So, what exactly is a customer journey and why is it important to your business? Well, it’s how your customers are getting to your location. It’s how they interact with your brand, your associates and purchase your products. And it’s every moment in between. In short, it’s an experience. And in today’s dynamic, digitally-connected marketplace, it’s (almost) everything to your business.
“The biggest and most successful customer-facing companies are competing on value and… the customer's experience. You can only make it look easy and seamless to the customer by doing a lot of work behind the scenes,” said Jonathan Jackson, a digital marketing strategist and a member of the teaching faculty in the College of Business at Florida State University.
“A customer journey is a customer’s experience…brands like Uber, Amazon and Starbucks are setting the bar really high. It’s the umbrella under which everything else fits,” says Kerry Baldwin, vice president of advertising performance for Web.com for Enterprise.
Even though customers’ expectations don’t change much between Amazon and your business, there are still some subtle differences and helpful tips to consider for single-location and multi-unit operators:
All Journeys Have One True North: The Customer “It’s difficult to know where to begin,” admitted Jackson. “However, you can’t go wrong if you start with the customer,” he asserted.
“The power has shifted to the customers’ hands,” said Baldwin.
However, they vote with their feet. “When your customer detects friction on the journey, it turns them off…and it’s easy for them to switch,” she added.
Until you explore every moment of your customer’s experience, you don’t really know what they go through to buy your product. Often, these maps can have more than two dozen steps – and you can’t change the steps if you don’t measure each one. Every single one. Seriously.
It’s important to note that starting an in-depth exercise in journey mapping – and measurement scheme – may seem a bit tedious to your associates if they don’t understand the intention of it. It's vital to explain to your team members why you are measuring individual steps in the customer journey and what the ultimate goal is.
To reduce friction, focus on three things:
You may be wondering, who gets to take a crack at this new-age customer cartography? Technically, everyone in your organization is needed for mapping and delivering upon a great customer experience, but here a few key players who simply have to be at the table:
There’s still plenty to learn about the Customer Journey, so if you’re interested in seeing the entire presentation from our Customer Insights Summit, simply click here. Or watch Professor Jonathan Jackson’s Customer Journey video here.
Our mission is built around helping multi-location businesses like yours excel online; check out some other helpful articles we’ve written by clicking here.
And if you want to connect directly with someone on our team, we are ready, willing and able to help you out too: just call 855-973-8003.
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