Most companies realize that we need to focus on our customers and even more important that we need to understand our customers. We conduct customer surveys and label the customer experience with a NPS score. We monitor the customer satisfaction year by year to measure if the improvements we make internally reflect back on the customers’ experience.
Some companies map the customer journey, connecting touchpoints and internal processes with the customers’ position in their journey through our universe. It all makes sense, but why not take it to the next level?
I had a real a-ha moment at Dreamforce, when listening to how PlayStation® works with customer journey
I had a real a-ha moment at Dreamforce in San Francisco this year, when listening in on some of the customer experience sessions. Let me share it with you: in my past I have mapped customer journeys for internal purpose only. We have used the customer journey to connect different functions to get a better flow when engaging with our customers. We have also used the customer journey to agree on the common vision; that we are in business to serve the customers!
What has been missing is understanding that every customer is different. The reason for and moment when he or she decides to join us differs from customer to customer regardless of the customer being B2B or B2C. Imagine each customer being at an all-time high when he or she signs the contact or swipes the credit card. At that exact moment, the customer knows that he/she has made the right choice. And it is our job to keep the customer happy, enthusiastic and provide a fantastic onboard experience. We need to provide the customer with information at a scheduled pace during the first period starting from the customers’ day 0.
It is our job to keep the customer happy, enthusiastic and provide a fantastic onboard experience.
Sounds easy when talking a hand full of customers but with thousands of customers it gets complicated and unmanageable. Too often we give up before getting started. We end up sending a welcome letter and adding the new customers to a mailing list. After this we send a genetic or perhaps slightly personalized newsletter alongside everyone else on a regular basis – without considering where the customer is on his/her emotional journey with us as supplier.
This is exactly what you should avoid doing! Remember every customer is different. Every customer starts his/her journey when it feels right to him/her. We need to capture this moment and provide information based on the customers’ emotional journey. This is done using marketing automation. Your marketers move from executing activities based on when content is ready to creating strategic content based on a number of clearly defined customer journeys.
Here is a 5 steps guide on how to get started:
Involve stakeholders across the organization to help identifying potential customer journeys. Make sure you identify stakeholders from different functions and organisational levels. Think of the different emotions the customers have when they look for a new product or service, when they buy it, use it, damage it etc.
Select journey 1, a well defined customer journey to start out with. This is a new way of thinking and to help yourself please chose a simple journey to ensure you stay on the right track – for example chose the onboarding process. You will already have a fairly good idea of the average number of days/months/years before churn starts kicking in. Focus on this period.
Design your future customer journeys - front and back stage – without looking at the current IT and organisational setup. Focus on what you would like the customer to experience and worry about how to do it later. This is a good exercise to start thinking outside the box.
Write your new customer journey story line to be used both internally and externally. You need to be clear in your communication and be sure that each piece of info send to the customer is linked to the designed customer journey.
Select a marketing automation tool for execution. This is almost impossible to do without help from technology.
If you are looking to take the next step and start bringing the customer journey alive, feel free to give me a call on +45 6162 2060 or drop an email on email@example.com
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!