In mapping a customer journey, it’s important for enterprises in retail banking, telecom and other sectors to consider implementing all the right tools in setting up engagements with its customers. Whether it’s simple lead collection forms, more complicated engagements like those that come with Live Chat and Click-to-Call, or appointments that are booked and coordinated through Online Scheduling, consumers are demanding a variety of engagements that all constitute different entry points for their purchase process.
In establishing the architecture for a customer journey, it is thus critical to understand the function and advantages of these sorts of tools, and how their specific strengths and weaknesses can properly empower clients to take charge of their purchases. For enterprises that pride themselves on customer relationships and continued service, empowering customers to follow their own path to purchase is not only critical to their identity and reputation, but also to their ability to generate the maximum possible amount of consistent revenue out of each client.
Best Practices in Customer Journey Mapping
In any customer journey, simplicity is key. Customers must easily understand what is implied when they start along a path to purchase, wherever they may start. One example of what this means lies in starting a Live Chat with a business through an E-commerce portal. When a customer does this, they are typically required to enter their email. This provides reference and accountability for the conversation they have with a representative while also, more importantly, showing a customer that a business has their contact information and can begin curating a relationship with them.
This may seem like a simple assumption, but while customers are not only coming to expect efficient use of their information, they also celebrate the emails, phone calls, text messages and other communications they receive that tailor offers, deals and services to their exact needs. When their email is first collected through an engagement tool, this signals to them that a business has already thought about their purchase process, and is ready and able to provide even more flexible response whatever journey they may be looking for, either passively or reactively.
Live Chat and Web Forms
Live Chat and Web Forms are defined by the passive way in which they can engage customers. As your customers progress along their purchase and service processes, they need a dynamic set of passive engagements to give them confidence that their issues are being addressed while also adding to a business’s efficiency.
Live Chat is great because it can be incorporated across a web presence, while different Live Chat portals can be included according to the content of a web page. For instance, you wouldn’t want a customer support representative manning a sales, marketing or sign-up page for any of your products or services, and you wouldn’t want a sales associate manning a page that’s dedicated to customer support and client issues. With a Live Chat system that varies the types of engagements your customers can have, as well as the information you collect, you can put appropriate options at every part of a customer’s journey – even after their purchase!
Forms can collect information in much the same way, but what’s even better about a sophisticated Form Builder is that even though your developers may have already implemented a form to passively collect information on a specific web page, your non-technical staff can make quick modification from your customer engagement platform. That means whether your marketers need to modify a lead-collecting landing page, or your customer support team needs more information on the issues and feedback clients have, they can make modifications without taking up dev time, and more rapidly improve their work as a result.
Click-to-Call and Online Scheduling
Tools like Click-to-Call and Online Scheduling are defined by their reactivity, and consumers increasingly value that information along their path-to-purchase, whether they be Ecommerce, retail location or altogether omnichannel engagements.
With Click-to-Call, customers can be assured that they’ll have a business on the phone as soon as it’s available – even receiving a free call right away to ensure that their service and desire for information imposes no additional costs on them. Whether a customer needs quick answers about a locations opening hours, more detailed information about a product or service on hand, or simply wants to hear a human voice and get more assurances about a business, Click-to-Call can be the instant interaction they need wherever they may be in their purchase process.
Online Scheduling, however, forms the gold standard of digital customer engagement, providing intensely customizable variability for every stage of a customer’s journey to-and-from appointments, sales calls and more. 24/7 bookings with real-time availabilities are buffeted by automated confirmations, notifications and reminders through email and SMS, ensuring clients are always aware of everything that’s going on with their bookings. What’s more, each and every stage of this process is customizable, so your clients and staff never get a message they don’t need, while anonymous, automated feedback also means that you can get meaningful customer evaluations of your staff and service performance.
Convenient Points of Access Set Expectations, Put Customers at Ease
Mapping these journeys requires the ability to iterate these tools in context, creating simple processes with as few steps as possible towards a variety of goals. Additionally, the digital nature of customer engagement tools mean that certain tasks and steps are already automated. In the example of Online Scheduling, not only can appointments be routed to the employee and location most convenient for a customer, but real time availabilities for those employees also mean that a business never loses a lead or appointment.
What’s more, simple customer engagement platforms can also be set up so efficiently that once parameters are set, business users don’t even need to log in. With CRM integrations, custom APIs and Zapier, your enterprise also has the ability to synchronize its customer engagement and journey mapping with every other app you can imagine, ensuring that the way you automate your engagements can always evolve with your business!