The customer-driven process is about identifying and optimising your business and marketing approach to your customers at every stage of their journey – from searching for a way to solve a problem to purchase and post-purchase interactions.
When you frame the operational process around the customer, it ensures the business is focused on creating value at the moments that are of the highest importance to the customer - and therefore provide the greatest value. Of course, consideration of efficient delivery remains, but in the context of creating customer value.
How to map your customer experience
A good starting point is to create a customer experience map so you can understand your current customer experience and begin to highlight areas for future improvement and value creation.
Your customer experience map, also commonly referred to as a customer journey map, can be a visual brainstorm or spreadsheet which maps all the touchpoints your customers have with your business. From the initial marketing communications through to the point of purchase and post-sale follow-ups.
Consider all the customer touchpoints:
- Marketing channels (i.e. social media, paid advertising, blogs, your website, emails)
- Sales channels (i.e. sales calls, in-store experiences, sales emails, sales messages, texts, chatbots)
- Post-sales follow-up (i.e. emails, calls, after-sales services)
The key to this exercise is to focus on the detail. Your customer experience map should be a thorough document detailing what it's like to interact with your business from the customers' perspective. It should document the pain points and moments of delight, so you have a full and complete picture of your customer's experience.
Consider their emotions - how they feel about interacting with your brand or buying in your category. Was it a positive or negative experience and why? There is great gold to be found from analysing customer complaints and feedback as this is often where the greatest opportunity for improvement exists.
To help create your customer experience map: Here is a helpful set of free templates from HubSpot.
Consider the various customer layers
Once you have documented all your touchpoints, and done so on behalf of your customer personas, the next step is to complete this customer experience map depending on which stage of the journey your customer is in, i.e. awareness, consideration or decision making? How you communicate and interact with your customer personas, at each touchpoint should be different depending on which stage they are in.
You may notice common themes appear, i.e. if your customer personas are young adults, young families, or retirees, your approach to each customer experience should be different. You might notice that retirees place far greater emphasis on face-to-face touchpoints or that young adults are happy to interact in a purely digital format, allowing for greater automation, as long as it's targeted appropriately.
The benefit of a customer-driven process
Ultimately, the end goal of this exercise is to optimise your customer experience by building customer-driven processes into your operations. In an environment of rising competition and increasingly demanding customer expectations you can be confident that your approach to marketing, sales and customer service is best in class. It's an approach that sets your team up for success.
It's surprisingly easy for a business to lose focus of its customers, even by those who claim to be customer-centric. The trick is to set outside the rough and tumble of the transaction and avoid missing valuable opportunities to put the customer first. A customer-driven process seems obvious but takes rigour and sometimes an objective third party to help find those moments of truth.
About Poignand Consulting
Poignand Consulting is a strategic marketing and sales enablement consultancy that exists to unlock customer value for your business. We do this by helping enrich the customer experience at every point of contact – from the first seed of awareness, to enquiry, purchase, and the post-sale relationship.
It pays to step back and assess this from time to time. Help is available. If you would like to review your current marketing effectiveness, we would be happy to arrange an obligation-free chat.