Throughout the 21st century, more and more businesses have moved their operations online. This has particularly been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused many businesses to move both their employees online as well as their sales and marketing apparatuses. As such, more and more businesses have employed the use of digital tools to track their customers and make sure that they reacting to their sales and marketing efforts in the way they want them to.
However, in doing so, businesses that have transitioned their operations online often fail to take into account how their customers feel about their processes, and do not actually map out the journey that their customer takes in transacting with their business. This is called the customer success journey, and following it allows you to see how your customers interact with each stage of your process, from when they first discover your business to when they purchase a product or service, to how any recurring revenue they bring in for your business and any issues they may have. The overall goal of the customer success journey process is to generate more sales and decrease customer churn, thereby increasing your customer lifetime value.
The customer success journey process is typically not customer-centric, and only maps out the process for the benefit of the business. Traditionally, this has been done using customer touchpoints, which hare not inherently holistic in nature. That isn’t to say that you should not ‘touch’ customers at certain stages of the process. However, you should understand where your customers are coming from and what their actual experience is with your business. The problem with the ‘touches’ approach is that it draws all customers into a singular experience, which may not be how they interact with your business. This is antithetical to the goals of the customer success journey process, which is meant to see how customers interact with your business from their point of view in order to better refine your processes and serve their needs.
A customer does not view their journey with a business as a series of milestones. Rather, they do their own research and decide whether to purchase your products and services based on available online content as well as any proactive sales efforts depending on the nature of your business. While an ecommerce store likely does not have sales representatives, for example, a marketing agency or online service provider might. However, keep in mind that sales efforts need to be geared toward problem-solving and not just trying to fit a customer into a particular box. In other words, you need to consider the customer’s actual experience, and not just make decisions regarding their habits without compiling customer data so that you can make better and more informed data-driven decisions.
This, in turn, will help you make more informed decisions about what your customers want or need, and you can set up your relationship with them for success. Ideally, the goal of the customer success journey is to make sure that your customers feel heard and that you correctly position your products and services to help them meet their goals or problems they are trying to solve.