We spend a lot of time talking about how to improve response and conversion rates in your direct marketing efforts, but equally as important is the customer journey. A customer journey maps out every touchpoint your prospects and customers will have with your business. Why is it important to fully understand the customer journey? Because it can mean the difference between keeping and losing customers.
A recent pwc study found that 59% of U.S. consumers will walk away from a brand after several bad experiences; 17% after just one. As Fredda Hurwitz points out in Target Marketing, the customer journey is no longer linear, either: “Brands that don’t understand the multitude of entry points available and embrace a more holistic approach to engagement, will and are losing out to those that do.”
Brands need to design campaigns and communications around these entry points and have all these interactions provide a consistent experience. It can feel like a daunting task, but it’s achievable with the right planning, execution, and guidance by a customer journey leader.
Assigning a Navigator: What a Customer Journey Leader Does
When helping our clients optimize their customer journey, we talk a lot about who ultimately owns it. Another recent article in Target Marketing, “The Customer Journey in 2019: Who Owns Journey Management?” caught my eye. The author comes to the same conclusion we often do: While everyone owns the customer experience, not everyone should own the journey management. A champion outside of a functional department is needed. Most times, this is a newly created role.
The customer journey leader is someone who will advocate for the customer at all times. They are able to bring together all the players that influence the customer experience, understand their functional goals, and tie them to the organization’s goals.
Mapping Out the Customer Journey
Mapping and optimizing a customer journey takes 100% focus, participation by every functional area of your organization, lots of post-it notes, and gallons of coffee. We also recommend a facilitator, such as IWCO Direct, to manage the process. It is often an eye-opening experience for those in attendance.
Imagine the ‘aha moment’ when someone in Marketing learns a current mortgage customer was declined last week for a cash-out refinance two days after the company sent a solicitation email with the same offer. The gaps in data transfer and visibility to other interactions are quickly discovered when put under the microscope of customer journey mapping.
Customer journey mapping is an evolution. Your customer journey leader should constantly be monitoring progress, working toward goals, training customer-facing teams, and looking for opportunities to elevate the experience. Based on the statistics at the beginning of this post, this is critically important to every business.
Need help mapping out your customers’ journeys or ensuring your marketing campaigns keep them on the right path? Let the IWCO Direct marketing services team be your guide. Contact me here.
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