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How Designing the Perfect Buying Journey Can Boost Sales
CloudCherry | Featured | April 28, 2017
Are you really offering your customers the best possible buying journey? And do you know why you should be – you know, besides the fact that everyone and their grandmother is telling you it’s what you should be doing?
In a nutshell, offering your customers the perfect buying journey (or as close to perfect as you can get it to perfect) leads to more sales, higher revenues, and lower costs. The real question is how does this happen. Understanding the how will help you in the journey design process, so let’s take a look at how the “how” happens.
It’s easy to get lost among all the buzzwords that seem to be flying left, right and center, especially in marketing. When we talk of the buying journey, we’re referring to how the customer gets from point A to point B, where point A is their first contact with your company and point B refers to their final interaction with your business necessary to finalize a transaction.
Now, if you are dealing with a repeat customer, point A could be that customer visiting your website again or showing up in your physical store to select another product and hopefully make another purchase. Point B isn’t the point when they’ve handed their money over to you. If it is, you might want to take a closer look at your after-sales process because you need to make customers feel special at every point in their journey with your company, and that means stoking the fires of your relationship with them to keep it alive and kicking.
Notice that everything we’ve mentioned forms an experience – the customer experience. So, in essence, by working to improve the buying journey, you’re improving the customer experience, and the result will be the slew of benefits associated with a delightful customer experience.
As we’ve already mentioned, creating the perfect buying journey – or customer experience – will result in higher revenues and lower costs. Below you will find all the benefits of improving the buying journey that all translate into those better revenues and reduced costs.
A 2014 report by McKinsey discovered that a business that is focused on achieving the maximum level of customer satisfaction throughout the buying journey can increase customer satisfaction levels by as much as 20%. In other words, to maximize customer satisfaction, you have to ensure the entire journey is delightful, across all touchpoints.
The benefits of improved customer satisfaction include a higher level of repeat business and a greater likelihood of engendering customer loyalty.
Interestingly enough, most customers no longer think in terms of loyalty to a brand. They have so many alternatives and it’s so easy and cheap to switch to another business that loyalty really is a thing of the past. From a certain point of view.
A customer will not be loyal to your company because you have better prices or because your product is a billion times better than the competition. There’s a good chance they can find a product of the exact same quality from ten other companies.
They will be loyal to your business and become repeat customers, however, if you offer them an outstanding experience that none of your competitors are offering. The experience is what will differentiate you from the competition, and, if done right by exceeding customers’ expectations consistently, you will find that customer loyalty is alive and kicking.
Of course, the more loyal customers you have, the higher your revenues will grow and the more your costs will shrink. After all, loyal customers have a higher lifetime value, spend more per transaction and cost you much less than first-time customers.
Reduces Customer Churn
A 2008 global customer satisfaction report from Accenture found that the poor quality of customer service was the main reason for customer churn rather than price. And you can believe that in an economy where experience trumps everything else, even mediocre quality customer service is enough to get customers to jump ship and swim their way over to the competition.
By working to improve the buying journey, you will be able to identify the areas where you might need to do better to ensure you are offing the delightful experience that will set you apart from the competition, while engendering customer loyalty, generating repeat business and increasing the number of customer advocates. And the result of all this will directly translate into higher profits.
Nowadays, the customer experience is pretty much the only sustainable differentiator that will generate a competitive advantage for your business. You could try setting yourself apart by offering the lowest prices, but this simply isn’t sustainable in the long term.
So, instead of your customers comparing your products and/or services to your competition solely based on price, they will also take into account the customer experience. It’s a known fact that customers are willing to pay more for a product or service if the experience is outstanding, which means that you can charge more than the competition, sell more and see higher profits by ensuring the buying journey exceeds all your customers’ expectations.
By designing the perfect buying journey, you are, in essence, creating an outstanding customer experience that will offer you a competitive advantage, improve customer satisfaction, engender customer loyalty, generate repeat business, improve customer acquisition rates through advocacy, and reduce customer churn. And all this translates into better sales, higher revenues and lower costs.
So, if you’re looking for the perfect investment, then look at your buying journey and the resulting customer experience because it’s the one place where you can be sure your marketing dollars will pay off effectively.