Customer journey mapping: three steps to boosting loyalty
Parham Saebi, Head of Client Relations, CRM Solutions at Arvato UK & Ireland.
Creating premium customer experiences has become a key differentiator for brands as the difference between products’ price and quality tightens. Research from McKinsey’s Consumer Decision Journey database found that 58 per cent of consumers are likely to switch brands regularly. Therefore if retailers are going to cultivate long-term customer relationships, designing a seamless experience that responds to consumer needs and preferences is critical.
However, this is no simple feat. The average customer journey now spans an unprecedented number of potential touch points, such as social media, webchat or a traditional shop, and can vary widely depending on each customer’s profile. At each one of these points, the customer is not some abstract consumer but a person with distinct preferences, motivations, obligations and abilities.
Retailers should strive to understand how their different customer personas behave, look at their own processes from these perspectives and then evaluate what improvements can be made to develop the tailored, emotional experiences which can boost loyalty.
This process is known as customer journey mapping and there are three key steps:
1. Build a database of typical customer profiles
Consumer data is an invaluable resource and brands should use the information at their disposal to create a detailed persona for each of their target audiences. For instance, a retail brand could create one profile for a professional woman aged 29-34 with dependants and a mortgage, and another for a younger male graduate with a new job, who rents his home.
Having this insight, coupled with the knowledge from employees who come into contact with consumers,provides the retailer with everything it needs to know to be able to start to understand both customer and their consumption habits.
This helps them to begin mapping their separate customer journeys effectively.
2. Examine how each customer persona engages with the brand
Once the customer profiles have been identified, businesses need to understand which touch points each one uses to engage with the brand. This will range from Instagram and online marketplaces to a retailer’s website and e-newsletters, so they should use the data to uncover where and how different consumers become aware of a product or service, how they look for more information, where they look to purchase and how they make a complaint. From here, a business can then track the journey each customer persona typically takes with their brand from start to finish.
It’s also important to identify who or what each consumer will interact with at each touch point. Depending on the persona and the nature of the enquiry, a customer could interact with a range of intermediaries, such as customer service agents, autonomous webchat and virtual tour guides, which can all provide very different experiences.
3. Understand how each touch point in a customer journey performs
Getting to grips with how a customer is likely to react to each touch point on their journey is an integral part of designing tailored experience strategies. Retailers should be asking themselves whether each interaction provides a customer persona with exactly what they need to help drive a sale. For example, is the product description used on Facebook and Instagram tailored precisely to the consumer that uses that touch point? Does the customer service centre offer an approach that handles a complaint in a tailored manner, through 24/7 webchat or via social media, if their customer preferences demand it?
By compiling and analysing all of this information, retailers can gain a strong understanding of the needs and behaviours of each customer group. Management teams should use this insight to design and develop the tailored experiences that will help boost loyalty, and ensure each customer’s experience of a brand is consistent and feels personal as they move through the sales cycle.
Parham Saebi is Head of Client Relations, CRM Solutions at Arvato UK & Ireland
Arvato is a trusted global business outsourcing partner to the private and public sectors in the UK and Ireland. With more than 50 years of experience in outsourcing, Arvato combines expertise in business process outsourcing (BPO), financial solutions, customer relationship management, supply chain management, and public sector and citizen services to deliver innovative, individual solutions. Arvato has long-term partnerships with some of the most respected companies in the UK and globally, as well as innovative public sector clients. Internationally, Arvato is a leading global BPO provider with over 68,000 people employed across almost 40 countries worldwide. Arvato has annual revenues of €4.8bn contributing over a quarter of the Bertelsmann group annual revenues of over €17.1bn.
For additional information visit the Arvato Website