CX Chronicles: Looping the Customer Journey
It’s essential to jump on board with the concept of customer experience, or even the journey to purchase; we covered some ground on that in our second chapter to this series. This chapter pushes deeper into the matter, a little on the expectation side of things – that is, customers have expectations.
Often, these expectations stretch past the limits of imagination, becoming unfair even. But that is the world we live in, where an incredible product or a state-of-the-art application doesn’t always make up for a disappointing experience, overall.
For example, when comparing supermarkets – customers weigh in on service, how the cart wheels roll, and the billing experience among many other such features. In fact, consumers are even willing to indulge in slightly higher prices for said experiences.
The Customer Experience Journey
Businesses worldwide are aware of the importance of customer experience, but the journey is just as crucial. It’s important to understand that the journey doesn’t end at purchase. Customer experience covers the entirety of a buyer’s experience with the brand – from product impressions to services long past purchase; the process is a long-term relationship.
Now, this does bring to light another question. If the customer journey is far from finished with merely a purchase, then does that urge a reevaluation of the old sales process? Simply put, yes. In an era driven by digital technologies, it’s essential to move past limited-view sales funnels and invest in modern marketing funnels.
Customer Journey: Circular. Not Linear.
Successful businesses design their customer journeys as a circular process. It’s an opportunity to bolster the brand and significantly empower consumers. In its most basic form, it looks something like this:
- Consistent Exposure
- Buying Trigger
- Initial Consideration
- Returning to Consistent Exposure
Stages 1 and 5 indicate to the circular process. What happens is that a consumer forms an association, or rather learns about the brand through the exposure stage. As he or she falls through the different stages, the customer journey shapes to become a large, but interconnected feedback loop. But what everything culminates to is loyalty, a consumer’s loyalty to a brand that is.
The post-purchase phase is perhaps the most critical phase to retaining a customer; think about it, customers are human, and humans are swayed. Just as sales and marketing rely on swaying a customer away from competing brands, your customers are also likely to sway post-purchase. There’s no two ways about it, and it’s in understanding customer experience in its entirety.
There’s a lot more to look forward to in this series about experience and its impact on consumer behavior, so stay tuned and continue reading.