Research shows us that consumers expect a personalised experience with brands they engage with. Consumers expect brands to remember how long they have been a customer, past purchases and according to Accenture Personalization Survey 60% say they want retailers to issue personalised, real-time promotions.
Using consumer data, there is the opportunity for you to create enhanced customer experiences that are refined for each individual. However, research shows only 20 percent of buyers want retailers to know their current location, and only 14 percent of online shoppers want to share their browsing history.
So how do you capture data when consumers are conflicted between targeted deals and giving away their personal information?
Consumers only feel comfortable giving out personal information once trust has been established. Therefore to overcome their hesitation it is important that consumers receive an outstanding end-to-end journey with you, which is the combined impact of multiple touch-points over time. A tool that can be used to improve your touch points is a customer journey map.
Customer Journey Maps
The key to improving customer experience is to find out what customers feel, think and do while interacting with your business.
A customer journey map usually takes the form of an infographic and visually tells the story of the customer’s experience: from their first point of contact, through the engagement process and into a long-term relationship.
A Customer Journey map can help you understand customer experience, identifying what turns a potential user into a customer and identify the gaps that are blocking the path of purchase.
When creating your customer journey map the key is not to make it too detailed, instead focus on key interactions that the customer has with your business to understand the users motivations, and expectations.
Some common gaps include:
• Lack of flow between different channels
• A disjointed digital experience between devices
• A disconnect between departments
Where do you mine for data?
Once your customer journey map is in place, it is time to collect data.
Look at the sales funnel and find where opportunities lie to gather information about your customers and their mindset.
There are many sources where you can mine for consumer insight, some of these include:
1. Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Customer Satisfaction surveys are a great starting point for collecting detailed consumer insight and the data provides a metric that can be used to manage and improve your business operations.
At Vividus we conduct market research and customer surveys for clients and primarily work with FMCG, education, and medical online surveys and polls.
2. Website analytics:
Provides information on where users come from and what they are after.
Google Analytics addition of Demographics and Interests data information relating to visitor age and gender, along with the interests they express online and purchasing activities.
Brandon Lewin, Marketing Manager for the Cardinal Path Training Academy says, “Demographic data helps us provide timely and relevant information to our target audience. With access to insightful data on our customers and prospects, not only can we be more efficient with our marketing programs, but we can also make improvements to our courseware.”
3. Social media channels:
There are several online tools available to help track mentions and gather insight.
Here are some of the free ones we use every day:
- Google Alerts: A good entry-level way to get some feedback about relevant “search query” results emailed to you. This does not capture social media or most blog sites. Sign up at www.google.com/alerts (if you want instant results, mark “as-it-happens” under “how often”).
- Hootsuite/TweetDeck: Both offer tools to consolidate and manage your social media accounts.
- Social Mention: One of the best free tools on the market – it analyses and measures influence using 4 key categories: Strength, Sentiment, Passion and Reach.
- Icerocket: This tool focuses mainly on blog searches, but you can use the “big buzz” option to capture activity on Facebook, Twitter and image sites such as Flickr.
4. Email Marketing
Email marketing is an incredibly powerful for nurturing leads.
Nurturing leads through email will provide you with an opportunity to get to know more about your users and allows for segmentation and more targeted messaging. This increases the chances of people doing business with you.
You can also use email as a method of asking for feedback by including a call to action for a review on a product or service.
Speaking with employees who have front-line interactions with your customers is another way of understanding their needs, wants and frustrations.
Decisions based solely on anecdotal research is not recommended, ensure that before any decisions are made that there is enough statistical research behind it to support your assumptions.
Consider Your Business
An increasing number of businesses are reaping the benefits of understanding the customer experience to deliver outstanding end-to-end customer journeys.