Bee conscious of your Customer Journey…

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To be a successful beekeeper, you must understand the natural instincts of the bee and the organisation of the hive. The activities of beekeepers today are increasingly important as the numbers of truly wild, unmanaged colonies has declined due to pollution and the destruction of habitats in the wild.

The mission of a beekeeper is to help the colony to grow strong and healthy. If successful, the colony will produce more honey that it requires and will be able to harvest the excess.

Ever faster change, greater customer choice and channel proliferation are realities every business faces today. In this still challenging time, developing an Excellent Customer Experience Programme is more crucial than ever; businesses need to focus their attention across multiple touch-points to enable them to build loyalty and maintain margins.

To achieve this, you need to understand your customers’ behaviour, experience and emotions. The Customer Journey is associated primarily with “the physical interactions” (behaviour), contact strategy and reducing customer effort. Whereas, the Customer Experience is a concept that deals primarily with how customers feel with “delighting customers” and creating distinct experiences.

Customer Centric businesses don’t let their customers wander in search of information or help; instead, they provide customer experience excellence. They guide their customers through a carefully planned series of interactions called a customer journey. A customer journey is made up of experiences which are, in turn, comprised of touch points — human, physical, sensory or communication, either in person or virtual — and which are influenced by factors like price, convenience and location.

Adam Richardson, writing on Harvard Business Review’s Blog Network, explains how to use Customer Journey Maps to improve the customer experience. His customer journey timeline looks like this:

 Engage –> Buy –> Use –> Share –> Complete

 Richardson employs the following framework at each stage of the Journey Map:

  • Actions: What does the customer do in the stage and how do they move to the next stage of the Journey Map?
  • Motivations: Why is the customer here? Why would they continue along the Journey Map?
  • Questions: What uncertainties does the customer have that might impede them?
  • Barriers: What structures, costs, or other barriers would prevent them from moving to the next stage of the process?     

Knowing what happens at each stage, as well as answering the questions posed along the way by conducting in-depth customer research, will result in the most complete Customer Journey Map.

So, just like the beekeeper who look after its bees, help them in their daily tasks, and will, in the end, produce more honey. Fully understanding your Customers’ Journey, will help you to continually improve service and develop an unforgettable experience; creating competitive advantage through customer advocacy, and employees’ engagement will inevitably increase your profits!

  • Do you know exactly, what are all the steps your customer usually takes to purchase a product, obtain a service or resolve a technical issue in your business?
  • How can you increase a positive outcome of your customer interactions?
  • Why would your customer recommend you rather than the competition?

Read more on Customer Service in the new Customer 1st Magazine CI

http://issuu.com/customer1st/docs/customer_1st_issue_1_winter_2013

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