So the latest business phrase trending at the moment is “customer journeys”. Companies want to know how to create an environment in the organisation that drives outstanding customer experiences throughout their journey with the brand, so they can become “omni-channel” and ultimately - “customer-centric”. Sounds commendable and I salute you!
Conversely, think about this for a sec…. Do your existing or potential customers look at your organisation and think – “I want to buy a pair of sports shoes, but I will only buy from the company that gives me a “moment of engagement” on their digital “touchpoint” being the e-commerce site to promptly follow this up with an SMS to another “touchpoint” (my cellphone) within 30 seconds (in real-time). Nailed it! Now I will conclude my purchase because they are truly being omni-channel just for me!”
More corporate speak, more terms, more channels, more resource……
Sadly, many corporates have convinced themselves that being Omni-Channel is the way to go. So off the boardroom they go - flipcharts, PowerPoint presentations, “pencils and post-it” tools in hand, raring to sketch the customer journey and define the experience.
There is nothing wrong in trying, but please be aware of some these pitfalls:
- Most companies assume all customers are on the same journey
- Most companies think that the journey is static
- Most also think about the channels customers will engage with (an app, or webpage or in-store display- sometimes being described as “moments”), then apply the elusive customer journey experience from an organisational point of view
- Inconsistencies in terminologies and definitions between departments
The reality is that customers are people, and people like to discover, research, discuss, buy and advocate for products and services where and when they like. So really all you have to do is eliminate the customer pain by cutting away the challenges and leaving only the good stuff. It’s critical to frame the experience in human terms, not just technology. The trick is to uncover the hacks and work-arounds consumers are using & develop the right capabilities to eliminate the pain, give customers the control and anticipate their needs, which shows that you know them – and that you care.
The game is not about enhanced marketing performance. Instead, it is formed by the realisation that smarter marketing and subsequent ROI is based on cues that consumers (existing and potential) themselves provide. The solution is really simple: Be channel agnostic.