Think back to the last AMAZING brand experience you had. That wasn’t an accident. Someone or some team carefully crafted that experience from start to finish, and they did good enough work that it impacted you. Now think back to a HORRIBLE brand experience you had. Someone or some team haphazardly (if at all) “crafted” that experience – with a lack of customer empathy.
Great brand, service or product experiences don’t just happen. They’re driven by forces ranging from basic intuition to highly tuned, vetted, and researched strategies.
That’s why we’re kicking off a free webinar series called “The Extra Mile: Step Up Your Customer Journey.” Watch for online registration, coming soon!
Come join me and Andrew Richburg, our EVP of Marketing, for the most comprehensive and entertaining customer journey webinar you’re bound to encounter. It all starts Tuesday, September 16. From origins and best practices to research, execution and implementation, we have lots of experience (and even more opinions) to share. (Think “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee,” but without coffee. The cars. Or the professional-grade comedy.)
Planning, fielding, collecting, analyzing, and creating customer journeys are really the core of why I love marketing research. Why are those journeys so important?
Reason #1: Mass Scaling & Consistency
Great brand experiences have been around long before our current technology and methods. But now we can use science, technologies, principles and strategies to mass-produce them. They make it easier to craft, lean, and scale these naturally occurring experiences. Just as Disney found a way to build an experience around imagination and create (and monetize) memories on a massive scale, other companies are using “experience” to define, create value, and differentiate their brands. Again, creating great experiences is not impossible without a prescribed methodology. But using proper tools and guidelines enable a company can do it consistently – and on a much bigger scale.
Reason #2: Higher Competition & Expectations
We’ve reached a point where creating and elevating customer experience is no longer a unique feature of most brands. In entire industries, it’s just the ticket to entry. Take something as simple as packaging. Unpacking a new iPhone used to be one of the highlights of my purchase. Now great packaging is expected and what I used to consider “normal” seems lazy, and other brands in other industries are catching on.
Reason #3: Making People the Equation
Many companies create a product or service, then figure out how to sell it. The customer as an individual (not just a purchaser) becomes an afterthought. We tend to treat our customers like buyers first, people second. The exercise of customer journey mapping reverses that equation and assumes that your customers are people (novel, right?). And it serves as a foundation and roadmap for the innovation required to meet their needs.
That being said, having a “customer journey” won’t do much of anything by itself. It won’t meet customer needs, it doesn’t flip a switch to turn your company into a customer-centric culture or magically change the way your customers feel about you. It’s a tool – and it’s only worthwhile if you turn it into insights and action.
Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll dig into the benefits and limitations of creating a customer journey map. We’ll also have weekly blogs leading up to the webinar, so if you have any questions or comments, please reply right here. I’d love to hear from you!