This article was inspired by Sam Hurley, one of the most recognizable digital influencers, who published How To Intercept, Adapt and Influence the Customer Journey on Medium. In this article, Hurley writes about customer journeys and highlights their meaning in the purchasing process.
We, as an eBusiness Software House, look at this problem a bit differently but nevertheless found the article rich in golden thoughts that we can translate to our (mostly) more technical reality.
By the time they actually get that credit card out of their wallet, the journey is already over. Their (clients’) mind is 100% made up.
Their minds are made up, not only by the marketing efforts but also through the Customer Experience your brand offers. You can think about it in two ways – first, you need to think about the customer experience of every single channel – taking into consideration for example, an online shop, you need to take care of the user experience from start to finish. The second way is Customer Experience in general – here, one of the most important things to remember is the comprehensibility of all channels.
Let’s be clear that such a journey is not a direct route. It’s a meandering path that frequently doubles back and takes unexpected turns.
And you’ll never know what it will look like in the case of a particular customer. You won’t know but you can predict it. What’s more, you should make sure that there are no dead ends along the process. The way to purchase consists of many touch points and among them, there are those connected with technology – which is the most important point. Often, we deal well with marketing patches but we fail with the technology that should support them. Throughout the more than 8 years of working for many companies and industries, we have met this problem many times. That led us to conduct our authored research and workshop methods where we detect the most common Omnichannel Gaps.
Imagine that during marketing efforts you managed to interest your customer with your products. They knows about the new delivery from the social media channel and now they are actually ready to buy. What if they prefer to do it offline? Can they check the availability on the website, reserve the product through the online shop?
It’s easy to check if your omnichannel really works. The situation described above is only one of many possibilities. Another such example is described in this test: Do you want to know if your Omnichannel really works? Take a short test.
Consumers have never been savvier. They know they will find more information online than they’ve ever found in a physical store. As helpful as this may be for them, it is also a golden opportunity for you to control their journey.
We live in a strange world where a client with a smartphone can know more than a sales rep. Don’t think about it as a danger. It’s rather an opportunity for you to steer a customer’s journey. Based on our experience, it is visible, especially in B2B. What does it mean in practice? It’s not only about taking care of all the information about the products that are presented on your website. You should prepare all the mechanisms and features that help a customer to complete the purchase on their own. If this is done well, the they should obtain all the information that they need as easily as possible and with as little effort as possible (live chat, infoline etc.). This is also a new task for your sales reps that can play a crucial role in the path of a purchase.