Company perception is driven by a range of different things for consumers and they will see and experience different things depending on where they are in their purchase or research journey.
- How easy is it to find you on the internet or social media?
- Do you look credible and trustworthy?
- Can they find your contact details?
- Do you answer the phone or emails?
- How do you correspond with clients
- What do others think about you?
- If you’ve used them before have they remembered you?
So, customer experience is key to business success, because if you give the customer a positive experience then they will remember you and become an advocate for your business. A loyal customer is a more profitable one because they will promote your business free of charge and return to you in the future! If they have a poor experience, then they will tell everyone and anyone who will listen which can be very damaging, especially when it’s broadcast across social media.
That is why understanding the customer journey is so important. Knowing that all the customer touchpoints for your business are on brand and up to date and that your internal processes are set up to truly deliver a positive customer experience.
A typical customer will research and evaluate your company and your competitors before deciding whether to purchase a product or service. By understanding this journey, and the influencing factors that help with their decision-making, you can better position your product or service to meet their needs as well as deliver a positive experience throughout the process.
Typically, consumers go through 3 different stages before making a decision.
1. Awareness stage – a consumer is looking to solve a problem
During this stage, a consumer will be researching and looking for educational information about the problem they want to solve or the need that they have.
At this stage, consumers will be looking at these channels; Google searches so SEO is important at this stage, website, Google My Business, social media and any advertising.
2. Consideration stage – a consumer is considering options to solve the problem
During this stage, consumers will be reading what you offer on your website and competitor websites to see who offers what. They may also be reading articles and case studies. Most importantly consumers will be looking to understand what other people think of you so they will be influenced by testimonials either on your website or on trusted customer satisfaction websites e.g. Trustpilot etc.
3. Decision stage – the consumer evaluates and decides on the business that will help them solve the problem
At this stage, they will make contact with the company, either by email, telephone or through the contact form on your website. This is the stage where internal processes are key to ensure the consumer experiences a good customer experience and finds out any specific information they require. They are kept up to date and informed about the service or product they are interested in and feel valued.
Just as important as the 3 stages above, is the post-purchase/service experience, which is when you can really make a customer feel valued and turn them into a loyal customer. This is the time to ensure you have all the relevant contact details and GDPR compliance to make sure you can keep in touch with the customer in the future either through newsletters or emails.
Capturing customer satisfaction through surveys or testimonials is also important for your business. If they’ve had a positive experience then they will become an advocate and give you a good customer satisfaction rating or testimonial which money can’t buy!
What to do now?
So now is the time to review all the customer touchpoints for your business, and make sure that all your customer-facing marketing channels are up to date and relevant. Review your internal processes so that you understand what happens when someone gets in contact with you and how is it managed internally to ensure they receive a positive customer experience.
This is the customer journey and by understanding all of the elements that contribute to this, you will be able to successfully grow your business and ensure it is better than your competitors and deliver a positively memorable customer experience.
If you would like to find out more about how Designated can help with understanding your customer journey, please do get in touch:
Michelle Wheeler, Marketing Director, firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7952 1460