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3 Online Customer Journeys to Guide Digital Experience Strategy

A man who looks miserable is resting his face in his left hand and holds his phone with his right hand while looking at his laptop, showing that he is not having a good digital experience in his support journey

As more digital experience strategies incorporate a journey-based approach, it’s crucial to focus those efforts on a few foundational online customer journeys.

Customers using websites and apps often arrive with a different purpose each time. However, one thing remains the same: they expect the online customer journey to feel intuitive and seamless no matter their end goal. 

To consistently meet these high expectations, it takes a digital experience strategy with a committed and calculated journey-based approach. In fact, that commitment can separate industry leaders from laggards: 93% of high-performing organizations believe in using a journey-based approach versus just 63% of low performers. 

To simplify your own journey-based approach, focus on these three journeys and the most impactful digital experiences that comprise them:

1. Exploration journeys

From new users to returning users, customers don’t always visit a website or app with a specific goal in mind. These types of online customer journeys are more exploratory, with users trying to learn more about your brand, industry, products, services, or similar information. Given the open-ended nature of exploratory journeys, they’re harder to predict and require a less granular approach.

For exploratory journeys, you need to make it easy for customers to use your website or app’s most high-traffic components without a hitch. The digital experiences tied to these online customer journeys closely dictate user time on-site or in-app and the likelihood of repeat visits — these are impressionable moments for customers. Your digital experience strategy must aim to continually improve the most influential touchpoints of exploratory journeys.

Which digital experiences matter most in an exploration journey?

To create a seamless and intuitive experience from the get-go, there are a few digital experiences your organization and digital teams should prioritize in exploratory journeys.

  • Homepage: Establish your organization’s brand and voice, prioritize popular customer needs and goals upfront, and make common online customer journeys highly accessible from the start.
  • Sitemap and menu navigation: Streamline the user flows for key online customer journeys, simplify site destination menu labels, and align navigation hierarchy with customer needs and behaviors.
  • Product and services pages: Showcase the product or service’s value to customers and any potential organization-specific differentiators, but avoid overly promotional or technical language and content.
  • Resources pages: Curate a range of diverse, engaging, and helpful content that brings value to customers with the goal to educate or entertain through as many mediums as possible.

2. Conversion journeys

While designing your entire website or app to push transactions is ill-advised, it is wise to optimize goal-oriented online customer journeys for conversion while keeping experience front-of-mind. Whether the goal is to drive purchases, account sign-ups, subscriptions, or meetings, helpful conversion journeys pertain to prospects with clear intentions to engage, act, and convert on a goal. 

Considering that conversion journeys directly impact sales and revenue, any friction, confusion, or frustration will more than likely disrupt a transaction. The most successful conversion journeys continually reduce the effort required to engage and convert while incorporating innovative and seamless experiences at every decisive touchpoint. These online customer journeys require a digital experience strategy that pays special attention to a few high-profile experiences especially responsible for converting prospects. 

Which digital experiences matter most in a conversion journey?

To create conversion journeys that meet customer needs and achieve business goals, your digital experience strategy must focus on optimizing a few key areas for customers.

  • Onboardings: Develop intuitive, conversational, and helpful user flows that welcome new customers with frictionless experiences along with positive and engaging messaging.
  • Checkouts: Design user-friendly checkout screens with simpler on-page content layouts and fewer steps required to complete a purchase, while always ensuring user privacy and security.
  • Landing pages: Create engaging and relevant supporting content to keep customers interested and demonstrate value to prospects, but design basic sign-up processes that are user-friendly.
  • Forms: Keep designs minimalistic and instructions clear, only request required information, and offer autofill functionality — and apply that to any form-based experience (such as those onboardings, checkouts, and landing pages). 

3. Support journeys

Oftentimes, websites and apps act as the first touchpoint for assisting customers through issues, questions, and unknowns. To minimize incident escalation, it’s crucial to provide frictionless self-service barriers that are designed to resolve customer concerns as quickly as possible. Support journeys go hand-in-hand with digital experience success, so they require just as much attention as any other journey. 

A customer’s state of mind is typically unstable or delicate in support journeys — they’re often either frustrated, confused, or uncertain. This puts pressure on organizations to create an extensive and responsive ecosystem of customer resources that enhance these journeys. And while they may end in other channels — such as call, email, text, or chat — the right approach to online customer support journeys can tangibly reduce the number of incidents requiring additional help.

Which digital experiences matter most in a support journey?

To ensure support journeys mitigate incident escalation and guide customers to resolutions, your digital experience strategy should prioritize a few key website and app pathways.

  • Account dashboards: Maintain well-organized account navigation with useful and intuitive self-service features, allowing customers to manage and address simple and common support tasks.
  • Forums and FAQs: Establish a digital destination for customers to start open-ended discussions with an online community and a resource page for helpful questions and answers that address common customer concerns.
  • Chatbots: Set up chatbot functions that offer automated assistance in the moment or allow customers to manually request support on basic issues and questions — and ensure chatbot content uses conversational language.
  • Contact pages: Provide a method for customers to submit formal requests for support or send inquiries about products and services — and keep contact forms simple with minimal fields required to submit. 

Download The Essential Tools of Digital Experience Analytics to discover the place for each tool in your digital experience strategy, and how to get the most out of them to maximize actionable insights.