Some say it’s the journey — not the destination — that really matters. That’s certainly true when it comes to your customers. While many consumers achieve their goal by traveling across multiple interactions with your brand, just one terrible, disjointed experience can send them straight to your competition.
That’s why it’s so important to understand when, where and how customers connect with your business. However, the always-on consumer is using over four devices and quickly jumping from site to site over a varied period of time. This adds fuel to the fire in trying to tackle visualizing an entire customer journey, rather than a single interaction. A multi-event, multichannel path is a complex puzzle that many businesses aren’t equipped to handle.
Are your customers lost?
A study from IBM and eConsultancy found that 81 percent of companies say they have (or are close to having) a holistic view of their customers. And yet, only 37 percent of customers agree that their favorite retailer understands them. That’s a significant disconnect which is having a direct impact on businesses. Additionally, IBM’s 2016 CMO study found that bad customer experiences result in $83 billion in lost sales each year.
It’s not surprising that marketers are having such a tough time understanding their customers. After all, marketing isn’t the only team that influences the customer journey. Sales, commerce, customer service and support all have a stake in the journey, too. However, the analytical tools they use (if at all) often exist independently from one another — unable to connect email to mobile to social. That makes it difficult to accurately view what’s happening across channels and to answer questions such as:
• Who are they, and what did they do?
• Where did they come from?
• Which channel did they use?
• Did they watch a video?
• How did they react to a particular offer?
With the ability to assess the data driven from questions like those above, you begin to see a clear picture of your customers. Fortunately, there’s a powerful technology that can help you do just that: customer journey analytics. The right solution empowers you to understand the end-to-end journey, gain insights to design exceptional experiences and improve business outcomes by increasing customer loyalty and lifetime value.
Understanding the customer journey
To assist as you embark on your customer journey analysis quest, read this paper to learn five practices for understanding customer journeys. To find success, you need to:
• Make it simple to access the insights you uncover.
• Continually improve results through collaboration across teams and partner organizations.
• Get to know how different customer experiences across channels and media lead to results, such as purchasing, registration or abandonment.
• Optimize engagement and offers by determining what to offer — and when to offer it — during the journey.
• Get the most value from your data so you can understand customer pathways across all touch points — without limits.
Defining a holistic customer journey is difficult, but the right technology can make it a lot easier. In today’s hypercompetitive landscape, understanding how customers expect to engage with your brand is what will set you high above the rest.
The best part is the payoff: it’s not just about creating lifelong customers (although that’s important, too.) Organizations utilizing a robust journey analytics solution can increase loyalty and sales while allowing marketing professionals to be efficient in crafting superior customer experiences that will keep them coming back.