The foundation of pretty much any business is gaining and keeping customers. In the last couple of weeks I’ve focused on how to influence customers and to go through various ways of understanding your relationship with customers.
Today,lets understand how you can influence and manage the experiences of your customers.
Last week I described how you can understand and measure customer experiences and expectations. Thgis week we look at how to do this. Previously, I suggested a three step program, the second step of which was
What do I mean by a customer decision journey? This is the process your customers firstly select your business to consider buying from, then evaluate your business, and finally buy your product of service, but it also encompasses their experiences post purchase and into buying or using again building a positive performance loop.
This is how McKinsey has described the journey.
As we move through this process, customers receive information building both image and value perceptions- we talked about building brand value through understanding image, expectations and experiences before. Here’s another description of how this occurs with different means of connecting with Customers…
Some customer contacts are fantastic at building the image of your business- advertising for example. But an advert isn’t really a tangible experience and really doesn’t enhance the perceived value of your business, that tends to come more from the physical interactions with your business- the website you have, the store, call centre or finally the product or service. This diagram clearly shows what each customer contact does in the role of building value for your customers.
And here’s how each customer contact can play a different role in the customers journey
also from McKinsey, who then did research on how pervasive this process was, here’s their measurements form France looking at the influence of online contacts.
So how do you map the Customer Decision journey
Here’s an example from a Power Company
Here they look at specific customers, assess what the experience was in going through each stage of the process of being associated with the company, as well as noting down what works and what doesn’t work in building customer experience.
The map doesn’t need to be perfect, but it does need to identify the critical steps in buying and using your product or service and also how well you performance against customer expectations. From here you seek to improve sustainably each contact point, and maybe even add more contact points as you understand the buying journey better and better.
My advice- give it a go, you’ll be delighted and surprised at the results.