You've done the work, you've understood your customers better than you previously thought possible, and based on your new insight, started delivering relevant experiences on your website. You've tested successfully (and maybe not so successfully, too), seen increased engagement and metrics for your most important visitors.
What's next? Embracing the entire customer journey. While personalizing on your website is a great first step, it limits you to delivering engaging experiences only to those who choose to visit your site.
The next step is delivering these great experiences to all your prospects and customers, even on channels you don't own.
It’s only when you look at the customer journey as a whole that you can achieve the customer experience required to acquire, convert, and grow your business. The climate has never been more competitive; customer expectations are being led by the tech giants and big budget businesses.
The entire customer lifecycle means thinking beyond the point of sale and even beyond the traditional marketing funnel. It’s a cyclical process, beginning with awareness and moving to consideration, conversion, growth, and advocacy.
At each of these touchpoints, both online and offline, brands have an opportunity to reach customers with data-driven, personalized experiences that increase their engagement and their loyalty.
That sounds great, but what does it actually take to do this? The ability to not only map and ideate a customer journey but also the ability to act on it, automatically .... not just on your website, but everywhere your prospect or customer may be. And admittedly, this is a lofty goal. But for organizations ready to invest in the future of customer experience, it’s a requirement.
Let’s dig deeper into what this actually means.
Delivering a connected customer experience requires many of the things I’ve touched on previously: being data-first, segment based, leveraging connectors, thinking beyond A/B testing and leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) when it makes sense to do so. But it also means much much more.
Organizations looking to embrace the customer journey model must be able to:
- Unify their martech & adtech touchpoints.
- Consolidate customer data for 1:1 or 1 to few engagement.
- Trigger the right content at the right time, automatically.
By doing this, you can deliver an experience to your customers that will be:
- Connected at every touchpoint: Just like with data collection and personalization, you need to be connected, here more than ever, in terms of communicating and connecting across your technology stack to listen and respond to your customers.
- Contextual to a visitors last step: As an extension of personalization, also you need to be delivering data-first journeys based on the segments and audiences you’ve build out when you collected all your rich customer data.
- Understand and predict what the next best action should be: You need to not only be able to listen across all these different channels, but also deliver what we call the “next best action” that’s determined by each unique user profile in terms of their interests, channel of choice, and stage of the buying cycle.
This connected customer experience is the “north star” for many organizations today, for good reason. As customer experience continues to be critical to engage consumers with sky-high expectations, delivering cohesive experiences across channels owned and not will be the new normal.
But most organizations won’t get there overnight, or even over a few quarters. You can start by collecting rich data on your users – beyond simple clicks – and segmenting them into key demographics.
Next, use the knowledge gleaned during the data collection phase to deliver content experiences that drive consumers to engage and convert with your brand while increasing their adoption and loyalty.
This strategy-driven, prescriptive approach will be easiest to manage for customers. This is what makes the crawl, walk, run approach to connected customer experiences so successful.