Written By: Cynarah Ellawala
Today’s consumer are well-informed and your brand is no longer what you tell them it is, but rather what they decide it is. They come to conclusions about your brand/product via Internet research done prior to purchase. From peer product reviews to comparison apps, and social chatter, they feel empowered and expect more from companies. Marketing experts have served up on the internet their 2016 marketing trends articles and most agree that content marketing and mobile are high priorities. However this year’s biggest marketing buzzword is customer journey. Most companies are scrambling to understand what this new trend means. The idea is to develop customer journey frameworks to better understand the customer experience via a customer journey mapping exercise. A customer journey map outlines every interaction between a customer and the organization at every touchpoint of the purchasing lifecycle. It seeks to identify what is the customer experience is and how the organization can help to improve the experience throughout and identifies where the gaps are.
This important aspect of your marketing strategy is seen as a way to grow revenue from both, existing and new customers, by understanding how customer experience your brand/product as they go through the sales funnel (awareness, interest, consideration, intent, evaluation, and purchase). We would add the post purchase experience to this traditional funnel. Whether your strategy is B2B at the enterprise level or consumer marketing, understanding your customers’ journey will help you identify where in the process you are losing or converting your customers.
A customer journey mapping exercise does not have to be costly or complicated but it does start with a good understanding of your customers as well as your internal sales processes and marketing practices. One of the ways that you can get started is by doing customer research, whether via online survey, one-on-one interviews or via focus groups, understanding the experience from your customers’ perspective can give you a competitive advantage and help you to provide a better customer experience.
Further evaluating your internal processes and marketing practices is best done by a consultant who can come look with a new lens and provide insights into how to align your process with the customer expectations. A consultant can also facilitate internal intake meetings and one-on-one interviews with member of your team and your partners to assess and provide recommendations on how to improve your process around your customer’s journey. You can also use a number of SaaS companies providing business intelligence to give you insight into real-time customer behavior. These services not only provide value customer insight but will allow you to use your customer journey to adapt and respond in real-time to your customer’s needs.
To this end, we have recently conducted similar exercise for Seattle Parks and Recreations Athletic Scheduling Division and Washington Dental Service Foundation. We are currently conducting internal intake meetings and one-on-one interviews with UW Surplus to map out the customer journey of their various audience who are increasingly coming from more diverse backgrounds.
Are you ready to go above and beyond to give your customers what they expect? We can help you get started.