In 2017, there was a lot of discussion about the customer journey and why brands should be focusing on it to improve business results. As we enter 2018, we have seen our clients begin to understand the importance of a customer journey. We are seeing companies understand that everything ties together. It’s not just a one-off email, or an in-store visit, but an entire multi-channel interaction with the brand. While some marketers are starting to understand this, we haven’t seen many who are fully doing this yet.
Looking at the market today, we are seeing brands wanting to learn more about a fully functioning customer journey. They are beginning to fix outdated, internal processes and make a plan to get what they need. While frustration and hurdles are inevitable, they at least understand that the customer journey will be a constantly-evolving learning process.
One thing we have learned is that tracking and optimizing a multi-channel customer journey isn’t possible without technology. There are too many customers and too many variables for humans to process at one time. As we have seen, this technology has grown a lot in the past few years.
So where should you focus your energy in 2018 to create a better customer journey? Here are a couple of recommendations:
- Upgrading POS systems – Your POS system should make it easy to see someone in the store, pull up their customer profile, and deliver any updated information back to it. It may sound basic, but the ability to have customer lookup is huge.
- Remember to have the same POS system across all stores. For small-medium businesses, this may seem like a no-brainer. But when you get into larger stores, or franchised stores, it’s important to remember that the POS experience should be the same no matter which store you go into.
- Any channels you haven’t gone after – Look into channels that you can tie into the whole customer experience. Channels like web personalization, SMS, and push notifications are all different channels that can enhance your customer journey and experience.
- Easy wins: Pixels for web personalization are easy and “cheap” to drop on your website to gather information. If your platform is set up to handle text or push notifications, this could be the next great place to start.
We understand that especially this time of year, it’s important to focus and be smart about your budget. Getting focused can also help the IT department. If they get 2 thought out requests from marketing that explain the value and importance instead of 30 requests, they will be more willing to help. We suggest that you go through the customer experience yourselves, and figure out where upgrades are needed. To learn more about conducting a Customer Experience Audit, check out this blog post.
In the next phase of life for the customer journey, we will see marketers have a little more voice and understand what they want, when they want it. Most marketers are looking for technology based on budgets & marketing needs, and they are looking for something they can get in place quickly. Most importantly, marketers will be more confident in themselves and their abilities to craft a great customer journey that produces an incremental change in revenue based on business goals.