The Customer Journey
Personally, I am a big fan of analogies. It helps me explain unfamiliar concepts to others using a concept that is familiar to them. Recently, I watched “The Wizard of Oz” and a crazy thought occured to me! Is the yellow brick road an unintentional symbol for the customer journey?
Think about it.
The yellow brick road in the film is where Dorothy and her friends started their adventure–they believed they should follow this road to get what they need. A heart, for the tin man. Courage, for the cowardly lion. A brain, for the scarecrow. Home, for Dorothy.
If us contact center executives follow this road diligently, can we unlock the five-star rated customer experience that every company desires? Claret (2017), a customer experience management expert, said that the “yellow brick road” is an action plan that can help you gain or experience good things. According to him, any journey on this path begins with a pledge to move forward.
Following the “Yellow Brick Road” is Full of Difficulties
The yellow brick road is symbolized as a road to success, but it is by no means a walk in the park. In the movie, Dorothy and the gang were faced with opposition from the Wicked Witch of the West. Although your difficulties aren’t exactly a green-skinned lady in black who rides a broomstick, you will still face many difficulties. It will be different for every person or company. However, each journey goes through these four major stages:
- Discover – Here, a consumer finds out what he/she likes about your service. Likewise, the customer will decide if he/she should start availing of your service or not.
- Explore – In this second stage, a customer will compare your service to your competitors.
- Buy – This stage is obviously where the customer has availed of your service — but the journey doesn’t end here. You must do everything to keep the buying process smooth.
- Engage – While engagement is part of every stage of a consumer’s journey, the post-purchase period is important. The post-purchase period can help your customer find a similar product while letting him/her provide feedback regarding his/her experience.
Regardless of which industry you are in, the customer journey can be incredibly complex. The omni-channel aspect brings an added layer of intricacy that can make it difficult to properly map out the journey. As you work to follow the customer journey across different channels, don’t get too caught up in all the different touch points. You may end up losing sight of the customer.
Your customer should be the focus of all your efforts. Customer satisfaction should be your goal. To reach this objective, you must use the yellow brick road (customer journey) to help you with customer journey mapping and ultimately the development of an omni-channel strategy.
What is Customer Journey Mapping?
A customer journey map is the visualization of the overall customer experience through the course of a customer’s connection and rapport with your company. Customer journey mapping starts from the moment a potential client discovers your brand all the way to buying a product or using a service and beyond.
Mapping a customer’s journey includes learning and assessing the progress of his/her interaction with your service by analyzing real, traceable behavior. You make a customer persona for your customer base sectors and examine his/her behavior to anticipate his/her needs.
Through those things, you can predict downsides and pain points and effectively target customers with content, product, and marketing. This data is invaluable in the sense that it can help you overcome the difficulties in keeping customers loyal to your business. Developing a long-term relationship with customers does not end with their purchase. Instead, the nurturing process starts afterward.
Customer journey mapping will come in handy for you to accompany your customers in each phase of their journey. Use customer journey mapping as the foundation of your omnichannel strategy so that you may succeed in giving the best experience to your customers.
What is an Omni-Channel Strategy?
The omnichannel strategy is designed to fully integrate your customer across several different channels such as phone, website, mobile device and brick and mortar. It can drive customer loyalty, customer centricity, and customer experience. When you are creating the omni-channel strategy, there is no doubt that the contact center plays a huge role in tying the channels together.
This strategy can:
- Provide consistent service irrespective of the channel of communication
- Support different services for various customer segments and customer journeys
- Support customer experience, customer satisfaction, customer centricity, loyalty, and retention
A contact center slices its customer base to understand different customers. The overall goal of customer segmentation is to evaluate your customers, look for niche opportunities, and form a workable competitive advantage. Customer segmentation will let your contact center increase its profitability by knowing and understanding your customer’s needs and giving the best solution for those needs. Every segment needs a different treatment. A contact center consultant will help you segment your customers in several ways based on frequency, monetary value, lifetime value, type of customer, and more. With an omni-channel approach, you can recognize customers depending on their sector across different channels such as voice calls, emails, IVR, chat, and social media.