Themed around curiosity, Adapt to Grow recently hosted a panel with experts in data science to dive deep into customer journey. The panel discussed how we can use data differently to better understand our customers and the panelists shared some immensely valuable nuggets of wisdom. Missed it? You can read more about it in our 2-part blog here and here.
To further explore the topic in more depth and get hands-on, we also held a 2-part interactive workshops on Feb 11 and 12, 2021. Here’s a quick recap of what we learned:
- Meg Ugenti, Corporate Director of Sales & Marketing, Focus USA
- Monica H. Kang, Founder & CEO, InnovatorsBox®
- Cameron Musler, Manager of Marketing, Novant Health
- Ajay Gupta, Co-founder & CEO, Stirista
- Khuloud Odeh, Vice President for Technology and Data Science & CIO The Urban Institute
- Pamela Isom, President/CEO, ICE Safety Solutions
What does understanding your customers mean?
When we think of our customers, the basic answer is, people whom we provide products and serve services to. But it is so much more than that! In this workshop, we delved deeper into understanding our customer journey. Understanding our customers is looking at somebody from different angles and perspectives. There is a very fine line between how you look at a customer from a sales lens versus a marketing lens; and the line can blur even more based on our conversation with the customer.
The core objective in mapping a good customer journey is to remove any obstacles or friction and make the process as efficient and intuitive as possible in how they interact with our business. It’s always been very important. However, as the way we think about the customer journey changed radically with COVID, it got even harder and in some parts, it was going back to the basics.
When we’re looking at the customer journey, businesses with very diverse angles and aspects, are all starting to ask a lot of the same questions:
- How do I find new customers in this environment?
- How do I engage with them?
- How do I talk to them?
- How can I better serve them?
- How do I get information back for them to understand how their needs have changed, especially since COVID-19?
That has been across many industries, across corporations, medium to small businesses, entrepreneurs, and start ups. So not only does this further solidify the importance of truly understanding our customer journey in deeper level for us as business owners, entrepreneurs and marketing leaders — but also in building strategies to help our teams stay informed on these same topics.
We all want to reach our customers fast. No doubt speed is important. But among many other things, what was also so meaningful in our conversation at the panel event, was how important was it to actually ask ourselves these foundational questions:
- What does data mean to us?
- How do we currently use data?
- How do we collect the right data?
Do you know how your customers feel and think about your company, products and services?
When it comes to building true and genuine connection with our prospects and customers, empathy plays a big part. And it’s especially true now as we deal with crisis in different levels and forms. So understanding what our customers are feeling, or what they’re looking at before they decide to engage with you and become new customers, is major! Maybe it’s by calling in and checking in on our customers… not for any particular reason other than just to genuinely say ‘we’re thinking of you’, helps you stay top of mind and shows you care. And to have that human connection with your customers during such times is very important and differentiates you from others. Empathy goes a long way.
One of the participants explained that they are dealing with multiple audiences simultaneously but from their data, they know that the social media is making their community feel connected and interconnected.
Another participant shared that as folks are starting to get really tired of a plethora virtual events that are happening around us, they’re trying to come up with new ideas for staying connected in other ways, and through content and social media.
But it’s very important to have a tactical approach and to collect the right data to engage better. When you look at a typical customer journey map from some other companies, you’ll see the stages and maybe you’ll see the steps, and maybe you’ll have the touch points. But what’s generally missing is empathy. Think about the empathy piece behind what you want your customers and your prospects to feel at each stage of your customer journey and how are you going to personalize your messaging and personalize the tactical approach. As you reach each of these customers, or each of these prospects at every touch point along every stage, what pieces of data are you now able to collect?”
The common question when working on customer journey mapping is on the conversion part: “We get a lot of information about our customers in the consideration and engagement stage as they go on our website, subscribe to a list, download content or interact, watch our video, follow us on social media, but it often ends there we can’t get them to the acquisition and onboarding stage. What are we doing wrong?”
My answer is simple: Either they’re not collecting the right data, not asking the right questions when they look at the type of data that they’re collecting back, or they are almost over inundated with too much information.
If people are actively searching you out, they’re doing so for a reason. So it’s important to make sure that you incorporate that element of trust around the data that you are collecting from the very first touch point.
Creating your own customer journey map
One of the participants shared that they were doing a couple of marketing activities over and over, and as small team they could only do so much. Creating their own customer journey map and gaining clarity would be very helpful to focus their efforts on the most effective activities.
Want to do it with us? Join us at the next event!
Getting new customers or connecting with the loyal ones?
On being reminded of this aspect, a participant shared, “I keep focusing my energy on, and then being overwhelmed at, the first part of the journey. And being reminded to think about my most loyal customers during the workshop was like… a million light bulbs went off in my head! Deepen my relationships with the lower hanging fruit who already know me. It changed my whole mindset and now this feels a lot more doable.”
We were humbled by the engagement and responses from the workshop and being able to help our participants create their own customer journey maps so they can understand and better communicate with their customers. As we dived deep into customer journey map, we realized the need of another session on creating marketing mind-map where we can personalize along each tactic. So go ahead and sign up to the next one below!
Join us on our next event
How can you empathize and connect with your online, invisible customer?