5 Tips to improve your customer experience journey

Today more than ever the Customer Experience Journey has become the top priority as businesses manage and serve the shifting customer demands.

Mapping the Customer Experience Journey is critical in delivering on these demands and exceeding their expectations.

Over the past two decades creating and implementing Mystery Shopping audits for our clients providing real time data analysis to improve their business operations and connection with the customer was once based on objective analysis (quantitative). I then began to introduce the qualitative side of the analysis, the comments on how the experience made the customer feel providing a clearer understanding on why areas of their business scored 90% and others 28%.

I encouraged my employees when experiencing the journey at our client’s venues to note how it made them feel not just the efficiency of the transaction. Of course, this created longer reports to read so we developed a Mapping of the Customer Experience Journey in our analysis that could be measured and improved upon.

Mapping of the Customer Experience Journey is a valuable tool, providing a clearer understanding of their experience, the highlights, missed opportunities and the “oh no” not so great interactions. It also affects the bottom line of businesses.

The Customer Experience Journey refers to all of the touchpoints and pain points a customer experiences as they interact with a business.

We have found since introducing our clients to the Customer Experience Journey they have increased engagement from their team, stronger connection with their customers, increase in revenue and a greater return on their marketing spend.

1. AWARENESS OF THE BRAND

The journey begins at the point where a prospective customer becomes aware of your brand. This awareness may come through social media, google, signage, radio, television, displays, letter box drop or direct mail (snail mail). In order to be successful brands must analyse the data to determine which awareness campaign has been the most cost effective for bringing awareness to its customers, especially when it comes to paid advertising.

2. CONSIDERATION OF YOUR BRAND

At this point of the journey the prospective customer is making comparisons: cost, size, choices, reading reviews, asking friends and social media connections they know have they used your product or service. This is where you need to be able to connect with them through an easy to read website that provides information they are seeking, FAQ page, video showing product / premises, menus, video testimonials of customers and team members sharing their “Why” and what they will experience when they become a customer.

They need to see themselves in your marketing. At this time some businesses offer incentives; pop up vouchers, discount codes, free download all in exchange for their email to be used for future marketing opportunities.

3. PURCHASING

Whether it’s online, over the phone or in person this is a very important touchpoint on the journey. You and your team not only have to meet but exceed the expectations you have promised them in your marketing. It is at this point where many businesses fall short and the customer does not buy.

The Mapping of the Journey provides the business an opportunity to learn why a customer didn’t proceed with the purchase or left the venue (in the case of my hospitality clients). Businesses need to review the analysis and explore ideas such as; Live Chats online would they have helped? Were the frontline team members fully resourced, knowledgeable and trained correctly?

With an online purchase is there an opportunity to email the customer why they didn’t buy and if you could assist them with any questions they may have?

With an onsite purchase was there the opportunity for the team member farewelling or assisting customers to resolve the issue before the customer left?

4. CUSTOMER RETENTION

Businesses spend so much money attracting new customers in a continual cycle of churning that does not build on the foundation of existing customers and retaining them.

Retention is key it is important to engage the customer through targeted marketing emails, SMS and signage inside the premises. It’s also about remembering their names, what they purchased last time, asking how their holiday was or new job, connecting with them as people, being empathetic and genuinely happy that they are customer in your business.

Businesses have to be careful at this point as it can cause customer fatigue where they are being bombarded with emails and messages to the point where the “unsubscribe” button is clicked.

Your database is a gold. Mine it with care and thought before sending off emails on mass.

5. CUSTOMER ADVOCACY

Having loyal customers is wonderful, progressing them to being brand advocates through your loyalty to them is amazing. They are your WOM marketing tool and we all know that “word of mouth” is the best form of marketing.

It takes a united team providing consistent “extra ordinary” customer experiences for your customers to become advocates.

Some businesses create loyalty programs for their customers with VIP status for their advocates. I say don’t be blinded by the money spend as the only metric for advocates, look at the analysis who are your regulars, who spend often (at a lower $ spend perhaps).

True customer advocates love your brand, team and you because of the Customer Experience Journey that you have mapped out for them.

It is important to optimise the customer experience at each touch point, removing the pain points and continually improving the experience, converting prospective customers into customers, simplifying the purchasing process, retaining and creating brand advocates.

The key is always to add value to your customer experience. Understanding the multi generational customer base with different needs and expectations. The more you know about a customer group the better you can align the customer experience journey.

We colour code our Mapping of the Customer Experience Journey. The Red pain points indicate the negative impacts, Green highlight the positive impacts and Amber where the journey is bland; not bad, not good and certainly not memorable.

Mapping the Customer Experience Journey viewing the touch points is critical, delivering on the demands of today’s customers.

If you would like to learn more about how I can help you and your business create a Mapping of the Customer Experience Journey for your business then please contact me at michelle@michellepascoe.com or call 0411 146 450.