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The customer journey is a framework that spans the experiences, motivations and pain points that custo- mers go through when interacting with a brand across physical and digital touch points. At Sunrise we work with the customer journey in the form of five stages before, during and after a buying experience. This framework can help companies build a deep under- standing of customers and their behaviour through real insights, enabling decision makers to act on them.
should you (in the future) be relevant to – all the way from product to communication?
do you ensure relevance to these customers? What should you continue to do, what should you set in motion, and what are you going to deprioritise or completely phase out? What should you stand for, and how should this be expressed across touchpoints?
should you activate your plan? Which are the key touchpoints and how can you make a difference across these?
should you begin which initiatives? It is essen- tial that you prioritise and schedule the initiatives that should be set in motion so that the customer journey becomes a management tool.
While it may seem unfathomable to know how to start up the customer journey, it doesn’t actually have to be that difficult. In our experience, it takes only three simple steps to get from thought to action, and more importantly – to effect.
Start by uncovering all your hypotheses, myths and gut feelings. Or more precisely: What do you think you know about customers, competitors and the market? And what do you know you don’t know? Most companies already have a lot of knowledge – that is the knowledge you have to use to formulate specific hypotheses. This can be done in a workshop with relevant internal stakeholders across departments or by interviewing key stakeholders. By getting the hypo- theses down on paper, you get a solid basis for further data collection.
Explore the customer journey by putting yourself in the customer’s place. The essence is to gather new knowledge and fill in the ”gaps” that are around the customer’s behaviour, needs and thoughts both be- fore, during and after a buying experience. Order your own material, buy a product, attend a sales meeting, or call unsatisfied customers. And be honest and open about what you think and feel. The data collection can be either qualitative, quantitative or a combination, and it can be scaled up and down according to ambi- tion and budget. Basically, it’s about experiencing how customers meet your business. And more importantly – ask customers how they experience you.
To move from insight to action, it is necessary to identify the different areas of action and opportunities to improve the customer journey. When this is done, you can look at what the improvements will require vs. the value that the improvements will have for both your customers and your company. Based on this assessment, make a prioritised action plan, bearingin mind that no one can do everything. It is important that insights about both your customers and their journey are brought into play across the entire com- pany. Otherwise, you run the risk that working with the customer journey only sets the direction for marketing, and not for the company as a whole.
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