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Why You Need to Understand the Customer Value Journey

The customer value journey (CVJ) is a pathway that shows consumers' steps from brand awareness to purchase to life-long customers. Through this model, companies can learn how to convert shoppers more precisely and help them become brand promoters by repeatedly creating the ideal shopping experience.  

This may sound similar to the conventional marketing funnel, but it brings new value to the table. Keep reading to see why the customer value journey is the most beneficial model for your business to follow, the eight steps of the customer value journey, and how to start using it to strengthen relationships with your customers. 

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Understanding the Customer Value Journey 

You may be familiar with the traditional marketing funnel. Still, the customer value journey goes even further to ensure customers have enjoyable, rewarding experiences repeatedly, transforming them from repeat customers to active brand advocates. In a world where referrals and word-of-mouth marketing matters — today's referred shoppers are four times more likely to become referrers themselves and have a 37% higher retention rate — building loyalty into your processes is essential. 

The customer value journey helps you create a predictable flow of customers moving from step to step toward becoming brand promoters as they trust your brand. Think of the customer value journey like genuine human relationships: you can't go from acquaintance to fiancé in a single meeting or from strangers to best friends in a day. Building that trust and familiarity take time. The CVJ is designed to flesh out those in-between stages, so you have a clear roadmap of what to do along the way with minimal missteps and lots of value for your customers. 

The Eight Stages of the Customer Value Journey 

Follow these eight stages to build strong bonds with your customers. Some of these steps may be familiar, while others may be brand new steps in your processes. 

1. Awareness

This is the first touchpoint a shopper has with your brand. They saw an ad, walked past your store, or heard an influencer talking about your products. This may be the first conscious interaction a customer has with your brand, or it might just be a passing mention. 

2. Engage

This stage is made up of multiple touchpoints. You're starting to cultivate a relationship with customers by providing information about your value and targeting your messages toward their interests. They're starting to trust you and see you as a source of information. 

3. Subscribe

Here, shoppers trust you and want to hear more from you. You can now ask for contact details in exchange for subscriptions, downloadables, or further valuable insights. In an industry with big-ticket items or a long sales cycle, reaching this stage is a vital middle ground before a sale. 

4. Convert

At the conversion stage, the customer is willing to pay for products or services or accept a demo or consultation. This indicates a genuine interest in your brand, whether they make an entry-level purchase or schedule an appointment to learn more. Don't let them slip through your fingers! 

customer value journey (1) (1) (1)

5. Excite

At this stage, you provide enough value to the shopper that they want to keep coming back. This may be a persuasive demo or online widget that prospective clients can keep exploring to become more and more attached to your brand. For retail or B2C businesses, this might be progressive lifestyle marketing, where your brand shifts from being a curiosity to being an essential part of the audience's ideal lifestyle. 

6. Ascend

You can do more than sell your core or entry-level products during the ascend stage. Customers may be making additional purchases or repeat purchases; they'll also be more open to add-ons and further product recommendations. Throughout these interactions, you want to continue proving the value and reliability of your offerings, so shoppers never hesitate. 

7. Advocate

When shoppers reach the advocate stage, they're already happy customers. Give them the tools and effortless ability to advocate for your brand and become a referrer. You can ask for star ratings and reviews, give shoppers codes or coupons that reward referrals, and other tools that help them invite friends and family to your store. 

8. Promote

The promote stage completes a shopper's transformation to an active referrer for your business. Through rewards and referral programs, they continue to bring new business to your doors and are continually excited about your brand. If you have promoters, then they can spread the word about your brand and strengthen the trust between you and new shoppers. 

Reach Shoppers Across All Eight Stages with Mid-West Family 

Every stage of the customer value journey requires specific steps, marketing assets, and advertisements to guide shoppers onward. At Mid-West Family, we can help you rebuild your marketing and sales processes around this model, so you build more trust with your shoppers.  

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