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Let’s get up close and personal people

How well do you know your customers? Are you actually making efforts to understand and map a customer’s journey? Do you provide them with relevant content that fits with what they actually want to see, read or feel?

If you’ve answered in the negative to any of the above, you’re not alone. A recent report published by eConsultancy and in association with Adobe, Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: The Multichannel Reality attempted to gauge whether organisations are doing enough. The report also aimed to uncover the degree to which cross-channel marketing is undertaken. The findings are interesting and further illustrates that if you don’t have an integrated approach and as you try to engage with your customers, you’re restricting how much you can find out about them. This means that potentially, you’re not servicing them as you should.

The report surveyed just under two thousand digital marketers between June and July this year. Picking out the salient points, it’s obvious that marketers are missing a trick by not:

  • Taking a holistic approach – 50% of those asked had different channels being serviced by unconnected data management technology.
  • Mapping out customer journeys. Only 17% say they are confident that they are doing this. Despite many saying this on their agenda, 67% are concerned that they don’t have the capability to do this for mobile.
  • Using a cross-channel marketing tool. Statistics prove that those that do use campaign management tools are more likely to meet financial targets.

Customer Journey Map – a definition

So let’s start concentrate in this article by explaining what a customer journey map is and its uses. It’s a means of depicting the customer experience from start to finish and will highlight the highs and lows, what worked for them and what didn’t. It can pinpoint every touchpoint between you and your customer, from the time they first contact you (or you, them) right through engagement and ongoing. The main benefit is that you now can tailor what you presently offer and set yourself apart from your competitors.

One of the benefits of looking at this from the customer’s perspective is that you can learn what their expectation is of you as an organisation and whether you need to adapt in order to fully meet that expectation. From a top level perspective, you can really start to understand your customers. Drilling down, you can then deduce if you have pain points in either the digital experience or any offline interaction.

Consider the following questions which can all be answered as you map out the user journey:

  • In terms of design – what will ease the journey and help the user achieve what they want?
  • Is there a seamless experience between devices, your departments and the channels with which you communicate to customers?
  • Is the design of your website/email/newsletter making it easier or harder for users to find what they need?
  • Do you need to adapt your copy so your messaging resonates and encourages dialogue?
  • When users make contact, are you responding quick enough and with the right channel?

Where do I start?

If you can, it’s a good idea to see what information you already have internally. Many companies I speak to already know a huge amount but this data may be in need of an update or is simply something that was started a while ago and was never completed. So first of all, retrieve that data and start to put it into some sort of format that you can share and add to.

If you want to find out more, a short survey (not too long because your response rate might decrease) is a good opener and will help you gauge current customer sentiment. Even no response is good, at least it indicates customer apathy and one that needs addressing –quickly.

Use analytics

Although this comes with a warning, use the data to glean insights not just report numbers. Analytical data in itself won’t help. Anyone can look at Google Analytics and report the stats but if you don’t know where your traffic originated from, or why people leave your site after 10 seconds, the figures are meaningless. What any analytical package will do is enable you to build up a picture of how well you are performing but you need to regularly record data, plot it against any marketing campaign/social media mentions/content updates so you can gauge if your activity is fuelling customer activity or numbing it. We recommend you using cross-channel marketing campaign tools so you can see how each part is contributing to your overall strategy.

Ask direct

Consider your primary audience and see if you can segment that further into sub-categories. If people have engaged with you in terms of customer reviews, comments etc. on social media, be sure to collect that information so you begin to draw a picture of what each audience is expecting from you and whether you’re delivering to their requirements. This is where personalisation comes into its own, no longer can we afford to adopt the ‘one size fits all’ rhetoric.

Speak to everyone within your organisation who is customer facing – have they had feedback from customers and if yes, was it good or bad? More often than not, an organisation will think it knows what its customers want and then realise this is based on old assumptions and fresh insights are now needed.

Get a graphical map together

If possible, try to present each user journey as a visual representation so it’s easy for everyone to interpret and understand. You don’t have to be Picasso – what is required is a clear and concise breakdown of each journey (treat it as a storyboard) so everyone can start to focus on what your customers need.

If this topic interests you and you want know more, get in touch and we can chat some more over a coffee and a slice of cake.



Sarah Pooley, Account Director



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