Whether you call it your customer experience or your customer journey, providing great customer interactions is crucial to growing your sales in today’s on demand world. If you can consistently deliver a customer journey that is truly amazing, this sets the stage to catapult your sales to new highs. In this article, we are going to help you understand the benefits of consciously creating a differentiating customer journey and get you started on the path to making this truly amazing.
Advantages of an Amazing Customer Journey
A customer journey can take place through any type of engagement channel including online, live interactions, over the phone, by mail or any combination of these. It can be more effective when this occurs via omnichannel engagements.
Let’s start by looking at some of the many advantages of creating an amazing customer journey and how this can truly catapult your sales:
- Increased Sales Velocity
An amazing new customer journey facilitates the seamless flow from preliminary customer interest through the decision-making process and the completion of a sale. It comfortably addresses key questions, instills confidence, educates, builds optimism and excitement, and provides a frictionless, pleasurable path to complete a purchase.
- Increased Customer Retention & Spend
After enjoying an amazing new customer journey, creating an amazing existing customer journey accelerates your overall brand experience momentum. Customers want to have an amazing experience with you. When you continually deliver, you will increase customer retention rates and generate increased spend on future purchases.
- Increased Referrals
By delivering a consistent, amazing customer journey, you will not only enjoy increased sales from your existing customers, but you will also create an army of active evangelists for your brand who will joyfully refer you to friends and business colleagues.
Salesforce reported that 80% of customers consider their experience with a company to be as important as its products. For many companies, competitors offer a similar product or service. A unique, amazing customer journey can become your business’ competitive advantage.
Steps for Creating Your Amazing Customer Journey
Here is an eye opener for most of you reading this article. Your business is already creating a customer journey. All your customers have come to expect this from you. The question is, are you doing this with the intention required to make this amazing? We have outlined the steps below:
1. Clearly Define Your Customer
The key to any amazing interaction is to understand your audience. To create an amazing customer journey, you need take the time to understand:
- Who are they demographically and sociologically?
- Why may they have an interest in your product or service?
- What experience do they have purchasing/using your product or service?
- What questions or concerns do they have about making a purchase?
- What are the most important factors they’ll consider in their decision making?
- What are your competitive product or service advantages?
2. Understand Your Customer’s Expectations
We live in an ever-evolving world where your potential customers can order a new shirt in the morning, with a few clicks on their phone, and it will be delivered to them that evening before dinner. When you are considering what your potential new clients might expect from interactions with your business, you should not only consider your industry, but other influences which may impact their expectations.
Statistics show that if someone isn’t contacted within an hour after filling out a website form to request information, there is an 80% less chance of that inquiry resulting in a sale.
There are many ways to better understand your customer. Two of the easiest methods are:
- Ask Them
Never before have your customers been more willing to share with you how you can do a better job for them. After you make a sale, ask new customers what they enjoyed about the customer journey and how you can improve this. They will tell you.
- Interaction Analytics
Use your website to gain intelligence about the content visitors view, how they engage, where they leave, the questions they ask and more. You can also use information from your CRM (Contact Relationship Management) system to test email content, texts, and other communications to measure interest levels and engagement.
3. Map The Touchpoints
Every point of contact is an opportunity to create a more amazing customer journey. The first step in developing your journey is to create a current journey map. Simply understanding the customer journey isn’t enough. It’s best to visualize this complicated journey using a diagram that you and other employees can refer to as a resource. This is where designing a customer journey map comes into play.
Create a list of all the interactions your customer might have with you. These might include:
- A paid ad
- A search engine listing
- Your website, your calls to action and offers, and your landing pages
- Your social media channels
- Other websites where you are listed
- A phone inquiry
- Walking into your business
- A call with a salesperson
Document insights about how your potential new customer might be experiencing each of these touchpoints. What do they want to achieve? What do they want from you? What are their questions? What are they feeling?
Next, take a step back and document the experience you are creating at each of these touchpoints. Look at this from your customer’s viewpoint:
- What is being said?
- What is being communicated?
- Are you providing what they want?
- Are you addressing their concerns?
One of the most common issues we see is that companies tend to talk about themselves and all the great things that they can do. However, customers are looking for information about the specific benefits they will receive from an engagement with you. They want to understand the experience they will have. Are you just telling them what you can do or are you helping them to imagine all the benefits they will enjoy by purchasing from you?
Are you doing anything amazing? Is your current experience working towards creating an amazing customer journey or is it working against you? Unless you’ve taken the time to consciously create this journey, you will find multiple areas for improvement.
4. Identify Opportunities, Prioritize and Implement
Using your customer journey map, your new understanding of your customer, and the current experience you are creating at each touchpoint, you are ready to begin identifying improved customer journey opportunities.Some of the most common ways to improve your customer journey include:
To create an amazing customer journey with personalization and customization, you need to have a CRM where you store customer information. This allows you to aggregate new or existing client data for use in improving your customer journey. Using a system like this allows you to store customers’ names, their interests, the products they’ve purchased, their birthdays, their challenges, their goals, and any other information that might be important to creating your journey. This information can then be used to trigger, personalize and customize all of your communications. This helps establish/build a relationship and shows that you care.
