When you are a business owner, it is vital to optimize your customer journey to prove that you are trustworthy and help the customers get the best of the products and services. There are many methods to achieve this, and we are going to look into them one-by-one.
What is Customer Journey?
Customer journey is the process of mapping the complete interactions of your customers with your products/services. It is not only about the transactions between you and your customers. Instead, how they become aware of your products and interact with your brand or other brands.
Understanding your customers’ journey is more complex than you think. We need to map the whole customer experience from their awareness phase to the loyalty phase. This should be meticulously done at every stage of the customer lifecycle.
And these days, customers have multifaceted interactions with brands. This has changed the way we look at customer experience, and we need to bring a holistic approach to the end-to-end customer journey.
What is Customer Journey Optimization?
Now that we know what the customer journey is, it is vital to understand how to optimize it. Customer Journey Optimization or CJO is carefully looking at every step a customer takes with your brand and giving them the best possible experience along every step of the journey.
Your CJO should have customer-centric goals. And these goals should be driven by data that will have a positive impact on your customers’ experience. Customer Journey Optimization should include the UX/UI designing, messaging, webpage, ads, content, and almost everything a customer will possibly encounter before converting.
It is also critical to keep in mind the attention span of an online customer as it has decreased with the innumerable amount of content available to everyone online. To earn your customers’ attention, you will need to provide them with the most seamless customer experience.
Up until a decade ago, the online customer journey was shorter: you clicked an ad from your desktop, you landed on a website, either chose to convert or not. That was it.
But now, it has become intricately complicated. Since then, the number of channels, devices, and touchpoints has exponentially increased to the point it has made the customer journey longer. It is key to consider optimizing each of the customer experiences.
And the modern customer journey is entirely different from the traditional customer journey. Customers are more informed about products, and they know what they want and what will work for them.
Here’s an illustration of a modern customer journey:
This means that customers have already done their homework. They just need the right trigger to get converted. They don’t need a persuading sales pitch to convince them. All you need to do is align your digital strategies with the customers’ needs. Let’s dive deeper into this:
How to optimize Customer Journey?
1. Segment before mapping
Segment your customers into relevant groups to make it easier for your customer journey mapping.
The right segmentation strategy will help you organize your customers’ interactions with your brand across all the channels. It will also allow you to understand who your customers are, what they need, why they need it, and how you can improve your interactions with them.
Doing this will also help you to create a buyer persona for each of your customer segmentation. Identifying your buyer personas will make you empathize with them and address their pain or need.
2. Customer journey mapping
Here are 3 stages for your Customer Journey Mapping:
- Customer lifecycle
There are 5 phases in a customer’s lifecycle:
- Map their touchpoints
- Gap analysis
Now formulate the user journey using analytics and segmentation. This will help you to see your brand from the customer’s perspective and give you a better understanding of your customer needs.
Through customer journey mapping, you will also be able to:
- Get great insights into customer expectations and will eventually help you in CJO
- Create a chronological order of the buyer journey
- Deliver a smooth onboarding experience for your customer
- Assess the customer experience you provide against what they expect
- Create personalized experiences for your customers
- Resolve customer issues effectively
Although mapping out the customer journey across all the channels and touchpoints might seem tedious, it is worth it when you get the results you expected.
3. Review your Customer Journey
Never stop reviewing and refining your customer journey map. By continually checking, you can find the flaws or barriers in your customer journey. Even if the defects aren’t significant, you will eventually discover how it affects your customers’ experience, and a single mishap along the way might lead to losing a customer.
The flaw might be in anything, including content, checkout, payment process, customer support, or even the design of your webpage. If there is a problem with any of these, you cannot expect your conversion rates to increase; in the worst-case scenario, they might even fall.
Reviewing will help you get rid of bugs, help you which phase of the customer journey is obstructing the conversion rate, and help you grow the traffic to your website. This will automatically increase your conversion rate.
4. Get customer feedback
Once you have perfected your customer journey, get the customers’ help by voicing their experience in interacting with your brand. There is more than one channel to do this; you can use online surveys, chatbots, SMS, Facebook, or mails.
