It's all about customer journey and more news

Thanks for dropping in on Friday Five, let’s round up some of the top customer service stories of the past week:

Are You A Customer Journey Leader or Follower?

On Business 2 Community, Eric Holtzclaw asks if you’re a customer journey leader or a follower?

“Automated hypertargeting,” he writes, “might be a foot in the door, but it’s not a conversation. Customers are moving targets, and a marketing plan should take into account the scope of the customer journey – beyond the single slice of life that earned them a targeted ad.”

Targeted ads remind customers of something they used to be looking for. What’s the next thing they would be looking for that they haven’t bought yet?

Holtzclaw recommends what he calls  “preference management… the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication” to stay ahead of what your customers want next.


(Sign up for the upcoming live webinar "Actionable Gamification" and how you can add performance leaderboards, achievement badges, or points to your day-to-day contact center life and support employee engagement, onboarding and retention.)


Success With Customer Journey Mapping.

CustomerThink has a good article about how to get a customer journey map that actually helps you understand the experience your customers actually have:

  • Define clear goals. What are your goals for the map? Articulate them and write them down. Yes they can evolve as the project does, but they need to be there first. Do you want to close gaps in customer knowledge? Learn something specific? What about the map would motivate stakeholders?
  • Identify and engage stakeholders and partners. What people in your organization are responsible for the touch points you identify? Have them help build the map, and validate it.
  • Educate stakeholders on mapping essentials. Show people how maps are made and the benefits they bring. Explain what a “customer-centric” map is and how it’s different from process flow or a service map.
  • Align with stakeholders. They’ll have different priorities. Anticipate them and show how they’re met in the map.
  • Create urgency and ownership. Give stakeholders places to contribute but keep time demands to a minimum, and keep everybody informed as you go.


Counting Shoppers Who Don’t Buy? Yes.

Do you count the shoppers who drop by but don’t buy? You should.

Tim Denison, Director, Retail Intelligence, Ipsos Retail Performance, gives five reasons, operational and strategic, why you should.

Operationally, then:

  • It improves staff scheduling. Daily sales don’t show daily shopper volume. Footfall data helps you improve your resource allocation to give shoppers a better experience.
  • You do better setting targets and incentivizing staff. Turn sales targets into conversion targets, focusing on the percentage of shoppers who end up purchasing. Staff with superior knowledge and skills will be motivated to do better.

And strategically:

  • Store portfolio analysis. “Lack of visible presence downtown can negatively impact digital sales. Out of sight means out of mind.”
  • Marketing efficacy. All marketing campaigns should be measurable by store traffic, by quantifying footfall data.
  • Testing new store concepts: “Footfall and conversion rate changes from test bed stores, compared against data from control stores, is helping retailers make better informed strategic moves.”


Walmart: Happier Employees = Happier Customers.

File this under “old dog learns new tricks.” According to Fortune, over the past year and a half, Walmart has been investing heavily in improving employee satisfaction through wage increases, bonuses, employee incentive programs and more training, specifically as a means of improving “lagging customer scores.”

Is it working? After spending billions of dollars on raising wages, “Walmart executives told U.S. employees this week that customer service scores on whether its stores are ‘clean, fast and friendly’ have risen for 79 weeks straight.”

Walmart sales are increasing as a result, and Walmart U.S. COO Judith McKenna attributes the improvement in great part to “the tiny, noticeable things that should be in our DNA. Giving away a smile costs nothing.”

And happy employees will give away plenty of them. Want satisfied customers? Satisfy your employees.


Why Context Matters.

PerformanceIN reminds us that in addition to customer journey mapping, real-time context is key.

Customer journey mapping is “useful,” PIN says, and can “help brands understand what people expect at different touch points,” but “it doesn’t tell the full story of the consumer.”

Many customers don’t follow linear progressions, but interact with brands in “micro-moments” on their phones while waiting in line for coffee, say.  

It’s the process of automatically figuring out “the most appropriate content for each user based on his or her unique context,” using marketing technology beyond ad targeting.

“Perpetually connected customers enjoy and expect personalized communication,” PIN notes, “and they’re willing to trade their information in order to get it. With the rise of real-time contextual marketing, retailers and brands can finally use these clues to give customers better and more customized retail experiences.”

Hope you have a great weekend!



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