Mapping the customer journey will illustrate the steps your customers go through when engaging with your brand. Your map may be simple or more complex depending on the number of touch points you have. Consider the big picture. Start from the point your customers are just becoming aware of your product, follow them through their research and purchase, walk with them as they have their first hands-on experience and while they continue to use your product, listen in as they share their experience, and be present for the moment of truth as they decide to stay with you or perhaps move on to a competitor. To really unlock all of the opportunities you have to engage with customers and influence the customer journey, you need to build a process centered around the customer experience.
Reflect. As they say, “knowledge is power”. Before jumping into action mode, make sure you are armed with information that will empower you to effectively influence your customer journey.
- Know your company. How does your company value customers? How important is the customer experience? Your company’s philosophy can have a real impact on the customer journey.
- Know your resources. Be realistic about how your internal teams work together. This will help you focus on areas of the customer journey where you can make a real impact.
- Know your customers. Creating a culture of engagement is not about offering the most contact channels, having the most social media buzz, or blasting your customers with more “stuff”. It is about creating seamless opportunities of engagement that enhance the brand experience.
Optimize. Make the most of what you are already doing by doing it well. Look for areas to improve how you are already engaging with customers. Ask yourself if your touch points are efficient and appropriately reflect your mission.
Create. Identify areas in the customer journey where engagement is scarce or lackluster and create a solution that fills that gap. Collaborate with internal teams so that your solutions are seamless and add value. Avoid creating things “just because”. No, adding chat is not the answer to everything.
Refine. Realize that you are never “done”. Take the journey with your customers and always look to keep the customer experience relevant. Have you ever been driving in New York City when all of the sudden your GPS has no clue where you are? Nothing is worse than being on a journey with an outdated map!
Customer engagement is becoming increasingly important and a key competitive differentiator in today’s market. Putting some methodology into practice will keep you oriented and focused on the customer experience. You can influence the customer experience by driving meaningful engagement and ultimately move customers through the journey you want them to have.