Customer experience isn’t what it used to be

The customer experience isn’t what it used to be. It’s no longer just about bringing people into your store and skillfully selling them your wares. Consumers are inundated with opportunities to buy products everywhere they go, including in their own homes. A great customer experience encompasses all those opportunities and provides more value than your competitors do on diverse platforms.

McKinsey Research and Harvard Business Review put together a study that shows 73% of consumers are omnichannel, meaning they interact with a brand across several channels. That could include shopping in store and online simultaneously, reading your company blog, getting your newsletter, chatting with you on social media, and more. 

Catering to omnichannel audiences is important. These shoppers spend an average of four per cent more in store and 10 per cent more online. Additionally, the more channels they used, the higher those percentages increased. 

That said, omnichannel marketing is challenging. Doing it well means providing a seamless experience across every channel and breaking down silos in your organization. Many customer experience (CX) professionals struggle to get buy-in from department heads and leadership for coordinated omnichannel experiences. How do they unite multiple teams and departments to work together in an entirely new way? And, more importantly, how do they get their bosses to buy into that move?

The answer is customer experience mapping.
Explore Your Customer Journey with Customer Experience Maps

Getting Buy-In 

Most consumers are willing to pay more for an upgraded experience and discovering how to optimize that experience can differentiate your brand from competitors. Great customer experience maps also take a lot of work, from collecting the right research to analyzing data and designing a clear, helpful document. That means you need leadership buy-in and a budget. 

It can be hard to get leadership to support such a time-consuming project without first establishing a clear link to profitability. If you find yourself on a one-person crusade to build a customer experience map, it’s okay to start small.

Gather what research you have access to and chat with customer-facing employees. Get to know people from your target market. When it comes to creating the map itself, skip the bells and whistles and fancy designs and create a simple mock-up instead. Easy-to-use customer experience mapping tools can be a huge help, too.

Use the insights you gain from your research to suggest a single or simple change that has the power to make a huge impact. According to McKinsey & Company, “Armed with advanced analytics, customer-experience leaders gain rapid insights to build customer loyalty, make employees happier, achieve revenue gains of five to 10 per cent, and reduce costs by 15 to 25 per cent within two or three years.” When your boss asks how you came up with such an insightful idea, that’s your cue to pitch a more extensive customer experience mapping project.

Conclusion 

The best way to provide a great omnichannel customer experience is to ensure everyone in your organization understands your customers better. A well-researched, clear, visually appealing customer experience map is key to penetrating silos and bringing departments together to create touchpoints that reach your target audience and add value to your customer journey.

Written by Kathryn Casna a digital marketing and travel writer from San Diego, California. Reprinted courtesy Salesforce.com.

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