Your communication voice, tone, vocabulary, and overall message are critical elements to creating an amazing customer journey. Do your customers feel they are being sold or do they feel they have a connected relationship with a company who cares and who helps them enjoy a better life? Review what you are saying and how you are saying it. Are the images you share focused on you and your product/service, or do they depict your customer enjoying the benefits they desire? Are you addressing their specific questions and needs? Are you making it as easy and enjoyable as possible to do business with you?
- Give Them Control
Everyone feels better when they have control. Some of the ways you can provide control to your customers to create a more amazing customer journey include:
- Provide self-service options on your website or via an app. Allow them to see orders, check shipping, see the progress of the order, look up information, create a list, schedule an appointment, or whatever provides them with a better experience.
- Provide FAQs to help address common questions. This shows that you understand what they may want to know and that you are a company who has the experience and desire to help them enjoy a better experience.
- Let them control pricing. Some car companies let you build your own car. The customer is in complete control of what they select. This empowers them to make the decisions vs being told what something is going to cost. If you can give your customer this type of control, it creates a better customer journey
- Let them choose how they would like to communicate. Do you provide chat? Can they use an AI robot? Can they request a phone call, email, or text message? Making these types of options available puts your customer in the driver’s seat and enhances their experience with you.
Once you’ve identified your opportunities to create better customer journey, prioritize these. By understanding your customer, select the top two or three things that you can implement which will create the biggest impact. The key is to get started and have a plan for how you are going to implement. Define each touchpoint and exactly what is going to happen. Set a timeline, assign responsibilities and ensure these improvements get completed. Then, identify the next set of initiatives in order of impact.
5. Create Standards and Systems
As you shape your improved journey map, it is critical to create and document your communication standards and the associated systems. This documentation allows you and your team to set up a review schedule, visually see the full journey, understand exactly what is supposed to happen at each touchpoint, and identify future enhancement opportunities.
These standards and systems are critical to the ongoing delivery of your amazing customer journey. As you hire and train new team members, everyone must understand the importance of this objective and their specific role in its delivery.
6. Continually Evolve and Enhance
Creating an amazing customer journey is not a one and done exercise. Your customers’ needs and expectations continually evolve. Your competitors are also working hard acquire greater market share. Keep your pulse on your customer needs and continuously identify new opportunities to enhance your customer journey. This attention and commitment will allow you grow into a recognized market leader.
Customer Journey Creation FAQs
Q: Are there templates to create a journey map?
A: Yes. Here is a link to 144 customer journey map templates
Q: How do I know what customer journey enhancements create the biggest impact?
A: The fastest way is to ask your new and existing customers. Give them a list of three or four options that you are considering and ask them to prioritize them. They will appreciate you caring about this and asking for their feedback.
Q: This seems like a lot. How can I simplify this?
A: The easiest way to simplify creating an amazing customer journey is to segment your journey into shorter experiences and then prioritize the development of these in order of potential impact. Some examples of shorter experiences are:
- A paid ad to a website landing page and filling out form.
- Your journey for welcoming and onboarding a new customer.
Get Started Today
Creating an amazing customer journey takes intention and commitment. It does not happen overnight. The sooner you begin taking these steps and implementing small changes, the sooner you will have created something amazing. Share this goal with your team. Get their feedback and ideas. Tie the creation of this to your company core values and specific mission goals. As you practice, you will develop improved systems and your progress will accelerate. Choose one area in which you believe you can improve and get started enhancing this today.
Creating an amazing customer journey can catapult your sales to a whole new level by:
- Increasing customer referral leads
- Building a stronger, more recognized brand
- Increasing new customer close rates
- Increasing customer retention
- Increasing existing customer repeat sales
If you have customers, your business is already creating a customer journey. Are you going to do this with the intention required to make this amazing?
Webolutions is a full-spectrum business consulting and strategic growth implementation company. We help businesses across the country identify and effectively bring their unique story life throughout all experiences, allowing them to scale faster, smarter, and easier.
Our specific areas of expertise include:
- Differentiating Brand Development
- Marketing & Communications Strategies
- Customer Journey Planning & Implementation
- Enterprise Website & Application Development
- Systems Integration
- Organizational Development Strategies
- Team Alignment & Performance Solutions
- Business Performance Intelligence Systems
A Special Offer
To speak with one of our experts about how you can create an amazing customer journey for your company of at least $5 million in annual sales, call us at 303-300-2640 and request a free customer journey evaluation. During this 60-minute introduction, we discuss your audience, your specific customer benefits, share ideas and insights, and help you start outlining your plan. You can also email any questions to [email protected].