The number of ways a customer engages with a brand is forever evolving, with omnichannel experiences (i.e., looking on a website via one device and purchasing through another) being considered as the norm nowadays.
On a surface level, creating your customer experience strategy may seem simple. However, with a study finding that just 29% of consumers actually receive a consistent experience across all channels, it’s clear that providing perfect experiences is becoming increasingly difficult in the forever growing digital landscape.
Here, we break down the five key stages your persona goes through when interacting with your brand:
The awareness stage is the stepping-stone for you to start understanding your customers’ emotions, i.e., what makes them tick. Successful brands are those which empathise with their customers and can connect with them on a personal level.
Let’s take the heightened awareness around sustainability, for example. A recent IBM report found that three in five customers are shopping more sustainably than they were before in the past 12 months. To meet this expectation, you should:
- Work towards future sustainable goals – such as achieving net zero carbon by 2050
- Use environmentally friendly materials for your products – Lush are a great example as they’re well known for their products being advertised as animal cruelty-free
By paying attention to your prospect’s external motives, you can identify opportunities to connect with them and potentially move them along to the consideration stage of your product or service.
During the consideration stage, your prospects are looking for all of the possible solutions to their problems and are starting to get familiar with your brand. At this point, they’ll be researching how your products or services can benefit them and start comparing your offerings against your competition in terms of pricing, features, and the support you provide.
You can engage your prospects in the consideration stage by publishing use cases on your website of how your solution can solve their problems. For instance, Salesforce created varied digital assets to tell their story of how they’re the leaders in the highly competitive CRM market, developing messages targeting the solution their potential customers are looking for.
Following the success of their campaigns, in July 2022, they announced that they had been recognised by Gartner as a Leader in its 2022 Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Marketing Hubs for the fifth consecutive year.
Here, your prospect is convinced by your product/service and is one step closer to making the final purchase decision. They’re looking for the final assurance that what you offer meets his/her unique needs.
You can help customer make their purchasing decision easier by:
- Taking advantage of AI – intelligent AI like chatbots can increase the interactivity of a website and quickly answer common customer search queries
- Being present on multiple channels – today’s customers want to interact with brands in different ways, whether it’s social media, phone, or email. Increasing your presence on multiple channels allows your prospects to choose their preferred method of communication
- Having reviews on your website – whether these are quantitative (star ratings), qualitative (write ups about your offerings), or both, reviews offer credibility and trust towards your customers final decision, leading to a higher chance of a sale
After their purchase, do your customers have the level of support they need? Technology giants Apple for instance have their own online forum, where customers are able to either:
- Find answers to questions they’re searching for
- Provide resolutions for other users by responding to the problems they’re currently having
The community they’ve established not only strengthens their customer service, but also allows their teams to focus on critical issues at hand rather than easy fixes.
Your customers are always looking for ways to maximise of the product/service they’ve purchased. By delivering successful post-purchase support, you can increase customer retention and repeat sales.
In fact, it’s reported that customers who receive a great service after their initial purchase are nine times more likely to convert towards additional offers than the first-time shopper!
Here, your customers are looking for additional value you can provide with tailored and customised services. Making your customers feel special with exclusive offerings can increase loyalty and potentially keep them for life. So, how can you build loyalty? You should:
- Provide schemes to encourage repeat purchasing – 75% of customers say they favour brands that offer loyalty programmes, and by rewarding them with each visit, you can boost their engagement with you
- Create personalised experiences across your digital channels – addressing customers by their first name creates brand attachment and allows you to stand out, whether this is by logging into an online account or through an email campaign
- Boost convenience by suggesting relevant products or services based on customer data – 54% of businesses report that product recommendations assist with building loyalty amongst their customer base, and as a result creates a more memorable experience
Why mapping out your customer journey isn’t just a one-time process
Despite covering the foundations of your customer journey and the different stages they’ll go through whilst interacting with your brand, it’s important to note this will not only change but evolve over time, meaning this shouldn’t be seen as a linear process.
With new technologies on the horizon, from VR (the metaverse) to listening devices like Amazon Echoes and Apple Homepod (Alexa, Siri), you should revisit your customer journey on a continuous basis to identify new opportunities to enhance your experiences on multiple channels.
This way, you can remain proactive at meeting and exceeding their needs throughout the five stages above, which in turn, allows you to provide perfect experiences for now and in the future.
How the perfect partnership with customer service and sales teams can help you keep customers for life
Providing excellent experiences are fundamental to driving more sales, as after-all, it costs far more to attract new customers than it does to retain your existing ones. That’s why you should focus on creating the perfect partnership between your customer service and sales teams.
In our guide, we show you how you can keep your customers for life and create long-lasting relationships with them, including:
- The importance of personalised customer experiences
- How your CRM unlocks more opportunities for sales
- The best practices for customer service and sales team alignment
Download your free copy below.