When Spotify wanted to improve the music-sharing experience for its customers, the company hired professionals to understand what type of workarounds users come up with to share music. They used the Customer Journey tool to identify pain points for users and address those pain points. The result is- customer experience is as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
Companies are aware that everything in business moves with lightning speed right now. Drawing the right conclusions from customer analysis is more of a survival game! Hence the idea that business successes and failures go hand in hand.
Every business owner can find valuable insights if asking the following questions:
Which are the pain points of customers while using our product or service? What are customers thinking and feeling? Do customers prefer the services of our biggest competitor? What can we do to improve the customer experience?
Asking these questions has absolutely nothing to do with curiosity. It has everything to do with how you can retain existing customers and acquire new ones. Your actions will result in serious consequences if you don’t put your customers first. Customers are always sitting at the head of the table, and are more demanding than ever before.
The famous tool Customer Journey describes the various stages the customer goes through before, during, and after using your product or service. Mapping the customer’s journey is a visual representation of the customer’s communication with all touchpoints. This tool helps companies to walk a mile in their customers’ shoes and to draw the right conclusions.
The 5 stages of the customer journey.
Raising awareness is the stage when the customer initially communicates with a brand. The customer gathers the initial information about the product or service. Customers evaluate whether the solution offered solves their problem. Offering clear information and CTA would attract many customers to move to the next stage and consider the brand’s offer.
The thoughts of the customers become concrete in this stage. Once customers are fully aware that there is a solution for their problem, they consider the options. They perform initial research and compare offers from the competitors. Companies should be open to answering questions at this stage. Interested customers will have thousands of doubts and questions before they are ready to purchase anything.
- Purchase decision
Prospective buyers become customers in this stage. If the first two stages are successfully completed (outreach, information, customer support). The purchase can take place through different channels e.g. online or offline. Customers have to be aware of the terms and conditions of how to purchase and use the product or service. Attracting prospective buyers usually includes several tactics such as discounts or free trials, reviews from current clients, etc.
Customer retention boosts revenue. Keeping existing customers is more important than constantly trying to acquire new ones. Building long-term relationships with customers mean building trust. This stage begins once the customer is once converted. Ask yourself what you can do to keep that customer coming back for more.
- Loyal customer
Offers and subscriptions for newsletters, joining the community.
How to find out and understand the experiences of your customers.
It is important to perform continuous research and analysis to discover and understand your customers’ experiences.
– Join your customers in their journey. Review your product or service in the role of a customer and share your experience. This approach is useful and you can experience it first hand as your customer.
– Systematically note the improvements and failures. For example, Amazon includes success metrics for each stage of the customer journey.
– Record or sketch results. Visualize the results you want to achieve or the results that are achieved. Constant improvements in the customer journey are the road to success. That’s why recording each iteration will be helpful in the future.
– Analyze, improve, repeat. Customers will change their preferences and behaviors constantly. Keeping up with customers is a marathon.
– Draw the necessary conclusions. Decide on the next steps and strategies for perfecting the customer journey.
All of these stages are not fundamentally new, but they describe the well-known basics of marketing. The novelty here is the speed of the occurring changes. The Customer Journey or customer experience mapping methods are particularly suitable for recognizing pain points at the earliest possible moment and managing them successfully.
Mapping the customer experience is a major issue in mindset. It all starts with thinking outside the box, establishing the process of getting to know your customers, and then developing and perfecting your offer.
If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, please see our blog titled ‘How we got burned by ignoring what customers want’.