How to Perfect the Customer Journey
by John Seeds
Customer experience (CX) is the heart of your business. If customers have a negative experience with your brand – purchasing products, browsing your website, interacting with your staff - they are more likely to abandon the sale, no matter how long they’ve been a customer, how far down the funnel they’ve gone, or how great your product is. Worse still, they may decide to cut ties with your business entirely. On the flip side, a positive customer experience can result in noticeable growth with customer retention and loyalty.
Beyond retention and loyalty, CX has a direct effect on revenue. According to a 2018 PricewaterhouseCoopers study, a strategic and personalized CX can garner up to a 16% increase in pricing of products and services. And a positive customer experience makes customers more willing to share their data: with 63% of consumers being more open to sharing information with a company where they’ve had a great experience, according to the PwC study.
So how can you harness the power of customer experience for the good of your organization? It all starts with an actionable CX vision and strategy, and we’re here to help you get there, one step at a time.
Is every marketing email, contact center interaction, website form, or channel of engagement you have with your customers holding up to their standards?
Consumers today want their interactions to be personalized, speedy, convenient, friendly, and helpful – and this desire carries through to every single interaction, touchpoint, or channel, no matter how big or small. Assess your current customer experience strategy and orchestration as they stand to see where you can improve. Walk through a few potential customer journeys and take note of where they might be lacking.
Remember, too, that all of your channels should be working in sync to provide your customers with a seamless, unified experience, no matter how or where they are interacting with your organization. In other words, make sure you are delivering an omnichannel experience to your customers.
Now that you’ve identified your CX strengths and weaknesses, the next step is preparing to address the areas that need improvement – for this, you’re going to need everyone on board. Make sure you have your reasoning and your ideas ironed out perfectly to ensure you get a full buy-in from stakeholders and leadership, as well as organization-wide cultural adoption.
On the operations side, you can set your organization up for success by focusing on cross-departmental alignment, consistent and efficient processes, and lots of collaboration across marketing, sales, customer service, and other key functions of your business. Having your CX technology in order will help with this in a major way, supporting cross-channel connectivity and consistency, as well as customer data collection and automation.
Once you’ve identified the weak spots in your CX and gotten all the necessary buy-ins and resources, you can begin the process of designing a new, stronger approach. A CX improvement roadmap will help you develop a clear action plan for attaining your customer experience goals, step by step. Your roadmap should also define the roles and responsibilities of the people involved in your transformation, so you can ensure everything is properly delegated.
Your CX goals should be prioritized according to a customer-focused methodology – don’t forget who all this is for. If you begin to lose sight of the customer’s needs, remember that transforming your CX will have clear financial benefits. It can be helpful to lay these out to return to when your focus wavers – consider where you’ll see the highest return on your investment, whether that’s in revenue growth, cost savings, or employee efficiency. Keep in mind that some benefits will be short-term, while others are long-term. Prepare to stay the course.
When you’ve considered all the elements of your roadmap, take the time to document it in detail, including the desired outcome, timelines for each step, and necessary investments to achieve each goal.
Now comes the fun part! You’re ready to orchestrate your strategy and begin to see improvements to your CX – and soon enough to your bottom line. Adopting the right technology and keeping a close eye on your roadmap will help ensure a smooth transition.