In Econsultancy’s Quarterly Digital Trend Report of 2015, customer experience, or CX, was the most popular method of differentiating a brand from competitors over the next 5 years. It’s obvious that the experience a customer has with your business will affect their choices and behaviours; it can make or break a sale and turn a casual shopper into a loyal brand ambassador. But where do you start with CX?
Know the Customer Journey
Anaysis of the current customer journey from their perspective is the best starting point when you begin focusing on CX. Once the journey has been mapped it’s possible to begin finding areas of weakness and making the necessary improvements. The customer journey is all of the different experiences that a customer has while they are interacting with your company. It’s understanding where and how the customers behaviour changes as they move through the various steps, such as how they learn about you to making a purchase and beyond.
The four main phases of the customer journey are as follows:
Consider – An individual changes from a passive observer of your marketing efforts and they turn into a potential customer. It’s coming for well-known brands to out-perform lesser known brands at this phase and therefore it is important to focus on strengthening your own brand in order to compete. The message of your brand must be clear and strong right from the start.
Evaluate – Customers will check out the offerings but won’t buy just yet. Instead they will spend some time doing their research, finding out more and comparing what’s out there on the market. This is where other brands can be reconsidered or discovered and the current brand can lose out. It is important to ensure these potential customers are engaged during this phase and to consider the people who are perhaps hearing of the company for the first time.
Buy – This is an obvious part of the journey, when the sale is made. A lot of attention is placed on this phase but it is just one part of the journey and as most of the decision making comes before this phase it’s important to spread the marketing effort out to the other phases of the journey.
Enjoy, bond and advocate – The journey doesn’t stop once the customer has bought the service or product. The after sales service plays a big part in turning a passive consumer into a loyal brand advocate.
The customer journey is not often as clear cut as the four phases above. The customers may take a long time over one phase and no time at all over another. So when evaluating the CX it’s important to understand that it’s not just a simple flow.
Need help to improve the journey and experience of your digital customers? Give us a call to arrange a chat over a cup of coffee and we’ll discuss how digital marketing can improve customer experiences and help your company stand out from the crowd.