How many times have your customers remarked after an interaction with your business – what an excellent experience?
Whether you are a B2C or B2B company, the customer is king (sounds clichéd but it’s true), and customer satisfaction is your business’ ultimate aim, if it has to remain competitive. For that, you need to look at things from a customer’s perspective, not from a seller’s viewpoint.
The spotlight, thus, is always on a customer’s journey, the interactions a client has with your business. Customer journey is a map that tracks the client’s experience. The starter’s block is the point of first contact with the seller, the end line is represented by the purchase order. The journey traces the process of engagement.
Contrary to belief, customer journey need not always end with the client placing an order. It’s also about long-term relationships, trying to map the behavior of a customer after he has received his product.
Previously, it was the marketing department’s business to track the customer journey but today, that’s no longer the case. Since the journey spans the entire business, almost all departments need to align with this journey to understand what’s going wrong, or what’s being done correctly.
The use of predictive analytics (anticipation) today plays a big role in understanding customers. Businesses need to establish a way to anticipate and evaluate potential problems before they actually become one.
On the CRM side, there are factors that can degrade a customer experience. Lack of a mechanism to record complaints or feedback, breakdown in communication between the business and the client, over-promising and under-delivering, lack of transperancy, and other similar factors can all lead to an unpleasant experience for your customer. End result: customer attrition and inability to acquire new customers.
That’s why customer journey mapping is so important. It helps by revealing friction points, and to also segment your customers into personas. Starting with the mapping, we will now explain the other ways you can improve a client’s overall experience.
Here are 5 ways you can better customer experience:
1) Mapping the customer’s journey
As any other, a customer journey map is a visual depiction of the steps leading to an objective. It’s a document that records and shows all the interactions.
Ideally, a customer journey map is represented by an infographic in order to make it easy for key members of your company to understand. But whatever be its final form, the aim always is to teach organizations more about their customers. The customer is at the center of every B2C and B2B company, and a map of the customer’s journey gives managers a ringside view of how customers or leads have moved through the sales funnel.
Two things will happen because of the map: The manager can identify opportunities or identify weak points in the funnel to enhance the buying experience. Also, in today’s digital world, it will also demonstrate to a company how to adapt to the world of mobile, social media and the web vis-à-vis customer behavior.
Hint: Just make sure that the customer journey map records all the touchpoints. These are the interaction location or channel.
2) Get intimate with customers
How well can your business claim to know its customers? And we not talking just geography or gender here. Emotional Quotient (EQ) is the new tool to bring in new customers, increase loyalty, so also gain market share. Your business managers need to get intimate with clients. Customer behavior, its study and recording is crucial here. Many a times, behavior is mistaken for customer activity. It’s not.
Increasingly, businesses need to run an emotionally intelligent business. They need to deploy a statistical model to analyze customers. They can implement a model that involves the construction of a “complete view” of the customer experience from start to end – from product development and marketing to sales and service – and all of the emotions a customer associates with that experience. That could lay the groundwork of a high EQ.
At the other end of the scale, enterprises can invest in big data analytics, or bring in outside consultants with deep-seated knowledge of how to measure a customer’s EQ.
For both, the business needs to collect customer feedback at all stages of his buying journey. This includes not only formal surveys but inputs by way of online reviews, call center feedback, and feedback over social media, all of which can capture the various stages of a customer’s sentiments.
Intent is also something that needs to be measured. Does your business understand why he/she seeks a product or service? Do not make assumptions about a customer’s goal but use data analytics for the same.
3) Deploy analytics
Running a business on gut feeling or random research is old hat. Big data and its analysis is the foundation on which modern day enterprises take decisions. Analytics provides the knowledge base from which vital information about customers can be extracted. Tied in with the journey, it can enable proactive interactions tailored to the individual client. Analytics eco system makes it possible to optimize the customer experience.
4) Check your metrics
Poorly recorded data, for one, can lead to misinterpretation of data and prove costly to an enterprise. Merely quoting the high number of downloads of your app could be misleading, it may not really be an indication that your business is really increasing. Obviously, that is not the right metric to measure success. A better metric would be frequency of app use, for example.
Common metrics include customer sentiment or satisfaction scores, activities such as abandoned carts or web page, time on site, and return visits. A business also needs to share its metrics for inter-departmental collaboration.
5) Go mobile
PayPal’s Director of Mobile Commerce Rob Harper once said “if an enterprise’s number one strategy wasn’t mobile, it must be prepared to ignore customers”. His remark comes at a time when world over, everyone, from B2C and even B2B businesses, serious on selling online, is still trying to understand how to use smartphones (or mobile computing devices) for lead generation, when by now, they should have been selling to those leads.
Mobile has revolutionized the way we shop, yet despite its rapid proliferation, enterprises continue to operate in a desktop mindset so far as lead generation is concerned. Get your business on mobile before it’s too late.
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