The Ultimate Guide to your Customer Journey
As companies invest more in Customer Experience, the Customer Journey is expanding and becoming more complex as time goes on.
Making sure your clients have a smooth and positive journey throughout their time as a client is so important. Making sure there is a consistent approach between everyone in your company. Making sure there are regular touch points from the point of sale, through to the implementation, through to the handover to Customer Success. All really important things to think about.
So let's dig a little deeper.
There are generally 5 stages to the Customer Journey:
Advocacy and Ongoing Loyalty phase
The process starts with the sales and sales development team during the Discovery phase. Whether your new client found your company through your social media and marketing channels or whether they came to your company through an inbound lead, the sales and sales development teams are the first touchpoint that your new client had with your company...and first impressions to count!
The first touchpoint may happen in a number of different ways but from here, there should be a similar Customer Journey for each new prospect as they work through the sales process to becoming loyal advocates.
The second stage is most commonly known as the Consideration phase. During this stage, your new client would have realised they had a problem that could be met by your product or service.
The new client would be reviewing their options and more likely than not, be reviewing other products or services as well as yours. They would have fully understood their own requirements and what problem they are looking to solve in order to review these options and consider which option is the best for them.
You need to therefore be on your A-Game! Understanding the problem, qualifying the lead and research gathering in order to show off your product or service, tailored to the needs of your new client.
The third stage of the Customer Journey is the Conversion phase. At this point your new client would have concluded that your product or service meets their requirements and that your product or service will solve their problem. The prospect becomes a customer.
At this point your Onboarding process should come into play. You can read more in The Ultimate Guide to Onboarding New Clients.
Once Onboarding commences we slowly move to the fourth phase, Retention. During retention, it can be concluded that this phase also relies on adoption, expansions, upsells and support.
The final stage is Advocacy and Ongoing Loyalty. By this point, you new client should no longer be new! They understand the value of your product or service. They have received a positive experience, they want to tell others about what a great service they have received and they understand the solution that your product or service provides.
So now you know the stages of the Customer Journey, what next?
Next is mapping out the process. Depending on your product or service, you may need to map out different routes for different solutions or different clients.
Ensure the Customer Journey is consistent across all departments and ensure all departments understand their role in the journey.
Ensure that there are regular touch points and where necessary provide documentation for each of these. This might be a Welcome email at the point of sale. This might be Project Kick Off slides for the Onboarding team. This might be a checklist for the implementation team to work through and review with Customer Success when handing over once the product or service is ready.
Whilst mapping out the journey at each touch point, you can include the actions at each touch point and who is involved from each party.
It is important to map out the Customer Journey to ensure a strategic approach that optimises the Customer Experience. Feedback should be requested and continual reviews and updates made.
In regards to this feedback, always let your client know how appreciative of their feedback you are. It takes time for this to resonate with them but the feedback your clients offer allow you to improve your product or service which in turn allows you to scale your business.
Whilst mapping the Customer Journey, also think about benchmarks, company goals and targets. These should all be reviewed on a continuous basis as well.
So we have mentioned consistency and touch points a lot. Consistency and touch points will allow your team to build the relationship with your new client. Your new client will understand how your product or service adds value and solves their problem.
By not only solving their problem but also adding value, you are showing your new client why choosing you was the right choice.