Today regardless of the business vertical and industry segmentation it is more of a buyer’s market than a seller’s market. This ensures that buyers are getting very demanding and brands need to take cognizance of it. Converting a lead to a customer is not easy and it can only get tougher in the days ahead. It’s time organizations start thinking in terms of their customers and put their business needs on the back burner while they are at it.
Brands have been creating customer personas and depending on that they have been trying to market their product or service with mixed success. But they need to go one step further in order to map the customer buying journey. It’s not enough to know who you are interacting with but there is a need to map this progress from the time you first interact with the customers till the sales and even beyond. Brands have to make sure their customers are achieving their goals and only that can help the businesses serving these customers to achieve their own goals.
It is a well-known fact that acquiring new customers is six to seven times more costly than retaining the existing ones. But brands are not putting the required effort in order to engage positively with the existing customers to derive more lifetime value from them. It’s high time businesses understand the customer journeys and deploy this insight into their business process.
A customer journey map is a graphical illustration or a pictorial representation that shows the various customer touchpoints with your business enterprise. It helps companies to know what a particular customer is going through on a very personal level so that brands can make an instant connection with him.
There is something called as “experience map” that lets enterprises to know not only how a customer moves through a particular phase but also what is the experience that he gets. Thus it is at once a qualitative and a quantitative approach. The various behavioral stages of the customers are taken note of and the various touchpoints are also measured.
The personas that are created help to shed more light on the customer journey thus creating different maps for different customer personas. These personas are pivotal to creating the right customer journey maps. These maps also are loaded with data so that brands can come to know which are the experiences that meet the customer expectations and which are ones that lead to poor satisfaction rates for the customers.
Mapping the right journey to customer delight
1. Gathering enough customer behavior knowledge
It is important to understand the customer behavior and the thoughts that go through their mind when they enter the top of your marketing funnel and then through the funnel and till the end of the buying process. The various stages that your buyers go through and the impact that your marketing collaterals, user interface, content, social interactions have on them is worthy of introspection in order to gain meaningful insights into your customer’s buying habits.
2. Customer goals have to be aligned with the stages
Understanding what the customer wants is a priority since only by thoroughly understanding this it is possible to tailor-make a product as per the customer’s needs. Your customers have a certain goal when they move from one phase of the funnel to the other. It is important that you cogitate on these goals in order to meet the customer expectations.
Soliciting information from the customers would be an ideal way to gauge the mood and temperament of the customers. This information collation can be done using feedback forms on websites, asking the customers to fill up a survey form or even go for market research or individual one-on-one customer interviews.
3. Diligently chalk out the customer touchpoints
The various customer touchpoints need to be identified and given due importance. This way it is possible to find out how engaged your customers are and also how your brand helps the customers to fulfill their goals and needs. These touchpoints could be under the various phases of your customer buying journey or funnel.
Using analytics or other advanced automation software it is possible to gain useful information about what are the customer pain points, any room for improvement in your product or service, the need for a change of strategy when it comes to delighting customers. These are some of the important tasks that can be carried out successfully.
Key Takeaway: Businesses need to change the way they view the whole buying process and give more prominence to the customer expectations and needs. This is where the customer buying journey takes center stage. Orchestrating a business process solution that revolves around customer needs and using customer journey maps to implement the process is the way to go for progressive brands.