The world of business and customer service has changed immensely over the past few years. Whereas once business was largely driven by outbound marketing and advertising, in today’s world you have to consider the customer experience and your customers’ journey as they interact with your brand.
Today, thanks to the advent of the Internet and mobile technology, customers can buy almost anything in the world online, and they can compare and contrast brands, prices, and quality with a few swipes on their phone, tablet, or smart watch. Customers today do not care as much about fancy advertising as they do about superior customer service and a quality experience as they work with your brand. They choose the brands they like based on the relationships that they can build with them.
Thus, as you consider efficient ways to improve your business, you should always prioritize customer experience and the customer journey. But what is the customer journey, and how can you leverage it to create more value for your business?
The customer journey is the path that a customer takes through various touch points as they interact with your brand and your products. These touch points are the individual transactions and interactions that your customer has with your business. They can include clicking on an ad, visiting your website, clicking on a specific product, purchasing that product online (including each touch point involved in the online checkout process), follow-up emails from you, etc.
50% of all customer interactions happen during multi-event, multi-channel, cross-time journeys
Of course, it’s dangerous to focus too much on single touch points as you analyze your customer journey. Basically, when you focus on individual touch points, you isolate each one and ignore your customer’s overall, end-to-end journey and experience. Doing this can blind you to major issues, and you can miss a lot of great opportunities for added value, too.
However, when you look at the customer journey with more data integrated data points and more attention to the context of your customers’ experiences, you will begin to see a better picture of how your customers see your brand and how you can improve your brand reputation and customer retention while bringing on more new customers without spending a ton of money and resources on new marketing campaigns.
4 Reasons Companies Do Not Explore the Value of the Customer Journey
So why aren’t more companies exploring this new and better way of looking at the customer journey? There are actually multiple reasons:
1. Failure to Realize That the Customer Journey Goes Beyond Marketing
First, a lot of businesses today think of the customer journey as something that only the marketing department should pay attention to. To them, improving the customer journey is a job for marketing, but this is entirely untrue. This is the kind of compartmentalized thinking that needs to be left behind. Cross-functional and interdisciplinary efforts can improve the customer journey and have massive effects on the customer experience.
Next, a lot of companies simply have not implemented the data analytics tools and processes necessary to see the big picture. They have fragmented data that covers individual touch points, which is good, but it’s not good enough to show the hidden value that they’re missing in the customer journey.
3. Inability to Scale and Grow Data Storage and Analytics Tools
This brings many companies to the dilemma of “build it” vs. “buy it.