Marketers tend to focus on the buyer journey on a daily basis. By looking at buyer’s behaviour in the awareness and consideration phase of this journey, marketing can deliver added value by ensuring that qualified leads stay in the sales funnel until the purchase phase. However, marketing can play an important role after the purchase, during the customer journey as well. Research has demonstrated that it is easier to sell to existing customers than to gain new ones.
Increasingly, experiences with customer service or operations are regarded as key touch points. Bearing this in mind, marketing can take on an important role in improving the customer’s experience. The base of this is usually from the customer journey insights.
- Supplement your buyer journey insights with the results of your customer journey: Complete your buyer persona and buyer journey by adding the results of the customer journey research. Because this will give you an A-Z insight into your customers – from the moment they show interest in your product or service to the ultimate end goal: therefore turning them into ambassadors of your organisation.
- Provide your respondents with feedback: If you conduct a customer survey, you will soon notice that customers appreciate being listened to. You will make them even happier if you really start working on the improvements they suggest and keep them up to date on them. The least you can do is thank them for their time by sending them a gift.
- Create supporting content for sales: If your customers want to cross-sell or upsell, then make sure sales has sufficient content geared to the buying process. This could be content they can easily share with the customer, such as battle cards, which is sometimes referred to as ‘sales enablement content’.
- Repurpose content: You may already have some relevant content on the shelves. Consider what else you could do with this content and recycle it where possible. This could be an e-book that can be used to make a video or infographic. Or perhaps you have a number of blogs with a common theme? You can combine these to make an e-book. Whatever you do, always bear the buyer and customer journey in mind and respond to the needs of your customers.
- Insights for your retention programme: Use the insights, such as reason for cancelling, for any improvement programmes that marketing could initiate.
- Stay on your marketing island: Don’t! A big mistake marketers tend to make is continuing to operate from their little island. As a marketer and head of the customer journey project, you are the connecting factor between the various departments, your stakeholders. Support other departments and help them identify their needs in terms of marketing.
- Exclusive focus on the decision-maker within a customer: Also create programmes for the people who use your services, not just the decision-makers. Software companies are notorious for focusing specifically on decision-makers, while it is often the daily users who have valuable opinions about your product or service. To give an example: based on their customer journey survey, AFAS Software launched an improvement programme that focuses on their clients’ application managers, one of their neglected target groups.
- Trust your intuition: There is nothing wrong with intuition, but it is not very wise to base everything on assumptions. Carry out research and validate the results. Therefore you can be certain to get a better grip on the customer experience.
The last piece of advice is to keep the purpose of your customer journey clearly in focus. You cannot take on everything at once. Set your priorities: what are your customers’ chief complaints? Also always look where the quick wins are to be gained.
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About this series
At a round-table meeting with a small group of B2B marketing professionals, we explored the four principal challenges of customer journeys in more detail. We summarised the results of these sessions in a series of blogs. In part 1, the focus was on gaining support. In part 2, we addressed the question of ‘How to map the customer journey?’. And part 3 is about: How does customer journey mapping drive marketing tactic selection?
In part 4, we will take on the next challenge about operationalising the customer experience plans?
Interested? Please find here the links to the other blogs about do’s and don’ts of the customer journey: