Reconciling journeys to get to know your customers
The customer experience can be difficult to understand and measure. To be able to truly understand your customers' expectations, you need to have the right data. The biggest challenge is often that this data lives in different tools that don’t speak to one another. Still, it’s crucial to reconcile all the data you’ve collected in order to get a unified view of your customers.
Reconciling online and offline journeys
The physical point of sale is now complementary to the virtual point of sale. Both enrich the sales experience, particularly helped by the data generated. However, marketers have difficulty reconciling the data from these two separate entities, especially the ROPO effect: Research Online, Purchase Offline. The ROPO effect refers to a purchase that begins on the internet and ends in a physical store.
How can we reconcile online and offline data?
There are a few ways:
- Deterministic: Comparing online and offline data expressly communicated by the customer in-store
- Probabilities: Using algorithms to collect customer data, like IP addresses or geolocation, to identify consumers and make a connection between in-store customers and internet users
Reducing friction points for an optimal experience
Once the data reconciliation between the offline and online is complete, you must put a strategy in place to reduce friction and build an exceptional customer experience:
- Identify all the channels used by customers (Physical, email, chatbot, etc.)
- Put yourself in your customer's shoes and identify what could be negatively affecting your customer experience. For example, not having enough customer reviews for products, slow page load times, or a confusing checkout process.
- Find and fix technical bugs. On-site issues greatly impact the customer experience and can reduce the number of users who move down the funnel from leads to consumers. For example, a 404 error, which indicates the page in question was not found by the server, will impact the customer experience and cause many visitors to bounce.
- Tap into statistics. Look into what percentage of your users abandon carts or churn.
- Ask your customers what they think of your experience with interviews, questionnaires, and surveys to collect clear and precise answers.
Combining big data and client insights: a feat that still challenges marketing departments...
When it comes to optimizing customer journeys and reducing customer friction points, it’s also important to look within your organization and take stock of who “owns” this type of work. There are many departments interested in marketing and the customer experience; however, departmental silos often keep collaboration at bay, which ultimately, hurts your consumer.
Why is this a problem? Different teams often use different sources of data to make decisions, which can cause internal confusion and often give different teams conflicting insights. To avoid this problem, it is important to identify everywhere that data is stored (databases, tools, apps etc.) and better understand how it flows between these different places. To achieve this, different departments and roles need to work more closely with each other, especially your CRM, analytics, business analysis, media, developer, and data teams. For example, the implementation of a new marketing automation tool will not go well if marketing, sales, and IT don't communicate and don't work hand in hand.
Augmenting the Customer Experience with VoC Tools
To humanize the digital experience, you have to know how to listen to your clients. There are many businesses that have started investing in so-called "Voice of the Customer" tools to get a better understanding of their customers' expectations. However, only 33% of marketing specialists surveyed say they use these tools to improve the customer experience, a long way behind A/B tests or personas.
Yes, but what is VoC?
Collecting feedback from users on their experiences, requirements, and expectations is the promise that VoC tools deliver. This behavioral data is a gold mine for companies seeking a more human relationship with their customers.
Several types of feedback can be processed and all of them serve a purpose, such as:
- Explicit, navigation-related feedback collected directly by companies,
- Feedback posted on forums where users can express themselves freely,
- Or customer journey data.
There are so many sources for feedback for you to leverage. Just remember that your customers want to express themselves and it's our duty to listen to them.
The power of "Voice of the Customer"
The power to explain:
Analytics and UX analytics tools provide the first layer of user insight, but customer feedback can explain the specific frustration points that your visitors encounter. For example, a page's bounce rate will alert teams to a potential problem, but customer feedback can explicitly explain why a specific on-page element may have been an obstacle to a purchase.
The power to prevent:
Imagine that a company has set up a satisfaction score. Depending on how the site changes, this score may vary. Feedback will play a crucial role in helping you understand why a customer scored you the way they did. If satisfaction scores decrease, feedback can shed light on the precise reason for this change, empowering your teams to prioritize what they need to do next.
The power to predict:
Your customers are on your side! They will be happy to tell you all their ideas for improving your digital experience, but it’s up to you to take advantage of this and listen. You need to adapt your offerings to meet their expectations and optimize satisfaction levels and conversion rates.
VoC tools can offer many benefits like improving the customer experience, managing risk, and optimizing conversions. So why are companies still not using these tools? Collecting feedback is one thing but, without a defined strategy, these tools can be costly as they require resources to generate quantifiable, actionable insights.
Quantitative vs qualitative: the same goal
In a world where we ask ourselves what (data) but rarely why (research), can we say that we really know our customers' expectations? Marrying the two approaches makes it possible to gain customer knowledge that is both overarching and precise.
Many solutions make it easy to connect these two concepts by integrating the VoC tools' solution with their own. When we can replay a dissatisfied user's session or identify a friction point, we can now quantify a feeling, making it even more explicit and, ultimately, more human.