The customer journey or overall customer experience is a hot topic these days with marketers. Brands are realizing more and more that consumers are in a dominant position during the buying process and that affects how purchases are being made. It’s more important than ever to understand your customers and know what is going to have an impact on that buying process.
As a marketer myself, I’ve always been fascinated by the holy grail of the 360 degree view of a customer. Knowing what a customer has done at any point with a company and where that took place has obvious benefits. Of course, this is easier said than done and for years it has been difficult to truly have a cohesive view of a customer.
But if I have learned one thing from Clayton Christensen and his concepts of disruptive innovation, it’s that if a problem exists for long enough a solution will be found and a market will be created.
Technology has finally started catching up with the whims of marketers. There are now full platforms that enable the business to interact with customers the way they prefer to be dealt with, while still providing access to those valuable customer insights across the entire business.
We all have those experiences where we have dealt with a business only to be treated on the next visit or interaction like we’ve never done business with them before. I often tell a story about a cell phone provider that my wife and I signed up with thinking we would save some money on our bill. The service was poor, our data speeds couldn’t keep up basic demands, and overall it was just not functional compared to what we had become used to.
So we called customer service, many times. Over the course of a month we had multiple calls with various levels of customer service and support. The final suggestion was that they could get an engineer to investigate but we would have to wait 2 more months before they could get one. Frustrated, I took to twitter and passive aggressively complained and tagged them in it. Now, I’m not naïve, I knew what I was doing. I was hoping that we could get someone else to intervene. Within an hour I had a reply (bonus point for speed) with a request to Direct Message them our cell phone numbers and name. I immediately did that. The first response back from them was, “Have you talked to customer care?” What? I had spent 12 hours+ talking to support and their first question was to see if I had call their 800 number. Either they couldn’t see the support notes, or they didn’t care to look. Either way, the customer journey was broken and we cancelled our service.
Technology now exists that allows companies to power every step of the customer journey in a connected, seamless fashion. No more operating in siloes like our ex-cell phone company. Customers don’t operate in single channels, companies shouldn’t either.
Recently, I hosted a webinar that looked at how companies can power up their customer journey and the steps needed to tie all the pieces together. We walked through each phase in a customer’s buying journey, discussed why it’s important, and shared the key activities a company should be doing at each phase. I also presented a roadmap of all the technology necessary to power your journey which includes some of the technology tools you may already have but are not getting the most out of them.
And, if you haven’t already, you can also download our infographic, Powering Up Your Customer Journey, for more ideas.