As an entrepreneur the concept of scaling your business is like hitting the lottery. Except the chances of scaling is much more probable with perseverance and hard work. Two key concepts entrepreneurs must master in order to scale is understanding customer personas and knowing their customer journey. I have worked with Fortune 500 companies to increase their engagement by simply taking a more in depth look at their audience personas. Through identifying customer segments and targeted messaging we were able to increase email engagement, click through rate (CTR) and offer redemption. The net result was a 200% increase in overall engagement.
By understanding these concepts small business and entrepreneurs can create scalable business models that generate similar results.
What are customer personas?
Customer personas are detailed “semi-fictional” descriptions of your ideal customer and your existing customers. Your personas should include demographic, psychographic and lifestyle information, as well as key insights such as motivators, behavior trends, etc. This information can be used by aggregating existing customer data and/or market research.
What is customer journey?
Customer journey is the collection of the critical touch points that characterize a customer's
interaction with a product and/or brand. The touch points combine to create the overall customer experience, which in turn becomes brand identity.
Why must businesses understand customer journey in order to grow at scale?
If you haven’t noticed, the internet has completely changed the marketing and advertising game. The use of data and technological advances will continue to change how marketers engage prospects and customers. According to the Fourth Annual State of Marketing by Salesforce, “52% of consumers are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t make an effort to personalize communications to them.” Did you catch that?... Your customers will actually discontinue their relationship with your brand/company/product if you don’t adapt and create a strategy that shows you know who they are. This means that your marketing touch points should be optimized to provide the right messaging at the right time to customers no matter how and when they interact with your brand. The good thing is that customers are acknowledging the trade-off required, according to Salesforce customers are more comfortable exchanging their data if it means they will get a better experience.
How do businesses understand their customer journey?
Once customer personas have been developed, a good place to start is developing a customer journey map. I personally love whiteboards and sticky notes (because I’m a nerd), but there are other ways to go about creating a customer journey map. Really all you need is a pen and paper and key internal stakeholders/team members. To begin:
Identify and document every customer touchpoint
Define the purpose of each touch point
Document the current customer experience at each touch point - this is where team members that interact with customers on a day to day basis will be a huge asset
Determine the desired customer experience at each touch point
Once you’ve created your customer journey map, it’s important to really understand the experiences your customers are having with your brand. Do a thorough analysis to define the gap between where the company is and where you want to be. At that point you can begin to develop a plan to enhance interactions at each touch point, to drive prospects through the purchase funnel, to create customer loyalty and to increase sales and revenue.
What strategies should entrepreneurs and small business implement to maximize knowledge of their customer journey?
Think outside the box.
Abandon traditional marketing roles by creating roles that align with your customer journey strategy. The best way to connect with a customer is to meet them where they are. You can do this by creating roles specifically responsible for achieving this goal at each critical touch point.
Build cross functional processes and automation to support customer journey. Use technology to automate processes and communication between departments. Heavy tech adopters are 14 times more likely to be high performers than companies that rely on manual processes, according to Salesforce research.
Personalization is impossible without tracking customer data and using it to be there for them at the right moment. Data allows brands to track their customer interactions across multiple devices. Marketers who use their data to manage their customer journey will enhance satisfaction and increase revenue.
If you enjoyed what you read, or gleaned some insight/value, please share.