What Marketers Need to Know About Omnichannel Customer Journey Mapping & Experiences
Increasingly, business isn’t all about the product—it’s about the customer experience (CX). But according to a recent Forbes survey commissioned by Treasure Data, while three-quarters of business leaders believe that superior customer experience is vital to growth, most do not know how to address it on an enterprise level. Are you tracking the right customer experience metrics? Are you keeping up with the latest customer experience trends and strategies? How do you come up with successful omnichannel customer journeys that attract new customers and reward existing customers?
To answer these questions, companies are embracing new technology to deliver seamless, relevant, connected customer experiences across every channel. For example, as customers continue to engage with brands in intentional ways, brands can orchestrate customer journeys to better segment and nurture prospects closer to conversion. And once customers reach the point of conversion, brands can then increase lifetime value by using a CDP to build loyalty and advocacy journeys.
Aligning customer interactions across your organization means your customer will experience your entire brand as one, with personalization optimizing every touchpoint of their omnichannel journey. Here is how you can optimize customer experience with an omnichannel customer journey strategy.
Map Omnichannel Customer Journeys
A customer’s path-to-purchase is no longer simple nor linear. Each stage of a customer journey consists of key interactions spanning multiple touchpoints between your customer or prospective customer and your business. These touchpoints may take place on a variety of different channels, which can increase the complexity of delivering a seamless experience when that customer changes course (i.e., interacts with a different channel).
One of the advantages of an omnichannel strategy is that it allows you to pick up the conversation with a customer however or wherever they left off—whether online or in-person. One of the disadvantages is that customers often expect marketers to know more about them than they sometimes do. (Do you ever find yourself getting impatient when adware keeps showing you pictures of, say, a refrigerator, long after you’ve already bought one and are therefore all set on the refrigerator front for a while? This is what we refer to as the “data disconnect,” and what we intend to solve with our vision for connected customer experiences.)
Once you’re tracking customer data across channels, you can create a more comprehensive customer journey map that is relevant for your business and customers. The four key steps for creating an actionable omnichannel customer journey map are:
Define customer journey stages
No matter who you’re targeting, every customer who interacts with your brand undergoes various stages before deciding to make a purchase. It’s up to you and your team to define which of these stages is most important to measure and optimize. Once you’ve defined what matters most—like where your customers spend most of their time and which channels lead to the most conversions—you can begin to shift your marketing strategy to further engage customers at each stage.
Identify customer goals
Customers have different goals at different stages of their customer journey. The messaging and actions that best suit a new customer are understandably different from what a loyal, repeat customer would expect. Understanding this dynamic process can help you improve your marketing efficiency as you solve for each customer goal. For example, do they want to purchase your specific product or service? Or are they shopping around for the best deal—and if so, what can sway them over? Are they expecting to earn rewards or points for a particular purchase? By identifying customer goals, your team can create an accurate customer journey map and refine messaging.
Use customer journey analytics to identify touchpoints
Say you know that one step on your customer journey requires them to call your business and schedule an appointment. You can use customer journey analytics to make things a little easier for them. With a reliable customer data platform (CDP), you can use machine learning to collect and analyze information from all relevant channels—both online and offline—to begin anticipating your customers’ next steps, and adjust your strategy accordingly. Many marketers who’ve gone this route have made surprising associations that have helped them capitalize on emerging customer buying behavior. Subaru, for example, was able to discern key differences in the behavior of those who planned to buy a car in a few weeks or months, and those who wouldn’t actually make a purchase for a year or more. Those differences helped Subaru cater to both audiences in a way that boosted overall advertising ROI and effectiveness as well as sales.
Activate customer insights to make customer journeys easy
Data is key to the customer insights process. And the more related data available for analysis, the more actionable your insights will be. Here’s your chance to make the connection—making the right offer, at the right time, to the right customer, on the right channel. And you can do it in a holistic way that shows you have a true understanding of your audience. For example, if you see a repeat customer has abandoned a shopping cart, and you know they do most of their shopping on mobile, you can send them a CTA with a discount code via text to nudge them closer to a final sale. In other words, using deep customer insights, you can prompt the next move on the customer journey.
Promote an Omnichannel Customer Experience
Once you’ve mapped out the omnichannel customer journey, you will want to make the customer experience exceptional across channels. You can reduce friction, identify opportunities to improve CX, and make it known to your customers just how much you value their business. Here’s how to get started:
Create consistent, connected customer experiences across channels
Because omnichannel accounts for all marketing channels, it’s absolutely vital that your brand identity, policy, and voice are accurately represented across each of them. That means that however you present your brand on your website, social media channels, and blog should match how you present your brand in person, in print, and in sales meetings. Audit your existing channels to identify and fix any gaps in consistency, so that you can continue deepening engagement across all channels.
Identify opportunities to personalize, automate and add self-serve options
There are many ways to personalize, automate, and improve CX across channels. Has your customer previously purchased your product or service? Your CDP can help you find out. If they have, consider sending an email or even direct mailer featuring related products they might like or a coupon for 10% off their next purchase. If, for example, you sell cars, a purchase should trigger offers for add-ons and service rather than useless ads for a car your customer already bought. The more personalized and relevant your suggestions, the more likely your customer will be to purchase from you again in the future.
Show your customers a little recognition
When you know exactly where your customers spend their time, you can meet them where they’re at and show them a little appreciation in a fun, relevant, and personalized way. For example, geolocation data can tell you when a customer enters your brick-and-mortar store. Why not send them a text message with a 20% off coupon while they’re there? Or, help them find what they’re looking for by sending them the store aisle for items they recently viewed online. Your customers will appreciate your help and recognition
Optimizing CX With Treasure Data Customer Journey Orchestration
In order to deliver exceptional CX, it’s vital to understand every stage your customers enter throughout their omnichannel journey. And it requires a detailed understanding of both the online and offline channels your customers use to inform their decision to purchase (or purchase again). But as the number of channels customers use before making a purchase continues to increase, meeting your goals becomes harder and harder.
Treasure Data Journey Orchestration offers a central, user-friendly location for bringing data and insights together in AI-powered customer profiles that connect teams and systems across internal business units and between various brands. Using a visual, drag-and-drop canvas, marketers can create, monitor, and optimize journeys that are unique to each customer as they go from brand awareness to purchase to brand loyalty and beyond.
To learn more about how you can use Treasure Data Customer Data Cloud to optimize omnichannel customer journeys, consult an expert today. Want to learn more? Request a demo, call 1.866.899.5386, or contact us for more information.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this blog was published in 2019. This blog was revised on 1/19/2023.