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Exploring and Improving the Customer Journey Experience

Improving the customer journey experience is a primary objective of most businesses these days, according to a Forrester study. Another study by Gartner has found that nearly 40% of commercial firms are at risk of losing business due to unsatisfactory customer journey experiences.

Obviously, what the consumer encounters in the sales journey process has a big effect on whether they will repeat the process again and again. And has key insights for marketers on what works and what doesn’t to map a journey for your potential customers, your prospects.

Keys to Long-Lasting Customers

Never assume customers will keep coming back or prospects will convert if you don't find ways to engage with them or deliver brand value that's impressive and memorable. Here are the most important activities a business needs to do to maintain long-term relationships with customers, according to the Qualtrics / Tempkin Group Experience Ratings.

  1. Purposeful leadership: communicates and demonstrate clear values

  2. Employee engagement: employees are in sync with organizational values

  3. Compelling brand values: reliability and meeting expectations are vital

  4. Customer connectedness: collecting insights to help understand customer interests

Improving Customer Satisfaction Makes a Difference

If your company masters customer experience, you have a chance to reduce expenses, increase profits and boost customer satisfaction, as suggested by a recent survey of more than 500 C-level executives by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU). Maintaining a growing repeat customer base lowers costs of acquiring new leads over time.

To improve the customer journey, you must understand how the individual responds to interacting with your brand. That engagement may be delivered by advertising, a sales agent, your website, surveys, social media, email or other forms of communication. The more data you collect on your target audience, the more you can develop personalized conversations with individuals either digitally or by your human sales team.

Remember that each customer journey is unique, which is why personalization matters. The journey reflects the path a follower takes to arrive at purchasing your products or services. For many online consumers, this path begins with Google or other search engines. That's how a majority of new businesses are found by potential customers today.

You can pay your way by buying pay per click (PPC) search text ads or banner ads through the search engine's display network to gain online visibility for specific keywords related to your solution. While PPC campaigns are the fastest way to build online leads if done strategically well, search engine optimization (SEO) expertise will help you lower your overall marketing costs by gaining long-term visibility through authoritative blogs and articles that rank high in search results.

Brand Value and the Customer Journey

Customers will spend more and more time with your online content such as blogs, landing pages and social media posts the more they discover value in your brand. Eventually, once they've collected enough positive information on your brand, they may visit your product or services page and make a purchase.

But the journey doesn't end there. And in fact, one may say its just the beginning. What pages does your prospect visit before purchasing? What documents did they read before making a purchase decision? Did they interact with your content on YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn or other channels? Did they request a demo, or a trial? Did they open, read or click through any of your marketing emails? Have they referred their colleagues to your website content?

Ideally you’d be able to track all of these touch points and which combinations result in sales. Which is why to tell a complete picture, your digital experience platform will track interactions from your website and beyond the website across other channels and then marry that data with your CRM data on opportunity creation and ultimately win and loss information on those opportunities.

And in a perfect world that journey will either keep repeating in cycles as you scale to reach more prospects, but that journey map will also help you within your customer base for expansion, upsell and cross-sell opportunities as you learn and facilitate the tastes and preferences of your audiences.

Conclusion

It's always wise to follow-up with customers who agree to receive your marketing materials after they make a purchase. You don't want to overdo it, but remaining in communication with them through newsletters, email or other communication channels is essential for building a loyal customer following. Remember your competitors may are also using digital engagement tools to attract your same market. But the more familiar and satisfied your customers become with your brand, the more likely they'll keep coming back. And the more you learn about their journey the more you can continue to optimize your web and digital channels to influence and guide those journeys.

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