We’ve all heard of the customer journey, but how many businesses are actually taking the time out to review their journeys and optimise them by fixing any pain points along the way?
In this article I am going to talk you through the importance of great customer experience for your business and how you can find any cracks in your customer journey to improve the overall experience.
I’ll first start by explaining what a customer journey is...
What is the Customer Journey?
The customer journey is the sum of every experience your customers have with you. It helps to tell the story of their experience with your brand. From the original engagement through to the eventual purchase and a long-term relationship (fingers crossed!).
“One simple mistake or pain point in a customer’s journey can cause them to drop their purchase immediately and can harm your reputation”
By reviewing your customer journey, you can pinpoint any pain points, gaps or frustrations the customer may have. You can then create a plan to optimise these journeys and make sure you leave the customer with a positive customer experience.
Why a Bad Experience Might Damage Your Reputation
If you had to think about the last time you had a great shopping experience as a customer, it probably wouldn’t take you long to remember who the company was and how you felt – Happy? Put a smile on your face? It was just so quick and easy?
What about a poor customer experience? You can probably think of an example quicker and how you felt about the company and how you feel about the company now – angry? Frustrated? Annoyed? And how many people have you told not to buy from this company because of your experience?
Customers might not tell you that they have had a bad experience with your website or business — but they will tell their friends, family and co-workers. Many will even spread the word with a poor ratings or reviews for the whole world to see. The effects of poor customer experience can ripple far beyond the revenue lost with that one person.
Every step of your customer journey contributes to the overall customer experience – which is why managing the customer experience should be a top priority for your business.
Happy customers are your best resource for growing positive brand awareness because they build brand loyalty, promote your product or service and refer their friends or colleagues – all free of charge!
How to Find the Cracks in Your Customer Journey and Create Positive Experiences
In order to improve your customer journey and create positive experiences, you first need to find the leaks in your journey and fix them.
Here are my top 4 ways to do this:
1. Put the Customer First
Many businesses forget there are people behind the screens. They spend a lot of time analysing the behavioural elements of an audience – their age, geographical location and the browser they’re using but not enough time in really getting to know the customer on a personal, more profound level.
“When you know what your customers need to see on the page – and what they need to feel – to say yes to you, you can consistently increase your conversions”
Optimising your customer journey isn’t just about fixing technical things on your side, it’s about meeting and solving your customer’s expectations and challenges.
Since every visitor who arrives on your site, is there to solve some sort of challenge (whether to find something to wear or a looking for a service to solve their issue) you must not only be data informed, but also customer driven, constantly exploring, learning and researching your customer’s challenges, their expectations and looking for ways to solve them.
2. Look at your data
Google Analytics provides valuable insights that can help you shape your business success strategy. Whether you own an eCommerce store or an informative blog, using Google Analytics will help you to improve the customer journey.
It allows you to track and understand your customers behaviour, what they’re looking for, how they’re engaging with your business and how you’re providing what they need.
By carefully analysing this data you can highlight areas of success, any pain points and gaps in the customer journey. If you consistently measure and improve the journey you’ll push customers further down the sales funnel and see an increase in conversions.
3. Map Your Customer Journey
Although we may think we know what the customers go through because we have built and understand the processes, we often don’t. Understanding the true journey from the customer's eyes helps to find simple ways to improve the customer experience by uncovering gaps and pain points in the journey.
A customer journey map can also be used to plan long term changes to improve the customer experience. Having today’s journey and an ideal journey identified can help you discover and fill in the gaps of those experiences.
4. Optimise Your Website for Conversions
Think of the customer journey as a first date, everything needs to be perfect, or you won’t get a second chance. You must turn that first impression into a lasting one, which is where conversion rate optimisation comes in.
By applying the proven principles of conversion rate optimisation, you can pave the way for visitors by finding out what motivates, blocks, and persuades people so you can give them the best experience possible and making it easier for them to buy from you.
To optimise effectively, you need to think about how to give each customer what they want at each stage of the journey. Here are a few principles to get you started.
Conduct customer surveys to give you immediate feedback about the functionality of your website.
Do A/B testing to test the effectiveness of things like webpage design elements and copywriting to see what your customer prefers
Analyse high-performing content to understand what your customer likes and doesn’t like
Create content for each stage of the customer journey to help them move to the next stage
Create effective CTA’s to push them closer to making a conversion
Prioritise page speed - It’s so easy to purchase goods online that even the slightest annoyance can drive a potential customer into the arms of your competitor
Make sure converting is actually easy for your customer. I.e instead of asking for an entire form to be filled out, request an email address
Start Finding Your Leaks Today!
Providing an excellent customer experience throughout your customer journey is key to your business success and can make all the difference for both customers and the bottom line of the business.
More importantly it can help you rediscover and reconnect with your customers.
When was the last time you looked at your customer journey? Or asked for some feedback from customers about their shopping experience?
Have you successfully improved your customer experience? Have you got some great ideas to share? I’d love to hear them – get in touch and tell me more!
Written by Limarah Crathorne, Customer Experience & Conversion Expert
Limarah is an expert in helping businesses to get more leads and customers from their website.
She looks at the bigger picture and helps business owners to optimise their website with a customer driven conversion methodology that uses data and emotional analysis to help you grow your conversions, leads and sales.
Her customer-driven conversion optimisation approach makes sure you seize the missed opportunities buried in your website to improve customer experience and drive more conversions.