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Creating a Holistic Customer Success Journey

by Byrne Anderson
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As more and more businesses move online, they also need to make efforts into properly understanding their customers. While using digital tools are great, they do nothing for a business without context into who their customers are. As such, many businesses have begun to integrate a holistic process to outline the steps that a customer undergoes when interacting with them. This process is called the customer success journey, and following it and using it to your advantage can help you optimize each step in the process and improve your customer’s experience. This will, in turn, help you generate more sales and retain more customers.

Because the customer success journey traditionally has used a ‘touch-based’ approach, it has been less holistic. With this approach, businesses only touch base with customers at key stages of interaction, such as when they are reviewing marketing materials or at the point-of-sale. While this may seem like it is promoting an overall superior customer experience, it takes a one-size-fits-all approach, and doesn’t consider the various ways in which a customer may interact with a business.  In fact, with this approach, businesses lump all customers into a singular journey, with the ‘touches’ created arbitrarily by the business itself.

Instead, businesses should create a customer success journey that takes a holistic approach. This means that businesses should view a customer’s journey as unique, and take a look at their business the way their customers do. A customer, of course, does not view their experience with a company as a specific set of seemingly unrelated actions. Instead, they build upon their previous experience with the company in order to set their ideas of what they want from the company going forward. This is a more dynamic approach, and considers the actual customer’s experience as a key part of the decisions being made about them.

Furthermore, customer journeys can be mapped by understanding the range of possibilities of a person’s experience with a business. This can be helpful when trying to train a customer experience team, who need to be trained for a variety of situations that may arise with various customers. If the customer success journey is not planned accordingly, then they will be forced into a linear trap where their efforts can only be used to solve a narrow range of issues. Beyond this, it is also important to qualitatively find the biggest weak points in the customer journey, and the only way to do that is to create a more holistic customer success journey.

Defining your customer journey as something that occurs from your customer’s point of view will help you make more data-based decisions about your customers. This can help to identify key areas where your business may need to update itself, and provide you a level of detail that you would not be able to gather if sticking to a more ‘touch-based’ customer journey map. To do this, you can use a digital tool such a CRM to track prospects and customers at all stages of the customer lifecycle so that you can have a stronger understanding of greater patterns and trends that occur as a result of your efforts.

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