Getting productive feedback from your customers is not as easy as you think. You will need to entice them with prize draws, discounts, or a prize contest. When you get negative feedback, try to change it into a positive one by giving them a discount for their bad experience.
Don’t leave a “please leave feedback”; nobody has the time to sit and write you detailed feedback. Make it easier on the customer; use star ratings or 1-5 scores. This will help you get round numbers and help you increase customer satisfaction or optimize your customer journey.
5. Focus on customer engagement
Proactively engaging with your customers will leave a long-lasting impression on the customers’ experience with your brand. Neglecting your customer engagement strategies will lead to depletion in sales or profits.
It is essential to note that 86% of the buyers are willing to spend more if they get a good customer experience. And you can achieve this by regularly working on your customer engagement.
Here are some tips you can follow to increase your customer engagement:
- Reward your customers for their feedback
- Immediately get in touch with your unhappy customers and solve their problems
- Give out loyalty programs
- Personalize your engagement strategies
- Be active on Social Media
Try to leverage at least 2 or 3 of these, if not all of them, and over time, the result will surprise you with more outstanding sales and customer loyalty.
6. Measure customer experience using metrics
Here are some of the metrics you can use to measure customer experience with your brand:
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)
This metric will help you know how many of your existing customers are willing to recommend your brand to others in their circle. This shows that your customers are ready to become loyal ambassadors for your brand. Giving importance to this will increase your credibility and boost sales. To improve your NPS score, you will need to improve your products or services.
- Customer Effort Score (CES)
This metric gives you the amount of effort your customers had to take to complete the process. It also shows how smooth the user experience was. You want the customers to make the lowest effort they can; this will increase your CES.
- Conversion Rate
This metric is fundamental. It shows you the ratio between the number of customers you got and the number of traffic to your website. This is related to the abandoned cart rate. There are many reasons why you are not getting the conversion you expected: starting from a lengthy process to lack of clarity.
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
This metric shows the total value a customer has spent on your brand. For this metric to increase, you need to focus on increasing your repeat customers. And repeat customers will only come to you when your customer experience is good. You can also try upselling to boost your CLV.
These are only some of the metrics you can use to measure customer experience optimization; there are many more! Make use of them and keep making improvements!
7. Offer multiple customer support options
Customer support is crucial in customer satisfaction. Try to list down why your customers may seek help and how you plan on solving the issues beforehand. This will help your customers swiftly and effectively, and it will be easier for you as well.
Offering support via a call or email might seem ideal, but leveraging multiple options to give support will eventually boost sales and shorten the funnel in the long run. These days brands have started to prefer chatbots over live chats. This is more efficient as chatbots are available 24×7 at your customers’ service.
When the customer support is solid and smooth, your customer satisfaction and experience will be too.
8. Invest in your employees
Invest appropriately in your employees for the future success of your business. It is not an exaggeration to say that your employee experience is directly related to your customer experience.
By prioritizing your employees, you earn better profits and a higher rate of growth.
These are the four keys to provide a good employee experience:
- Build a strong relationship with your employees
- Give your employees meaning and purpose to their work
- Professional development helps a lot to keep your employees motivated
- Show appreciation for the work they
Essentially, your employees’ experience affects the growth of your brand, your customer experience, and your ROI! When you look at all the successful companies, you may find that their workforce experience is exemplary! So, do your best to your employees and give them a purpose to stay motivated at work.
Let’s wrap up
Overall, optimizing your customer journey gives you incredible opportunities in sales, profits, loyalty, and many more. But make sure you are consistent in the process and be ready to help your customers with whatever they need! Allow them to see the potential and believe in your brand and make them your pillar to grow further.
Want to learn more about Customer Journey?
Check out these resources:
Ajitha Victor is a Content Marketer at the TargetBay Marketing team. She loves creating content and inbound marketing. She loves reading and creating writing whenever she gets time and she never misses a chance to have a good conversation with someone over a cup of chai!