Bill Quinn
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When you consider customer experience, think of your customers as being on a journey from the moment they first make contact with your business. Then consider this: How can they possibly reach the destination you have in mind—in this case, completing a transaction—without a road map?

Most likely, they can’t. Without any sort of navigation system, the unfamiliar terrain may cause them to lose their way or start over or give up entirely. For your business, that translates into lost dollars. Or it did in the past, anyway.

Bill Q Journey Builder session_500x366Leveraging tools like Salesforce’s Journey Builder from the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud suite  can help you guide prospective customers on customized journeys across channels and devices to improve the customer experience throughout the marketing lifecycle, resulting in higher conversions. Journey Builder lets marketers map out a journey that is shaped by the customer’s own behavior; they are playing a role in designing their own route, which is littered with the kinds of interactions, rewards and benefits that fit their customer profile.

Avoiding Pitfalls

The potential rewards of building successful customer journeys are obvious. But marketers can also get lost along the way. How so? The biggest risk is designing the wrong journey for a customer by misinterpreting customer purchase drivers and engagement criteria. (A common example: an abandoned shopping cart, which doesn’t always mean a customer has fled, can trigger a deep-discount coupon which is sent to someone who didn’t need that incentive.) The only safeguard is to understand as much as you can about the customer ahead of time.

Among the characteristics you want to know is your customer’s channel of choice, whether it’s in-store, via Internet or taking delivery by drone (OK, not yet.) What you don’t want to do, for example, is offer online shoppers a 10% discount on in-store purchases. Nor do you want to offer a discount to customers who are motivated by other rewards, such as earning points toward future purchases or receiving badges that they can proudly post to their Facebook pages. What kind of offers does this customer segment respond to? No point in asking someone to download your mobile app if your target segment still predominantly uses feature phones.

Found in Translation

To craft a customer journey that will deliver results, we recommend leveraging social insights to gather and analyze data from customers that will help you develop detailed profiles for each segment. To be clear, profile mapping is not a persona – typically an exercise conducted by a marketing team that outlines who they think their customers are. Unstructured/social and sensor data sources can provide companies with answers to questions such as:

  • Which specific topics, views, values, and memes resonate with each segment?
  • What devices does each segment use? When, where, and how do they use them?
  • What drives each segment’s loyalty and what offers does each segment respond to?
  • How do customers use and consume your products?

Developing journey maps that leverage what we already know about customers will help move them through the journey and convert more quickly, and will improve customer experience as well, resulting in increased purchases and customer loyalty.

Bill Quinn will speak about 5 Key Insights to Inform Your Journey Builder Designs at Dreamforce 2014 on October 15 at 11:30 AM.


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