Customers are the lifeblood of every business. They drive revenue, increase demand for your products and services, improve your brand image, and contribute to your product development processes. As such, your business should follow a customer-centric approach to satisfy your customers. However, the customer journey evolves as their needs change and your business grows over time.
If your global company wants to survive and succeed in the long run, you should monitor consumer behaviour trends and enhance the customer journey based on new needs.
10 Ways to Improve the Customer Journey
Here are ways to improve the customer journey for your customers and business’s benefit.
1. Design your business around customer experience
It’s easy to create a product or service. The problem lies in making your offering useful to customers. Remember that the more complicated the product, the harder it’ll be for your customers to understand or use it. Similarly, your customers may have difficulty buying your products or services if they undergo many steps to access them.
When developing products and mapping the customer journey, ask yourself the following questions:
- Will our customers know how our offering works? If not, how can we make it easier for them to understand and assess it?
- What marketing message resonates most with our customers? When, where, and at what time should we engage with them?
- Do we need to improve our pricing plans? If yes, how can we make it more transparent and consistent?
- How can we create a frictionless shopping experience for our customers?
- Will optimized in-store layouts and tools, such as automated product recommendations and mobile payments, improve the customer experience?
2. Use effective communication channels
It’s easier to approach and engage customers in the digital age. You can use chat, email, and social media to market your offerings and answer their inquiries.
However, remember to focus on communication channels your customers use and understand. For instance, not all social media platforms are suitable for every business. There’s no point in marketing your brand on Facebook if most of your customers are active on Instagram. You’ll also likely reach fewer engagements if you post during low-traffic hours.
Additionally, use language that your customers understand. You can’t use millennial and Gen Z language when marketing to older generations, and you also can’t use technical jargon when speaking to the general public.
3. Personalize marketing strategies
According to McKinsey & Company, 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions, while 76% get frustrated when companies don’t. They value personalization because it makes them feel special, and they also appreciate businesses that value the brand-customer relationship instead of just the transaction.
As such, you should employ unique and personalized marketing strategies to engage your customers better. Some unconventional ways to improve the customer experience include:
- Giving new customers welcome baskets
- Initiate word-of-mouth tactics
- Offer referral incentives
- Host community events
- Offer free stickers with every purchase
4. Use customer experience analytics
Most businesses obtain customer data in several ways but don’t know how to segment and use them efficiently. One way to make your data productive is by using marketing solutions such as custom dashboards and targeting and scoring APIs. They’re designed to track customer behaviours and trends, automatically segment relevant data, and optimize internal workflows.
You can also hire a remote data analyst to help you understand customer data and how to use them to improve your product development and marketing strategies and boost your overall efficiency.
5. Appoint customers as brand ambassadors
(UGC) has become a marketer favourite for making customers feel special in the digital age. UGC makes brands look more authentic and approachable, and it also helps establish brand loyalty, increase conversions, and influence purchasing decisions.
Some of the biggest brands worldwide use UGC to boost their image and better engage customers. In 2014, Starbucks initiated the, where they encouraged their customers to decorate their coffee cups for a chance to win a $300 gift card and a reusable cup with their designs.
Starbucks received nearly 4,000 entries and saw an increase in its organic social media reach as a result of the contest. The campaign also increased interest in the brand’s eco-friendly, reusable cups, which they introduced in 2013.
6. Improve customer service
Customer service is usually the last line of defence when pleasing and retaining customers. A 2022 study found that 93% of customers will further support companies that offer their preferred customer service method, while another 90% will spend more with companies that personalize their customer service.
Regarding customer churn, 61% would switch to a company’s competitor after just one bad customer service experience. However, 74% would forgive a company’s mistake after receiving excellent service.
You can improve customer service in many ways, such as:
- Seeking customer feedback
- Speaking to customers in their preferred channels
- Analyzing data with both logic and empathy
- Using chatbots to answer frequently asked questions
- Equipping your customer service agents with the necessary skills and resources to perform their job
7. Consider employee ideas
Your sales and customer service agents know more about your customers than your other team members. As such, involve them in your customer experience management process to obtain rich customer data.
Conduct or set up an employee suggestion box to obtain their feedback. You can also schedule town hall meetings where they can better voice their insights and concerns, and other employees can contribute to the discussion.
More importantly, ensure their suggestions match your business goals and customers’ needs. Give credit where it’s due and inform them about the effectiveness of their suggestions to encourage them to provide more valuable ideas in the future.
The Customer is Always Right
Customer satisfaction and a fun and meaningful brand-customer relationship are the two elements that keep customers loyal to any company. These two essential elements should drive your customer experience strategy to stay competitive.
Striving for customer satisfaction can be challenging, but it need not be as long as you stay proactive about the customer journey. Follow the tips above to engage customers effectively and consistently make them feel special as they support your brand.