Customers are turning to digital touchpoints more frequently than ever—in fact, 87% of customers begin product searches online. But brands are struggling to advance their customer experience (CX) strategies to keep pace.
This has a lot to do with rapid changes in the customer journey. The traditional “top to bottom” funnel of the past is no more. Customers now engage with brands when and how they want without a defined trajectory. And brands without an agile customer experience solution in place—one that measures across physical and digital channels—will have trouble providing a consistent experience at every touchpoint.
To help your brand close the gap on cross-channel customer experiences, follow these 4 steps:
Step 1: Define the customer journey from the customer’s point of view—not your brand’s
Brands often make assumptions about the customer journey vs. defining that journey through actual customer behavior. Remember: It’s the consumers who determine how they’ll interact with your brand and what they expect across channels. That’s why it’s imperative to understand the customer journey through the eyes of the customer.
To do this, map out all your brand’s channels (e.g., in-store, online, click-and-collect, delivery). Then you can leverage experience feedback to determine customer expectations and common themes across those touchpoints.
When your brand has a more clearly defined customer journey in place, you will be better equipped to improve the experience across channels.
Step 2: Establish active + passive listening posts across the customer journey
Many brands are accustomed to looking at observational data and guessing what customers are experiencing. Then they employ changes they think will fix the issue, but don’t know what the customer wants.
Having a healthy mix of active (e.g., intercept surveys, micro surveys, post-engagement) + passive (e.g., feedback buttons, chat) touchpoints in your XM program ensures you’re listening across the customer journey from start to finish.
Additionally, through the use of self-serve capabilities, you can seamlessly control what you ask and when you ask it without technology overhead. Real-time deployment by non-technical resources makes it easier to increase the footprint of feedback channels.
This, in turn, greatly enhances the ability to identify points of friction, increase conversion, and provide seamless experiences across the journey. You’ll also get a holistic view—instead of looking at siloed engagements—which will help you uncover issues faster and close the loop across channels.
Step 3: Leverage experience feedback to uncover actionable insights + drive business outcomes
Customers will drive achievement across your company objectives if you let them—they can tell you what to fix. But simply collecting their feedback isn’t enough. You have to act on those insights in a way that drives meaningful change to your cross-channel efforts.
Brands often need a combination of strategic guidance, managed and professional services, and technology to embed insights into their business, inspire actions that improve CX, and deliver business outcomes.
The problem is, lots of CX vendors talk about insights, but few actually deliver on them—and a technology platform alone will only get you so far.
To really take advantage of true CX insights—the kind that boost loyalty and improve business performance—your team needs trusted CX advisors who have experience in experience management best practices that drive outcomes.
Step 4: Evaluate the cross-channel capabilities of your customer experience provider
As the customer journey continues to evolve and expand, brands must have a comprehensive experience management program in place to keep up. You need to understand what your customer is thinking—and without a way to collect real-time feedback across all touchpoints, you’ll miss those key insights.
Use this checklist to evaluate your CX provider and confirm it’s delivering the level of support you need:
With the customer journey including more digital touchpoints than ever, brands need a solid strategy in place. For more information on how to demystify the customer journey, visit our digital experience education center.
Chris Bosco | VP + GM, Digital