The Customer Journey covers the sum of all the points of contact your customers have with your company, from the first interaction, through a request for a product demonstration, for example, all the way to the actual purchase. However, before thinking about the customer journey, make sure you actually deliver on the promises you make to your customers. Here are the different steps for optimising your Customer Journey….
The Customer Journey covers the entire sales cycle: pre-sales, sales and after-sales. This means it is cross functional, and involves all the departments of your organisation. Therefore, in order to bring coherence to the Customer Journey as a whole, all departments need to come together to optimise each of the interactions of the journey. That is why you need an interdepartmental team, so that each key group of the organisation is represented in this process.
Before optimising the interactions which make up your Customer Journey, analyse your product offering to make sure that what you deliver is in line with your customers’ expectations. To nurture and structure this analysis, you can use the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) strategy. Although this concept is normally used for new products, it can also be used to identify strengths and weaknesses of existing products.
Once you have identified the weaknesses of your product, the next logical step is to implement corrective actions. Here we encounter the very important distinction between corrective and remedial actions.
If a customer complains about a delay in delivery, you might give him/her a discount on his/her next purchase. This would be a remedial action. A more permanent solution, however, would be to tackle the crux of the problem – by changing carriers, for example. This will offer a lasting fix, and will solve the issue for all your customers. It is a corrective action.
Corrective measures, therefore, are those which help you redress the weaknesses of your products which you identified in the previous stages.
Once your team has identified the strengths and weaknesses of your products or services, they can move on to defining the Customer Journey. Here are the different phases to be taken into account (image source):
Working on the Customer Journey without tracking the outcome of your optimisation actions is like building a boat without a rudder. Appoint a Quality Manager and implement a collaborative tool which will facilitate this monitoring.
With a CRM solution, you can log and track all these optimisation measures. For example, if you promise you will send quotes within 24 hours, with just a click of the mouse your Quality Manager will be able to monitor this is effectively done. This does not mean the CRM solution should be viewed as a tool to spy on employees, but rather understood as a means for leveraging customer data and performance indicators for internal reporting.
The effective optimisation of your Customer Journey depends on a number of essential preliminary steps. Defining the optimal Customer Journey is no easy task. However, given that retaining customers is cheaper than acquiring new ones, a customer-centric approach is nothing short of essential.