What journey do your customers take?
February 10, 2017 | Posted in: Articles & News, Flex Marketing news
Have you ever followed your customers’ footsteps from point A through to Z?
Often topics for these articles spring to mind as a result of things I have been working on, as well as business articles I have read. In the case of this article, the topic relates to both. An article I read recently discussed the benefits of taking simple paths – more complex paths often produce inferior results. Along these lines, in early 2017 I have been working on exploring and mapping out customer journeys for a business I work with.
The exercise of mapping a customer journey aims to understand what the experience of a business is like from a customer point of view…right from the point of first contact/enquiry through to delivery of the goods or services. Every little customer touch point is noted and evaluated as a way of identifying where there are obstacles, weaknesses and opportunities for growth and improvement.
The typical discovery during this review is that “things are not always as they seem” – processes may have fallen over, there is no clear ownership of certain steps, lack of communication etc. This exercise is really helpful for addressing gaps – whether it is more training, more resource or increased options that are required; identifying this is progress in the right direction. Just mapping the customer journey can get the ball rolling for improved communication within the business because at least people are talking about things that are not working for them. It also gets everyone together to brainstorm solutions as well as celebrate any growth or successes.
Mapping customer journeys can also be an opportunity for individuals to broaden their understanding of a business, as often they may not be aware of the bigger picture and how the part they play fits into the overall jigsaw.
This analysis of the customer journey often uncovers unnecessary complexity and clutter that the customer has to endure – removing these can be keys to improving customer conversion. For example, as a result of the review I have been involved in recently, we have streamlined the number of people within the business that customers need to directly deal with so that they have one main point of contact that is responsible for the relationship from start to finish.
So, how do you make sure any improvements you make to processes, practices, policies etc as a result of such review make a beneficial difference to the customer experience? Ask them (the customers)! Customer satisfaction surveys can incorporate questions to give a good indication of how great or poor the customer journey is. And of course, it will also be likely to show up in terms of improved performance – cost reduction, sales improvement, increased profit etc…keep an eye on your performance dashboard for these indicators.
In summary, a better customer journey translates to happier customers. Happier customers are likely to return more often, spend more as well as talk positively to their friends, who will be your next customers.
If you would like someone to help review your customer journeys without any internal bias, get in touch.