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How to Create a More Cohesive Customer Journey
Written by Toonimo
While there are several marketing metrics that must be monitored and minimized, among the most important -- and according to HubSpot, the most critical for marketing professional job security -- is customer acquisition cost (CAC). Indeed, losing sight of this KPI often puts marketing professionals on a collision course with their CEO, CFO and other board members who, after a while, aren’t interested in qualitative results. They want hard data on ROI; especially when it comes time to allocating budget annual budgets…or making cutbacks.
Given this, it’s not surprising that in a survey of more than 900 senior-level marketing professionals, 86% believe that creating a cohesive customer journey is either “very important” or “critical.” Indeed, these professionals are already realizing -- or need to quickly start reaping -- the bottom-line benefits that research has confirmed organizations enjoy when they create a cohesive customer journey: increased revenue, lower churn, and higher customer satisfaction ratings; all of which feed directly into a better CAC (and much, much happier board members).
However, despite the established value – and arguably, essential importance -- of a cohesive customer journey, many organizations are finding the road from theory to practice far bumpier than they expected. This is because as Forbes.com contributor Brian Walker writes, the boundary between marketing and customer experience is growing increasingly blurry:
Today, digitally empowered customers are firmly in charge, bouncing from channel to channel at the drop of a hat…even more, customers expect every interaction with your brand to put their convenience front and center. As a result, the customer experience doesn’t happen in a single channel or along a predictable trajectory, but at seemingly random points along all of your brands channels, interactions and communications.
In light of this “blurry” reality – which without doubt is only going to become more fragmented and complex as customers grow even more empowered – marketing professionals who want to ensure a cohesive customer experience need to ensure that they inject two characteristics: consistency and context. And that’s where a Digital Concierge enters the picture.
A Digital Concierge is, paradoxically, at its core a (very) old fashioned element -- a human voice – but with a technology-led twist: it’s automated to achieve consistency and context across all steps and stages of the customer journey.
In terms of consistency, a Digital Concierge ensures that customers engage a familiar, singular and trustworthy voice wherever they are on the journey, and whatever the time of day (or night). The importance and value of this cannot be underestimated or, frankly, even debated. After all, in “brick-and-mortar” offices, stores and showrooms, it’s a longstanding axiom that shuffling customers from one person to another is a recipe for disengagement. The web doesn’t change this fundamental need for consistency, but it certainly makes it much harder to apply. A Digital Concierge, however, makes it easy and automatic.
In terms of context, a Digital Concierge helps bridge the gaps that customers can fall into when they shift from one property to another (e.g. main website to blog), from one section to another (e.g. sales content to technical support), or one interface to another (e.g. computer to smartphone). Left unattended, all of these gaps create leaks in the sale funnel -- and invariably, lost customers. However, a Digital Concierge ensures that the customer journey maintains its integrity at all touchpoints.
Ultimately, a Digital Concierge doesn’t just enable a more cohesive, consistent and contextualized customer journey: it actually adds value, so that customers are even more engaged, informed and impressed than before. These improvements can only lead to better – and in many cases, glowing – CAC numbers; which are the kind that have board members cheering, and get marketing professionals promoted.