Get one step closer to creating the perfect customer experience by putting yourself in your customer's shoes.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words “customer experience”?
My mind goes from Coca-Cola pulling on heartstrings in its “share a Coke” campaign, to Ralph Lauren’s smart mirror technology, to Swedish-giant Ikea’s constant evolution to meet changing customer expectations.
Now, if I were to visualize the customer experience that these iconic brands extend, I would think of thousands of customer journey maps. A customer journey map puts a customer in the center of the story—prioritizing user-benefits over how the business wants to portray itself. That’s exactly how these brands became success stories. Mapping your customers’ journey is the first step to designing and delivering a seamless, integrated experience to your target audience.
It’s not rocket science, but it’s easier said than done. The challenge that businesses face is they misunderstand the fact that mapping a customer journey is representative of an experience, and not the experience itself. Depending on who your customer is, over time, the map is going to change and evolve.
Today, it’s easier to get to know your customer by following their online footprint—think browsing habits, purchase history, social profiles etc. Once you have their information, create buyer personas. Personas will help you create experiences for the right people at the right touch point, at the right time. Now, let’s come back to the key stages your persona goes through while interacting with your brand.
Awareness > Consideration > Purchase > Service > Loyalty
It’s crucial to identify touchpoints at each stage of the customer journey. Touchpoints can differ depending on the nature of your business. A typical stage and touchpoint model looks like this:
The awareness stage is the entry point for you to start understanding your customers’ emotions. The awareness stage is when you recognize that your customers have a need or a problem. At this stage, successful brands can empathize with the customer and understand their emotion.
In the consideration stage, your potential customers are looking for a probable and possible solution for their problems/needs. They research and start understanding the solution better and also start comparing what you offer vs. the competition. They’re looking for relatable user cases that are applicable to them.
For example, Salesforce created various digital assets to tell its story about being leaders in the highly competitive CRM market. It developed messaging promoting the exact solution that their potential customers were on the hunt for.
This is what I call the “strike the iron while it’s hot” stage. Here, your prospect is convinced by your product and is one step closer to buying what you offer. Your future customer is looking for the final assurance that your product can meet his or her unique needs. Amazon, for example, offers people who have been searching for Amazon Prime a 30-day free trial to reassure consumers that they’re getting something great.
My friend and I had an hour-long debate over Android vs. iPhone. Just when I thought I was winning the debate for Android, he threw out a crucial question: Do you have a community where smartphone owners can post their query/issue and get it resolved by the community? I had no answer. I thought maybe there is, but I don’t know about it.
When I found out about Apple’s support community I immediately saw the “service” touchpoint in front of me. I realized that “purchase” is not the last step in delivering excellent customer service. Your customers are looking for ways where they can get the most of what they have, on time, quickly and in an efficient manner.
It’s unimaginable now, that traditionally we didn’t have this stage as a part of the customer journey. But today, it’s one of the most important stages. Once you have your customers, how do you retain them and make them your advocates?
Here your precious customers are looking for consistent value in terms of tailored and customized services. Making your customers feel special with exclusive user-only offerings can create customers for life.
You need to be mindful that mapping your customer journey is not a linear process. It’s important to have qualitative and quantitative feedback across all the segments incorporated. This will help you identify opportunities to enhance the customer experience.
Mapping your customer journey is like having the foundation laid for all your sales and marketing campaigns to drive growth by delivering delightful customer experiences.
Let us help you understand your customers, identify their pain points and deliver solutions that enhance their experience.