DCJ.

You must optimize your DCJ if you want a happy and growing business. You can’t separate the customer’s journey from the actual transaction. That’s what we learned from the cooperation between Casio Japan and Alibaba Cloud for better customer retention.

Ready to digitize your workplace’s customer experience?

Create a customer journey map to identify problems and offer simplified tech solutions. This makes life easier for both customers as well as employees. 

Get ahead of the competition and create loyal customers for the long haul!

 

Author: Greg.B

Executive with 25 years of proven success in call center management and revitalizing business units. Proven career record of producing multimillion-dollar profits through pinpointing operational inefficiencies and encouraging the revitalization of employee morale and corporate culture change.