Customer Journey - Optimization Process.
In the 2 years prior to working together, my client had successfully built a financial app and launched a new, secure, innovative online saving platform unique for the Belgian market.
The goal of their online solution was to get closer to the customer, to transform the company digitally and to focus more on customer experience.
To achieve this, they built a new digital ecosystem & customer journey involving external expertise and resources.
CHAPTER 1 -
The customer had already gone through quite a ride before they knocked on my door. From a technical-functional perspective, most of the hurdles had been taken, and the business unit as such was fully equipped in terms of resources and competences.
The first users had adopted the platform and the app. The basic steps had been taken to create awareness, traffic to the website was systematically increasing and some visitors also converted and eventually became customers.
What was missing when I got onboard, however, was insight in how the different parts of their "user-generating machine" related to each other and what the entire customer journey looked like from cradle-to-grave standpoint.
Without that knowledge, my client was yet unable to determine exactly which part of their customer journey needed the most attention, which digital channels and assets needed prioritisation, and what steps the agile team needed to focus on next.
High level objective: build a highly performing customer journey for all target groups.
Otherwise said, the concrete deliverables were:
- Lead a multidisciplinary project team of passionate marketers, product owners. copywriters, designers and webmasters.
- Map the needs of the customer and the competition.
- Create a digital marketing strategy, including implementation and follow-up.
- Analyse online customer behaviour with the purpose of achieving the intended sales result.
- Draw up and execute an action plan within the requested deadlines and with an eye for quality and budget.
Consultant at Optimize For Happiness
As Customer Journey Performance Lead, I was responsible for mapping the existing customer journey, analysing and defining recommendations to improve its performance.
This included the full digital spectrum, ranging from paid online media, social ads, blog posts, lead forms, emails, landing pages, check-out pages and so on.
The aim was to identify the objective of each individual touchpoint and how each fulfilled its function in the whole.
I mapped and visualised all digital assets, tools and channels that had been created or developed from A to Z, assessed KPI's and results, and studied why they were achieved or why not.
Thanks to a customer-centric approach I could easily spot crucial pain points, both from a customer as well as from a business perspective - pain points who were then translated into a selection of priorities.
After approval of the recommendations, the priorities were translated into a tangible action plan that clearly stated which team member would take on which role, what the deliverables were and when they needed to deliver.
Lead the implementation
Finally, the client received a flawless supervision, follow up and execution of the action plan.
CHAPTER 2 - THE APPROACH
Analysis, strategy and roll out
For the analysis, I did a first impression exercise and scanned roughly throughout all assets, channels and tools. Was everything clear? Could I easily find my way across the channels? Was the content concrete and recognisable for the target group?
What is the structure like? Are the foundations well built according to a strategy? Do we offer the right elements for cold traffic as well as for traffic with purchase intent? How do we identify what kind of traffic lands on the website? Was there a sales and marketing alignment strategy in place?
From a cx standpoint
Has the digital ecosystem been built with the needs of the users in mind? Does it bring value? How are the touch points ensuring a valuable experience and avoid information that's too much, not relevant or out of context?
From a performance standpoint
Are the right elements present to make the journey performant? Does the data confirm the conclusions from the empirical analysis? What about reach vs traffic vs leads? Is lead generation in proportion to traffic and reach? Are these ratios right or are we getting a lot of traffic to the web pages and then dropping it again?
CHAPTER 3 - WHAT HAPPENED
One of the issues we found was that the digital ecosystem counted too many, pointless or illogical CTA's. As a result the user was being distracted from his/her goal and they didn't have enough guidance to find their way through the system. Often, there had been a focus on getting details right, while it's really the bigger picture that has to make sense. The journey has to feel like one congruent and logical story bringing the right value for the user exactly when they need it.
Another problem was a flat structure and the absence of a macro and micro AIDA-communication structure (AWARENESS/INTEREST/DESIRE/ACTION). I may be going too much into details here, but basically, if the user is not yet aware of his problem, you can't offer them content related to your specific offer, and expect them to convert. If you do, most will drop out, most will not understand why they're suddenly being "sold" to and find little value in their experience, too little to back when they're ready...
Finally, most touch points were lacking a clear objective and were not built according to the stages of the buyer's journey. So it's quite unrealistic to think your customer journey will turn around positive if your ecosystem is not created with that in mind.
On top of that, the funnel was missing crucial strategic steps to be performant. In the end, this led to heavy pressure on the sales and acquisition processes and not enough attention to building the relationship with the user. Which in turn caused excessive ad spent.
Since the marketing and sales funnel was not returning on investment, the team went overdrive on continuously creating new assets, tools, tapping into new audiences... and so on.
Which, in turn, only made the customer journey less and less manageable.
The metaphor I use to describe this common mistake is this one:
"Trying to accelerate your engine when you first have to fill up with fuel".
I applied The Customer Factory & Job-To-Be-Done principles to build a system for the client to profitably drive users through the pipeline and produce more customers. First categorising all touch points according to the customer's production flow allowed us to see exactly which targets we were reaching in: Awareness, Acquisition, Lead Generation, Lead Nurturing, Conversion and Sales. Then the new set customer-centric KPI's exposed we needed to focus on 4 priorities, which the team and I all tackled in a period of 3 months: blog restructuring, website restructuring, opt-in & lead magnet creation and a renewed advertising and remarketing strategy.
Learn more about my approach
Book an intro call and find out if I could help you overcome your customer journey performance challenges.