In the good old days, a brand’s success was measured by the quality of its products, by the value offered for each dollar and by great customer service.
Nowadays, we keep increasingly hear another trending term: “customer experience” and how it is the new key ingredient for success.
What is customer experience?
Customer experience is your customer’s end-to-end, 360° journey when interacting with your company and brand. It involves everything from exploring, research, purchasing and to giving feedback.
In order to elevate your customer experience, you need to decode and analyze the customer experience journey.
Customer Experience Journey
The customer experience journey tells the story of the customer’s experience: from initial contact, through the process of engagement and into a long-term relationship.
A research published in the McKinsey Quarterly review from a study of purchase decisions of nearly 20,000 consumers broke down the customer experience journey in the following four distinct phases:
This phase involves converting a passive observer to a potential customer.
It is vital for brands to get your message across and create a positive impression in the start of the customer journey. When the impulse to buy is triggered, great brand marketing, memorable impressions and good word-of-mouth help the consumer make a decision.
According to research, brands who make it into the consideration phase are up to three times more likely to be purchased than brands who are excluded. Thus, this phase is extremely crucial.
2. Active evaluation:
Once consumers are acquainted to a few brands and products, they further venture into research of the market and evaluate other choices that are available.
Brands who didn’t enter the game in the consideration phase, stand a second chance here to make their debut.
As consumers learn more about the markets, previously considered brands can get disregarded and new ones can replace them.
3. Moment of purchase:
This phase is a personal favorite among marketers, as performance is commonly measured at this phase.
Marketers test their ‘buy’ buttons, tie advertising analytics to conversions, and create future budgets on this “bottom line”.
However, other factors are just as paramount to the success of your business as showcased in this chart by Mckinsey:
According to the chart, closure is the most influential touchpoint in less than half the purchases.
Although, marketers often in their quest for glory overlook that this phase as just one on the customer journey and forget that success of the business relies on more than just conversions.
4. Post-Purchase experience:
This phase comes after the consumer has already made the purchase and now continues their journey with our brand – either turning into a loyal brand customer (and advocate) or becoming a passive consumer (one that are continuously evaluates your competitors products as well).
Research shows that there are as much as six times more passive consumers of brands than active loyalists.
The chart shows how brands can advantage from post-purchases as much as they do from all funnel-marketing.
This is a chance for brands to up their post-purchase customer engagement game and get back lost clients, as well as seal the existing ones.
Each phase from the customer journey presents marketers with a win or lose opportunity.
So in order for marketers to stand-out and improve their customer journeys, they need to understand the following:
- Post-purchase is a crucial phase to determine customer loyalty and potential consumers who are likely to buy again
- Success depends on more than just conversions
- Brand marketing isn’t the only way to get customers to buy
To enhance their customer experience and make it a memorable one, marketers should relocate time and effort to each phase of the journey.