The rapidly changing technological landscape is causing “digital disruption” and has changed the habits of buyers – compelling companies to adapt and shift the way we all do business.
Studies show that up to 60% of a buyer’s decision-making journey occurs online, which means that how you interact with prospects before a human encounter takes place will significantly impact your probability of success.
In the midst of this change and uncertainty, emerging technologies are creating significant business opportunities for those companies willing to take advantage of them. Businesses can now support and shape their customer’s journeys in new and exciting ways – ultimately leading to a competitive advantage for those organizations that figure out how to do it best.
In the traditional customer journey, the prospect considers and evaluates options from various product or service providers before making a purchasing decision. With new technologies and the processes they enable, it’s possible to eliminate competitors from this typical buying cycle.
How is that possible? It starts with delivering outstanding value from the moment the prospect finds you, and creating an optimal “brand experience” throughout the entire buying process.These are four key capabilities companies must master to maximize their own “customer journey” experiences:
1. Automation: Automation takes a potentially complex process and turns it into a simple and engaging experience for the customer.
2. Proactive Personalization: We must gather personalization data and use it to make the customer journey as effortless and natural to the prospective customer as possible. Technology allows us to track customer behaviours across channels, and then tailor our next interactions accordingly.
3. Contextual Interaction: Technology also helps us convey the right message to our prospects and customers at the right time based on where they are in their unique customer journey, as well as provide them with a logical path to the next step in the buying process.
4. Journey Innovation: Through an in-depth understanding of your prospect’s decision-making needs and interactions, you can constantly refine and adapt your support for their buying journey.
Done well, these capabilities will set your company up as the obvious choice for prospective customers, offering them a seamless, frictionless, personalized buying experience. The goal is to eliminate the need for them to evaluate anyone else.
When your company offers this unique, value-based experience to prospective customers, and your competitors do not, prospects will be more inclined to do business with you. Today, it’s not just about the quality of your products or services, but rather the customer’s experience with your brand and how well you support them through their customer journey.
For more details on customer journey innovation, I encourage you to read HBR’s excellent article “Competing on Customer Journeys”.