No matter which product or service they buy, every customer embarks on a journey that includes five distinct phases: awareness, consideration, purchase, retention, and advocacy. When businesses fail to create a satisfying onboarding customer journey, they risk losing customers to companies that offer better processes. Doing customer onboarding well brings many benefits, including repeat purchases, referrals, and increased revenue and profits.
This glossary covers some of the most common definitions and terms about the onboarding customer journey. Understanding the process your customers go through can help you engage and retain them and confirm that they made the right choice by choosing your brand.
A prospect’s successive interactions with your brand, product, or service leading up to a purchase. It includes direct interactions like contacting your customer service team to indirect communications, like hearing about your company at an event. No customer takes the exact same journey, though they all go through the five phases mentioned earlier.
Customer Journey Map
A visual representation of a customer’s steps when engaging with your brand. A customer journey map helps you step into your customers’ shoes and see your brand from their perspectives. You also gain insight into common customer pain points to improve and personalize the customer experience. Elements of a customer journey map include buyer personas, defined stages and goals, and pain points.
Also known as CX, the customer experience defines how your business’s practices affect a customer’s perception and feelings about it. Using automated self-service, paying a bill, or watching an ad are just some of the interactions that go into building customer relationships. How customers view those seemingly mundane experiences in total helps you measure whether you’re providing a satisfying customer experience.
The ongoing cultivation of relationships between brands and their customers to ensure loyalty and retention. Customer engagement goes far beyond a single transaction; instead, it’s a consistent, intentional approach to providing value at every customer interaction.
SaaS Customer Journey
An SaaS customer journey begins when a prospective customer initially becomes aware of your brand. It can include pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase experiences, and encompasses all aspects of their experience with your brand, including considerations, emotions, and behaviors.
Customer Onboarding Process
The nurturing process that gets new customers acquainted and comfortable with your product or service. It can include manuals, step-by-step tutorials, videos, and “celebrations” when the customer reaches certain milestones successfully. A well-designed client onboarding experience sets the tone for a customer’s ongoing relationship with your product or service and ensures your customers get value from using your offerings immediately and repeatedly for as long as they continue to use them.
How a customer interacts with your brand’s touchpoints, including opening emails, sharing links, attending events, and praising or critiquing on social media. It takes an average of seven interactions with your brand before a purchase occurs.
Customer Journey Management
The process of figuring out the ideal way to interact with customers at each stage of their journey to continue moving them through the sales funnel.