Thinking like the customer: the value in mapping the customer journey

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CRMData-driven marketing is all about how marketers can harness data and analytics to create a more customer-centric, fact-based approach to customer engagement. This, combined with quality execution leads to better customer experiences and improved customer equity.

However when looking at customer-brand interactions in silos such as in the call centre and separately online, we don’t gain an accurate view of their lifecycle – we need to be able to look at the entire customer lifecycle and every touch point it involves across all channels including call centres, in-store and online.

Now, it’s easy to say all of this in theory, however when it comes to actually implementing and or obtaining data on all these touch points – especially when you have thousands, if not millions of customers – the process becomes somewhat complex. It’s no wonder that some marketers struggle to get a holistic view of how they should be engaging with their customers.

This is where customer intelligence comes into play.

Data plays a huge role in mapping out the customer journey, which is one of the key enablers for understanding individual preferences and motivations to create that feeling of appreciation and recognition. Not only does this build long term value into the conversation, it ensures consistency in messaging across sales and services efforts.

It’s important to ask ourselves, as professional marketers, how we could go about our job differently in an attempt to further enhance our perception and knowledge of customer lifecycles.

It is now widely accepted that customer centricity is a priority in the boardroom. Recognising that customers are the most important asset to any organisation is crucial, and many have come to this conclusion through practice. However, the challenge is determining how to develop this holistic relationship with individual customers. If marketing is unable to gain this understanding, they will struggle to position themselves strategically in the boardroom.

So, how do you avoid the struggle and embed customer centricity in the company’s DNA?

Think of how you approach personal interactions and relationships – when and how did you last speak with that person? What was the context? Was it on the phone, email or in person? Was it a defining moment for them, and if so was it positive or negative? All of these are valid questions that can, and should be considered when creating a mutually valuable interaction with another individual, whether it be personal or with a customer. Customer intelligence helps accomplish this. It allows you to scale that understanding into a holistic communication program across multiple channels, ultimately enabling you to take advantage of those ‘defining moments’ and make tailored offers or decisions that are relevant and timely to that individual.

The relationship you form with a customer needs to reflect and or be the same as the interpersonal relationships you have formed in your own life. So, things like common interests, past conversations, preferences – all that jazz – it has to be accessible and utilised in order to build a long term relationship with that particular customer. Customer intelligence does exactly that – provides readily available information that can be used at one’s own discretion, to specifically target that personas needs.

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Daniel Aunvig

Daniel Aunvig is Head of Customer Intelligence for SAS Institute Australia & New Zealand

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