1 Develop customer journey maps.
Journey maps show you where your customers’ experiences with your brand begin and end. But to be effective, they must take into consideration all the contexts and environments in which customers might use your products and services. For example, do your customers interact with your brand at home or on the go? Both? Do they depend on you daily or intermittently?
Start by collecting all your customer data from throughout your organization, then plug it into a data platform that can help you identify key personas. Learn how those personas interact and respond at different touchpoints
Keep in mind as well that as your technology evolves and new channels emerge, so will your sources of data. So constantly revisit your data sources and make sure you’re using everything you’ve got.
And because quantitative data tells only one side of the customer story, you need to round out your learnings with more hands-on research. Enlisting ethnographers or cultural anthropologists to observe and listen through interviews, “follow me home” research, or shopper shadowing helps you understand how people use your products and services and learn where you can improve their experiences.
2 Prototype the experience.
With your new customer journey maps, build out experiences for your key personas. But understand that you don’t have to engineer every interaction all at once. You’ve spent the time to understand these journeys, so you can start to prioritize the touchpoints that will make the most emotional impact on each persona as they move from channel to channel. You certainly shouldn’t ignore the other touchpoints, but with your journey maps, you can see where each touchpoint will have the greatest effect and plan accordingly.
3 Analyze and revise your prototype.
Use data to learn how customers respond to your experience prototypes. Identifying data anomalies quickly shows you areas within the customer journey where customers are experiencing extreme friction or enjoyment. As you uncover the reasons for these anomalies, you’ll know whether to repeat your previous efforts or redesign them to improve the experience.
Again, use key informant interviews or focus groups to get qualitative feedback. Ask customer services, sales, and support teams for input provided by customers about their experiences. Find all areas that need adjustment, and make the appropriate changes.
4 Roll out and perform ongoing optimization.
Deliver the revised experience, modified to meet your customers’ needs and expectations. Continue to monitor how customers are responding to your experience design through direct feedback, social comments, and reviews.
Also use analytics to identify metrics like low conversion rates, abandoned cart statistics, video completions, repeat visits, and others that identify opportunities for improvement.
5 Automate engagement.
Reaching each and every one of your customers with personalized content and experiences across channels and devices is impossible without automation.
To scale to meet the demands of your customer base, use technology to automate the delivery of one-on-one experiences that are relevant to each customer segment.
At the same time, continue to evaluate the experience, both by customer satisfaction and the evolving needs and capabilities of your business. Just because an experience is working well doesn’t mean it couldn’t work better if you augmented it with a connection from a new channel.
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