According to Gartner, when deciding where to shop, 64% of people consider the quality of the customer experience more important than price.
But how do you ensure that your company gives customers a good experience? Is it always the same experience, or does it change? Does the customer experience depend on the person in charge?
In this blog, we will talk about Customer Experience (CX) and the importance of defining the processes that affect the shopping experience.
- Customer Experience
- Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service Processes
- Why define business processes
What is Customer Experience?
Customer Experience (CX) includes all customer experiences with a company or brand, taking into account the points of contact that exist before, during, and after the purchase. These experiences can be positive or negative, depending on factors such as product, service, and technology, but it is essential to highlight the process's simplicity, effectiveness, and efficiency.
To read more about CX, you can visit the blog Importance of customer experience design (CX).
Customer Journey: marketing, sales, and customer service
When talking about customer experience, it is essential to consider the Customer Journey. This tool seeks to portray the buying process of each Buyer Persona (ideal customer), their initial need, objectives, motivations, frustrations, and the step-by-step process they follow until they purchase a product/service that solves the initial problem. This process, visualized in a Customer Journey Map, should allow marketing, sales, and customer service teams to identify the moments in which the customer interacts with these departments and the efforts needed to create positive experiences.
The customer, of course, does not see their buying process as three different processes (marketing, sales, and service) but as one. Therefore, it is crucial to synchronize the efforts of the three departments and correctly define their processes.
That is when the customer discovers that they have a problem or need to solve, starts a search on the Internet to learn about the issue or possible solutions, and finds different websites, blogs, and publications on social networks that provide knowledge and options; the company is carrying out its marketing process with advertising campaigns, content creation, and strategies aimed at its Buyer Personas.
On the other hand, when the customer finds several options and starts contacting to solve their doubts, either through a chat on the website, WhatsApp, social networks, a call, or email, the one who will answer the queries will be a sales executive, starting the respective process. The sales process may involve the exchange of information and negotiation with the customer, sending a quotation, and any other action necessary to make the customer decide to purchase.
Once the customer has purchased the product or service that solves their need, they would expect to have the possibility of contacting the company in case of problems or new concerns, which for the company means having a process of claims, warranties, and customer service.
Why define processes
Both B2B and B2C customers are looking for a comprehensive, fast, and customized buying process with positive experiences. This implies synchronization and harmony between customer-facing and internal processes, starting from the customer journey analysis and the definition of activities carried out by marketing, sales, and customer service to create an effective and efficient buying process.
In addition, efficiency will always be a key pillar for the success of processes. Today's market is highly competitive, so companies need to eliminate or reduce activities that do not add value.
To do so, it is necessary to review and correctly define the following:
- Customer Process
Defining the Customer Journey is vital to analyzing and planning the internal strategy. With this map, it is possible to identify the buyer persona's needs, motivations, frustrations, and other relevant factors to align customer expectations with the company's experiences.
- Internal processes
Once the customer process is understood, it is time to define the company's processes. With the help of a diagram, such as the Service Blueprint, you can use the flow of activities described in the Customer Journey to propose the actions to be carried out by the company at each stage, both at the operational level and the systems and technology required.
In addition, it is ideal to diagram using a SIPOC or flowchart the respective marketing, sales, and customer service processes. Not only how it is currently done (As-Is), but the improved version (To-Be), without unproductive tasks, with defined checkpoints, alerts, and indicators, with established business rules, and ideally, with automation.
This process definition will ensure alignment between the Customer Journey and internal activities, as well as the standardization that will allow the customer a quality experience every time. Of course, the people in charge of the processes must follow them; otherwise, the experience will change depending on who is executing the actions.
A quality experience does not happen magically; it must be analyzed, planned, and designed. Therefore, it is essential to correctly define the business and customer processes so that they are executed accurately, giving the customer consistent experiences.