Actioning the Customer Journey
Customer experience, or CX for short, is at the center of marketing and sales at the moment. But where in the world did this movement come from and why has it gained so much traction and what should you, the marketer, be doing about it?
The customer experience movement has its roots in the mid-ninities and Fred Reichheld’s the Loyalty Effect.1 At its core, customer experience is about the lasting, added, value companies get from loyal customers.
So how do you acquire loyal customers?
Defining Customer Experience
According to CX-Guru Matt Wilkinson there is no agreed to definition of Customer Experience, however, he offers a useful definition2:
The customer experience is the qualitative aspect of any interaction that an individual has with a business, its products or services, at any point in time.
Honing in on the customer journey
We need a way to plan and then action these interactions with our company and its products and services so that we can reap the benefits of great customer experiences.Enter the customer journey, which is also sometimes called the buyers journey (perhaps to emphazise that not all buyers are yet customers). A customer journey is a way to map a complete interaction one customer (or set of customers) can have with your company. A more succinct definition from HubSpot:
The buyer’s journey is the process buyers go through to become aware of, evaluate, and purchase a new product or service.
As you might have already guessed there can be many different customer journeys and they should all map to your customer personas. From the HubSpot blog:
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When creating yourbuyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals.
Planning out these customer journeys is extremely important for succesful sales and marketing. A good place to start is with a template, there are many available, but one I would recommend comes from UXpressia: https://uxpressia.com/templates (you can download them as pdf’s or sign-up).If you need guidance, or an alternative to UXpressia, this blog from Lucidchart goes through the steps needed: https://www.lucidchart.com/blog/how-to-build-customer-journey-maps
Actioning the customer journey
There is an added bonus to mapping out customer journeys for the operational side of the business. Whether marketing, sales or IT-operations, customer journey maps function as blueprints for integrated communications along all interactions your company has with the customer persona. You can then rapidly start prototyping all of the necessary operational aspects and integrations needed to deliver tehcnology enabled great customer experiences.
If you are interested in actioning your customer journey maps, please book a time for a free 30-minute consultation.