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If you want to improve sales and build your brand, you should think less like an entrepreneur – and more like a customer. Why? You could have great products, an excellent website, speedy delivery, and a dedicated customer service team. Nevertheless, any problem in your customer journey could send potential customers elsewhere.

How do you improve this process? Thinking like a customer and plotting the customer journey can help you trace customer touchpoints from the first contact to post-purchase engagements. Identifying and improving customer touchpoints will enhance the customer experience (CX) and lead to a satisfied, loyal customer base.

Learn about customer journeys in our ultimate guide. Find out what they are, how to identify your customer journey, and map it for increased sales.

A customer journey is the sequence of interactions a buyer has with your brand over the customer lifecycle. The customer journey extends from the first touchpoint a customer has with your brand to the retention phase. 

Gaining insight into the customer journey your audience takes enables you to optimise it, ensuring a satisfactory customer experience. Considering that 89% of CX pros believe that the customer experience is the leading contributor to churn, improving it should be your highest priority.

Although we think of the customer journey as a single concept, it consists of nine distinct stages.

A new customer may feel differently about your brand than a long-time customer. Knowing each step of the customer journey helps your business communicate with customers at each stage.

Let's look at each step of the customer journey and how customers interact with your company at that point.

The first stage of the customer journey is awareness. At the awareness stage, a customer comes across your brand for the first time. Customers may not know a lot about your company, but they want to learn more about what you offer. 

There are several potential ways that a customer could have come across your brand:

  • Scrolling and seeing a social media post
  • Clicking on a blog post from a Google search
  • Reading company research you have published
  • Seeing an advertisement for one of your products

The second stage of the customer journey is consideration. At the consideration stage, the customer has engaged with your content and may have read through your offerings. Typically, they want to see how you stand out from competitors and whether your products and services are unique.

The consideration stage defines customers as:

  • Curious about your products
  • Interested in learning more
  • Inspired to do more research after receiving a recommendation from a friend or after seeing another advertisement

The third stage of the customer journey is interest. At the interest stage, potential customers engage in thorough research. Potential customers may read through your product descriptions and participate in product demos.

Customers in the interest stage will:

  • Engage thoroughly with your products
  • Request more information about the services you offer
  • Read throug