How to Stop Your Customer Journey from Ending with a Competitor

Every customer journey can either end with your business, or a competitor. It’s the role of everyone in your organization to ensure that customers stay on the journey to buy your products – most of all your customer service and marketing teams.

But managing customer journeys across multiple channels is a big task and an Aberdeen Research report, The CMO Dilemma: Bridging the Gap between Love and Money, surveyed over 200 senior marketers to find that 96 percent of CMOs were unsatisfied with their data quality when designing customer journeys.

It’s a big challenge, and businesses need to do more than just throw money at it. So, how can organizations improve the customer journey? Well, they can learn a few tips from what the most successful businesses are able to achieve.

How businesses can improve their customer journey

Aberdeen Research compared some of the world’s top-performing businesses with average businesses in a recent report. The results highlighted the habits of successful businesses.

According to the report, businesses need to achieve the following to maximize their customer journey:

  • Deliver consistent customer messaging through multiple channels – something that 95 percent of the most successful business can do, and 56 percent of other businesses can achieve.
  • Provide visibility on customers’ concurrent use of channels – something that 47 percent of the best businesses can do and 35 percent of other businesses can achieve. 
  • Optimize product bundles and offer times based on historical and real-time customer data – something that 47 percent of the top businesses can do and 28 percent of all other businesses can achieve. 
  • Create models of customers buying behavior processes to map customer journeys – something that 42 percent of the most successful businesses can do and 31 percent  of other businesses can achieve.

It’s clear that to provide a good customer experience, the journey needs to be seamless, with visibility across multiple channels – as well as being responsive to real-time and historical data. What’s more, each customer journey is unique, and your organization needs to be ready for that.

What’s also clear from the data above is that multi-channel customer service is becoming increasingly common – particularly in the most successful businesses. However, tactics such as customer journey mapping and greater customer visibility across different channels are less common and still have plenty of room to grow.

How to ensure the customer journey ends with your checkout process

The secret to ensuring your customers stay on your customer journey is all in the data and how it’s organized. Here are two essential ingredients for your strategy:

1.    Establish a single view of customer data

You need to ensure your CRM allows your team to have a single view of each customer at their fingertips, so that they can react accordingly.

If data is ‘siloed’ away in different departments, the customer journey can be confused and hard-to-follow.

1.    Create a customer journey map

Every business needs to put themselves in their customers’ shoes. Ask yourself:

  • What is the customer doing at each stage?
  • What actions are they taking or do they need to take to move onto the next stage?
  • Why is the customer motivated to keep going to the next stage?
  • What are the uncertainties preventing the customer from moving to the next stage? And how can your customer service and marketing team communicate more clearly?
  • What barriers stand in the way of customers moving on to the next stage (such as cost, time-consuming processes etc.)?

It’s also important to be aware that customer journeys are rarely a straight line between your marketing campaign and your checkout page. Sometimes a customer can go from a recommendation from a friend straight to making a purchase. And other times they’ll spend a long time researching and flitting between channels.

For more on this topic, read our whitepaper, Next generation customer service. And join our webinar on Dec. 13 to learn how you can unlock the powerful, hidden insights about your customer journey from every phone call.

Tim Pickard
Tim Pickard

Tim joined NewVoiceMedia in July 2011 with over 20 years' experience as a leader in the IT industry. He served as VP and board member of RSA Security's international business for seven years where he ran marketing in EMEA, Asia Pacific and Japan. He spent two years as Chief Marketing Officer for SaaS/Cloud-based email management provider Mimecast.

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