The new customer journey – are you ahead of the game?
The old sales model no longer works. Customers self-educate and research before they buy, rather than seeking advice and intelligence from the vendor’s salesforce.
The relationship with existing customers is changing too; with loyalty and perceived “added value” being based on the experience received at every single customer touch point.
This means that in a successful growth company, sales, marketing, operations, finance and customer service functions and managers, all bear responsibility for delivering effective customer experience and ownership for performance measures on customer growth and retention.
To enable successful customer management at all these touch points requires access to as much customer intelligence as possible. Smart decisions and actions are based on good data. The most natural vehicle for customer intelligence – Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – is evolving as the central ‘hub’ for addressing these new customer journeys.
The following five key questions are being explored by leading businesses to effectively address and deliver improved customer experience:
1. Do you know who are your most profitable customers are?
Do you know who they sell to and who their ideal customers are, is the first step to navigating the new buyer journey. Understanding your most profitable customers is critical to generating new opportunities and higher Return on Investment (ROI).
2. Are you aligned with your customers’ growth potential?
Having a detailed picture of which customers are ripe for expansion will help further focus your resources, such as customer service and support, to better support your longer term profitability and growth plans. Is your product roadmap aligned with these customers’ projected future needs? Are you in a position to offer critical “added value”? This all goes far beyond the basic use of customer data.
3. Do you know how to define your customers’ buying journey?
The traditional “funnel” model has been replaced by the “customer decision journey” – where buyers actively analyse products and services themselves, switching direction at almost any time. Are you playing catch-up with your customers, or are you in a position to influence those buyer decision journeys?
4. Do you know where in your customer buyer journey you are losing prospects?
Have you examined your customer “journey towards defection”? Understanding the different stages will help you recognise the warning signs and be in a position to proactively intercept and prevent customers defection.
5. Do you know your business case for a new approach to CRM?
Do you understand the importance of realigning your business objectives and CRM to the new customer journey? CRM is now a strategic tool that gives the individuals within the business a competitive edge in working as a team to achieving the company’s key goals.
As the buyer journey has transformed, it is important that all parts of the business actively engage in a coordinated way with the customer throughout their journey. Being one step ahead of the customer means you are well positioned to influence them and continue to leverage higher returns while growing your business.
Come and visit us on stand 2194 at The Business Show to find out how we can help you successfully embark on addressing your new customer buying journey.