Customer Journey: How To Hit The Road Running

Valerie Le Lay

Do you really think the customer journey is necessary to reach your future customers? Of course it is. But attracting prospective customers and ensuring conversion takes a lot more than simply understanding the customer journey. It requires that you build consumer relationships that are based on trust and confidence.

Customer journey: It’s all about confidence

Creating loyal customers who are willing to make a sale again and again takes time and commitment. You must know how to build trust and confidence between your brand and the consumer. This type of relationship requires you to meet consumers at various touchpoints throughout their journey. Creating this level of responsiveness can mean the difference between making a conversion and not. Most importantly, it can turn loyal customers into evangelists for your brand.

Customer experience management

Customer experience management, typically referred to as CEM or CXM, is the process of tracking, organizing, and managing all interactions, including phone calls, live chats, social media communication, emails, and online purchases, between your business and the consumer as they travel through the customer lifecycle. Tracking and maintaining this valuable information allows you to foster customized relationships with the consumer that create a sense of authenticity.

A CEM platform enables you to optimize your interactions with prospective and current customers to establish solid relationships and build loyal customers. This critical 360-degree view of the complete customer experience gives you the power to consistently meet or exceed your customers’ expectations and improve overall customer satisfaction.

Tracking the customers’ experiences as they journey through the customer lifecycle is not an easy task. However, comprehensive CRM (customer relationship management) software options are making in-depth, real-time tracking and management possible. Taking the extra step to integrate your CRM platform with your financial systems, ERPs, and inventory management systems can be difficult, but doing so is well worth the results.

Customer journey mapping game

The customer journey mapping game allows you to predict how the consumer may travel through the customer lifecycle. Start by defining a specific consumer persona that closely resembles one of your target audience groups. Using common customer touchpoints, you can then start to map out the selected customer persona’s journey. As you map out the journey, you may detect gaps in engagement, pain points, and other potential breakdowns in communication.

Analyzing the results of the customer journey mapping game allows you to make effective adjustments to your CEM strategy. Keep in mind that your main goals are to foster customer relationships and build brand confidence to create a loyal following.

Top-performing companies track customer engagements

Top-performing companies already understand the power of CEM strategies. According to a recent survey, 30 percent of North American enterprises understand the importance of tracking and managing customer communications and engagements. Even more impressive is that these companies’ average conversion rates are more than double those of companies that do not utilize CEM tactics.

One of the most important touchpoints to track is the consumer source. What is attracting your customers to your brand—is it your marketing strategies, partners, referrals, or other sources? Tracking the consumer source allows you to determine where to spend your resources and how to attract more customers.

Customer preferences are equally important. Track the specific products your customers are purchasing, their preferred contact method, and other vital preferences. This allows you to provide customized customer services as well as personalized communication.

How to build confidence

Looking back at the original question: “Do you really think the customer journey is necessary to reach out to future customers?” Yes, it is, but the journey doesn’t start just anywhere. You must start by building a high level of confidence between yourself and the customer.

You must realize that there are real people behind the IP addresses that are connecting with your business. These are real relationships that must be fostered and strengthened in order to transform prospective customers into loyal customers.

Here are 3 great tips for building consumer confidence.

  1. Transparency: Your customers need to know that they can trust what you say, that you are fair, and that you stand behind your goods or services. You must always be as transparent and honest as possible with your customers. A single bad experience can turn even the most loyal customers away forever.
  1. Four resources: Whether you’re creating website content, landing pages, or blogs, always use at least four resources. This will give the consumer confidence that you know your specific industry well and will help you gain their trust. You will become a thought leader in your industry, and the consumer will consistently turn to your business as a source of authority.
  1. Personalized communication: Emails, text messages, and social media posts are great for reaching a large audience at one time, but to transform individual consumers into customers you must engage with them on a personal level. Phone communication may seem old-fashioned, but it is extremely effective at building consumer confidence and encouraging customer conversion.

Understanding the customer journey is crucial to improving sales, building brand awareness, and creating loyal customers. However, knowing how to use the analytical data collecting through CEM services will improve customer relationships, increase conversions, and develop not just loyal customers, but evangelists for your business.

For more customer journey strategies that get results, see Map Your Content To The Customer Journey.

Valerie Le Lay

About Valerie Le Lay

Valerie Le Lay is Director of Global Small and Midsize Enterprise (SME) and Partner Marketing at SAP.