Thursday, 04 June 2020 00:54

Think Customer Journey(s)

In general, today’s customer is much more educated than they used to be, predominantly because of easy access to information via the internet. Combine this with the wide availability of digital and cloud-based solutions, and it becomes vital to understand customer engagement based on where they are in their buying journey.


A consumer’s journey will include gathering information, reviewing marketing communications, visiting stores, reviewing product information, looking at competitor products and offerings, talking to salespeople, talking to friends, considering comments on social media and comparison sites, and so on.


Customer Journey in Dynamics 365

As businesses engage potential customers, Dynamics 365 streamlines the process by which customers start discovering a product, evaluate whether it meets their needs, look for a good offer, and finally make a purchase. The Dynamics 365 customer journey helps you guide your employees through the process by using automated messaging, activity generation, interactive decision points, and more. You can either simply identify a target segment and create a simple email campaign that addresses prospects of that segment or go out and create a detailed customer journey that helps you plan, automate, and monitor the entire journey as prospects travel from discovery, through nurturing, and on wards to becoming qualified leads.


Once we have those people in our funnel, we have our nurture campaign begin to offer content that we use to start moving them towards a discussion about our product. If they are not interested, then they will stop engaging. But for those who do engage with our content over time, it becomes a signal for us to go have a conversation.
Customer Journey Dynamics 365 for Marketing
Standard Customer Journey in Dynamics 365


The best way to enable a seamless customer journey is by making customers happy at every touchpoint –before, during, and after the purchase; identifying the various touchpoints and offering customers what they need is extremely important for customer loyalty. Let’s look at the basic steps in a standard customer journey and how Dynamics 365 helps optimise the journey at each touchpoint:

1. Awareness

2. Consideration

3. Purchase

4. Retention


Dynamics 365 enables you to offer the best possible experience throughout the customer journey leading up to ongoing service, and after-care support, ensuring you have a long-lasting relationships with your customers. It allows you to set follow-ups, and provides reminders and alerts to proactively engage with customers.

Marketing Automation with Dynamics 365
38% of partners offering cloud solutions to optimise their storage performance are willing to invest in marketing automation as part of their strategy.

Case Study on Cloud Customers


We found that cloud customers go through a cognitive process to advance their purchase and use of cloud solutions. They can move forward or backward and even appear to skip steps. But they need to accomplish stage-specific goals before they buy. There are differences in importance and the amount of time spent in each stage for different kinds of customers and regional markets, but at the highest level they share the same decision-making process. Of course each customer will have their own unique journey. The key is to identify what stage they are in and build content accordingly. For instance, if a customer is at the explore stage, a vertical-specific case study may be an effective asset. If they are already at the evaluate stage, a cloud trial might be more effective — and so on. The point is that partners should align their digital. 


Demand generation activities to these stages and keep pace as their customers’ progress. However, thinking about the customer journey in isolation will not ensure success without paying heed to other areas such as sales, service, and support as they engage with customers. Measuring the impact of activities along the customer journey is also very important, and will allow you to understand which engagements are working and evolve your tactics. One idea that stood out from our partner research was the principle of progressive conversations with customers, with some partners taking that even further into “nurture” or “drift” campaigns that follow up existing leads and effectively move them along the journey.

Use customer journeys to create automated campaigns in Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365 Marketing can help you visualise and automate the journey that customers will take on their way to making a purchase. A simple customer journey could include a short interaction, such as a single email campaign. A complex journey might include the full process from discovery, through nurturing, and on to marketing-qualified leads. Customer journeys can also generate and assign tasks (such as a scheduled follow-up phone call) and trigger business workflows.


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Our customer journey is typical for a SaaS company in that much of our audience requires education at each step. We have our website that lists what we do — the value proposition, the features, etc. We track the flow of our site traffic, entry points of where people coming in, reading our content, and signing up for the next step in the process. However much of our audience still prefers to talk to somebody as part of their evaluation. So we enable this offline path as well — these customers are handled through actual conversation, demos, and back and forth Q&A to establish that necessary trust before they become a paying customer.