It’s no secret that the customer is the central focus of any business. It doesn’t matter if you’re engaging in large B2B corporate interactions or tiny B2C sales. Regardless of the specifics, the customer is always right.
This makes the customer journey a critical aspect of any company’s operations. What path have you established for the customer to tread on as they shift from an interested consumer to a paying patron?
Even if you already have a customer journey outlined, it’s important to revisit it from time to time. Here are a few suggestions for thoughtful ways to revolutionize your customer journey in an effective manner that will lead to greater results for your business.
1. Start at the End of the Road
It’s tempting to think of the customer journey ending at the point of a sale. After all, they’ve officially transitioned from a consumer with a problem to a customer that is using your solution.
However, any savvy business owner is aware that the customer journey goes right past the point of sale and on into the realm of long-term customer service. Once you’ve won over a new customer, retaining them becomes key.
It’s far more efficient to retain existing customers than to win over new ones. In addition, a happy, existing customer can improve things like word-of-mouth marketing.
With that in mind, consider the end of your customer journey. Are you providing customer service that is readily available, comprehensive, and competent? If your customer service strategy is lacking, you can revolutionize it in a few different ways, such as:
- Creating employee handbooks that outline consistent customer service expectations;
- Implementing a cloud-based IVR system to provide a quality, automated, around-the-clock customer service option;
- Installing chatbots and maintaining up-to-date and relevant contact forms on your website;
- Training your customer service reps to improve their customer-facing interactions.
By improving your customer service, you add an element of sustainability to your customer journey. Not only does your business guide consumers through the process of becoming a customer. You’re invested in keeping them happy after they’ve bought your product or service, as well.
2. Consider the Path Itself
Once again, it’s easy to focus on acquisition as an important part of the customer journey. However, before you start hatching innovative marketing plans, you need to ensure that the path itself is good to go.
Once a potential customer has found you, it’s up to you to funnel them toward your solution for their problem. While there are many factors that go into this process, your company’s website has become one of the most important of these items over time.
Two decades into the 21st century it can be stated with a fair amount of confidence that if you don’t have a good website, you might as well not exist to most consumers. This applies to regional as well as global operations. When it comes to the customer journey, your website should cater to several things:
- It should be laid out in a manner that is easy for your target customers to navigate;
- It should cater to both mobile and desktop visitors without any trouble;
- It should provide information that’s easy to access, establishes trust, and funnels customers toward your solutions;
- It should have contact and FAQ pages that are filled with multiple communication options and relevant information, respectively;
- It should establish your brand as an authority and expert in your industry that possesses competent, real-world solutions.
If you want to blow your customers’ collective minds, your website is the place to do it. Take the time to create a clear buyer persona. Then put yourself in the mindset of your ideal customer and walk through your website experience. Look for areas that are weak and spruce them up so that it delivers at every step.
3. Create a Solid Marketing Strategy
At this point, we’ve worked our way backward from the end of the customer journey. We’ve perfected the customer service provided during and after the point of purchase. We’ve also shored up the company website and made it an ideal tool to shepherd visitors toward becoming a customer.
Now that you have your customer journey infrastructure in place, it’s time to fire up your marketing efforts. This is the ultimate customer-facing aspect of your company’s activities. It’s also the place where customers choose to step into the path and begin their journey with your company.
The only problem is, there is a myriad of other companies out there trying to entice them to do the same thing. If you want to revolutionize your customer journey, you need to create a marketing strategy that is as splashy as it is effective. You can do this by:
- Using your buyer persona to consider what target demographics you’re pursuing and where they congregate (particularly online.)
- Studying your competition and looking for the marketing strategies that they’ve used with success.
- Considering how you can adapt and enhance those strategies using the USP (unique selling proposition) of your own brand.
As you look for ways to infuse the first step of the customer journey with fresh excitement, remember to set goals. Are you trying to build brand awareness? Generate sales? Build up organic search traffic?
There are many marketing objectives that can help to jumpstart your customers on their journey. The important thing is that you identify the goals that will help your brand the most and focus on those. Otherwise, you’ll quickly find that you’ve spread yourself too thin pursuing too many things.
For instance, if you’re already well-established, you can probably focus on things like generating sales. However, if you’re new or regional and trying to expand, you may want to hone in on brand awareness first.
There are many factors that go into a competent customer journey. If you want to supercharge your customers’ journey with some pizzazz, it’s important that you take things one step at a time. Start with customer service, then perfect your website, and end with a marketing overhaul.
Revamping the customer-facing elements of your company in that order ensures that your customers have a high-quality experience throughout their interactions with your brand.