Customer journey errors we should all avoid

Rochelle Lowe

Rochelle Lowe

To ensure a great customer experience, marketers must deliver digital experiences that are highly relevant, timely and tailored to their customer needs. In order to do this, there are some common mistakes that businesses do when creating their customer journeys.

Salesforce published this article a couple of months ago and we HAD to share it! You’re welcome.

1. Forgetting to set goals

Don’t underestimate the power of setting a SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) goal to define your path and determine your success.

To set your first goal, define the point you want to reach, then figure out each step of how you will get there, breaking down that goal into manageable, measurable steps you can tick off as you go. A high-level goal will direct the development of your journey and help you focus your efforts, and can be refined as you learn more.

2. Speaking to the wrong audience

Take a tailored approach when thinking about your audience, as the goal of building a customer journey is delivering a 1-to-1 message.

  1. Understand exactly who you are speaking with and where they are in their lifecycle with you.
  2. Decide if you will use a broad audience or a narrow audience to show how participation in the journey will meet your mutual goals and set a solid foundation for the journey itself.
  3. Audit the current customer experience. Be objective and brutally honest — and remember that your customers are human.

Taking the time to understand what matters to your customers and what they want from you is imperative.

3. Missing crucial data points

Dig a little deeper and see if there are any other accessible data points that you can use within the journey to personalise elements. In addition to an email address, look for post code, gender, last purchase date, preferred location and so on. So, how do you go about collecting additional data?

1.Check the data you have today, evaluating its quality, completeness and accessibility. Every data point you access will add value and richness to the journey.

2.Document the data you need. Does it exist but is currently inaccessible, or do you need to start collecting it?

3.Envision the data you want. Dare to dream about the hard-to-access data points so you can personalise every message.


4. Ignoring content opportunities

Audit what content you have available today, plan what you need to create in the short-term, and create a strategy for future content that will delight your audiences. Knowing exactly what you want your customer to do and keeping a focus on calls to action will allow you to be helpful, supportive and resourceful to your customers along their journeys.

5. Limiting communication channels

Instead of messaging your audiences in the channel you want them to be on, identify the channel they are already on and want to communicate with you on at different moments, and engage them there.

Ask yourself: are your customers desk-based and completing a web form? If so, then using email makes sense. However, if they are on the go and seeking brief information quickly, SMS may be appropriate.

Tailoring channel use to both audience preferences and audience actions creates one seamless engagement path for their customers, no matter what channel the customer is on.

6. Running when you’re only ready to walk

Once you understand your goals, audience and strategic content, you will be ready to create a customer journey – but remember not to bite off more than you can chew all at once!

Think of a successful customer journey as having three versions:

  1. Crawl: using what you have available today
  2. Walk: using what you can access with just a little elbow grease
  3. Run: your ‘blue sky’ vision

If you currently have a monthly EDM and limited ability to segment your audiences, your crawl version shouldn’t be a multistep, multichannel drawing that spans five whiteboards. A great starting point could be a single automated touchpoint with two reminders for non-openers.

The best journey mapping mindset allows for testing, learning and iterating while actively servicing your customers.

Effective email is often the core of a great customer journey, but it doesn’t just happen. It takes data-driven decisions as well as a thoughtful touch: a perfect blend of data and emotion.

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