With customers’ needs changing, so does their relationship with brands and the customer journey. Here’s how organizations can keep people loyal.
The customer journey doesn’t end once a brand has acquired a new customer — it is an ongoing process. As marketers orchestrate customer journeys, they must focus on cultivating loyalty and retention after the initial purchase. This ongoing relationship exists across all channels, and marketers need to know how to meet customers where they are with the right messages. If they aren’t successful in this, there’s a risk that customers will switch brands, which is especially easy for them in the digital age — especially if other brands are offering a better experience.
To survive in this environment, companies can rely on the insights that come from a sophisticated data strategy —- one in which teams across the organization can access the same comprehensive customer profile and make decisions that impact the customer journey. Below are important new trends in the customer journey as well as how technology and data can be used to build a strong reputation among customers — even as their behaviors and expectations change.
The Customers They Are A-Changin’
In the past few years, the pandemic forced customers to adopt digital shopping even more quickly than they already were. People also began to have a deeper omnichannel experience with brands on social media and other channels as they explored what products or services were best for them. In this context, brand loyalty becomes more difficult to hold onto.
Experts suggest a few ways to keep customers’ attention, for example by addressing their pain points throughout the customer journey. Common pain points include technical difficulties, payment issues and customer support frustrations. Brands should work to improve their current resolutions to common issues so that the overall journey becomes more seamless.
What Separates the Best From the Rest
Many companies have read the writing on the walls and redefined their customer journey to capture customer loyalty over the long run. This allows them to deliver relevant, personalized omnichannel experience across various channels. In fact, 82% of respondents in a recent Treasure Data study said they have a good understanding of their customer journeys.
Where the gap exists, however, is in the execution of strategies. More than one-third (38%) believe customer journeys are siloed, and more than one-fourth (28%) believe the journey is “very disjointed.” Siloes are the enemy of a successful customer experience (CX) plan. When organizations share common CX goals across teams, they feel more confident that the customer journey is unified and receptive to change.
Knowing what to do with data also helps organizations make the most out of their strategy. A data-driven approach to customer journey mapping helps marketing, sales, and customer service teamslearn about customers on a deeper level and understand some of the more unpredictable, surprising journeys some customers take. Learning these new trends allows companies to create new strategies at different touchpoints of the journey. This means connected customer experiences, better audience targeting for personalized interactions, and even product optimizations inspired by these trends.
The Most Important Customer Journey Technologies
Technology has a great ability to impact cross-team collaboration and a company’s understanding of the customer journey. Once companies begin mapping the customer journey, the next step is to adopt a reliable customer data platform (CDP). These platforms help companies get access to a unified view of customers by collecting data from across different sources.
In our survey, we found that CDPs are an essential customer experience management tool for most companies, with 81% of respondents saying they already have a CDP and many others saying they are interested in implementing one. Without this core piece of technology, the customer journey cannot be realized to its fullest potential.
Beyond the CDP, companies also need better customer journey orchestration technology. While most organizations know the importance of collaboration for CX, they still find siloes and disjointed aspects of the customer journey. Many also say that despite the amount of technology and automation they have in their stack, it’s difficult to respond swiftly to changes in customer behaviors.
Some of this may be associated with technology. One reason could be siloes within the technology stack itself, which would lessen a team’s ability to holistically understand the customer journey in a unified way. To improve the customer journey and create connected customer experiences, companies should consider rethinking their tech stack, how different technologies integrate and what tools can be added or enhanced to fill the gaps.
Modernize Your Customer Journey Orchestration Now
Companies are making great progress in the customer journey in many ways, from adopting the CDP as standard technology to making cross-department collaboration a guiding CX principle. Tools like Treasure Data’s Customer Data Cloud are just one example of something that can fill in the remaining gaps — in this case, by integrating customer data and making the same insights available for any team, including marketing, sales, operations and more.
Check out “The State of Customer Journey Management” for even more survey findings, along with insights, guidance and best practices for companies looking to delight customers throughout their journey. Learn more at the link below.
Read Treasure Data’s white paper, “The State of Customer Journey Management,” here.