01 December 2016

Why your customer journey is crucial to creating a powerful CRM strategy

Tags:CRM, Strategy, CX, Data And Analytics

As a business, you want to provide your customers with what they need – at precisely the time they need it. And your customer-relationship management (CRM) is vital in delivering this tailored customer experience.

However, when you’re working with multiple clients and large stakeholders, it’s easy to lose track of these needs.

Without a strategy in place to manage the copious amounts of data your CRM is collecting, you’re at risk of getting that customer experience wrong.

According to Caroline Maillols, Squiz’s global head of CRM and customer engagement, defining your customer’s journey is fundamental when developing your CRM strategy. “You have to make sure you have a clear understanding of your customer’s life cycle and where they’re at along their journey,” she says.

If you haven’t defined this journey, you can’t expect to understand the requirements of your customers and offer them an experience that caters to them. As a result, you won’t be creating those strong customer relationships that are going to drive lifetime value.

“That’s what CRM is all about – that’s why you’re using it,” says Caroline. “But you need a plan in place – a strategy that will ensure you’re able to understand and meet your customer expectations.”

So, what are the key factors you should be thinking about to ensure you’re putting yourself in a position to provide the best tailored experience for your customers?

1. Analyse your customer data and create segments based on their expectations

The first thing you need to be looking at, according to Caroline, is mapping your customer’s journey and creating segments based on the data you collect: your customer demographics and behavioural insights.

“Look at the demographics of your customers – their ages, genders, where they live – all that factual information you can start collecting,” she says. “Then look at their interactions with your company – for example, what they’re buying or if they’ve enrolled in a course or class.”

These insights will be the basic data points for which you can start creating your customer segmentations. Then, as you collect additional data, you can further refine these segments, potentially discovering ones that you hadn’t thought of initially.

The key is keeping these segments meaningful, says Caroline. “They have to represent enough people in your groups so that you’re going to get a return on your marketing investments – the materials and campaigns targeting these customers.”

Your CRM is vital in collecting the right information to ensure that you have the ability to create these meaningful segments. It’s also important to make sure this data is clean and up-to-date.

“You should be creating meaningful segmentations of your customers so you can understand their needs at the different points in their journey, and have the ability to provide an experience that’s going to fulfil them,” says Caroline.

2. Identify your touchpoints and their owners within your organisation

When you’ve created your customer segments, you’ll naturally begin forming a map of their journey and identifying their touchpoints – any time they come in contact with your brand – along this journey.

Once these touchpoints are established, you can start to examine your customers’ needs and begin developing a plan to offer them a tailored experience that best fulfils them. Plus, because an area of your business owns each touchpoint, you need to ensure that these areas know the experiences they should be providing.

Your CRM is critical in this process. “Thanks to the data you’re gathering in this one system, you’ll be able to deliver these experiences because you’ll be developing a single view of your customer,” says Caroline. This means that at any one touchpoint, you’ll have a full understanding of your customer and their journey. You’ll be able to adjust the experience you’re giving – what you’re saying or doing – to meet your customer’s specific needs at any point in time.

3. Define your KPIs and measure success

Once you’ve identified the stages of your customer’s journey, you can then start defining the key performance indicators (KPIs) to track and monitor your success at each touchpoint along the journey, says Caroline. “Define how you’re going to measure and monitor your touchpoints – if they occurred and whether or not they were successful.”

You can do this only by monitoring your data and identifying the patterns and gaps in your internal processes. You’ll be able to see that you’re failing at specific touchpoints and can work on improving those internal processes.

One way to measure this success is by using voice of the customer (VOC) and net promoter score (NPS) programs to gather insights from customers, measure loyalty, and define whether or not they’ll be promoters of your brand.

If you identify potential issues, you can then begin developing strategies to overcome them, whether that’s working more closely with a specific team or gathering more feedback from clients.

“If you’re not developing and monitoring those KPIs, though, you’re never going to learn from your failures, and you’re going to continue making the same mistakes,” says Caroline.

The key to measuring the success of your KPIs is the quality of the data within your CRM.

A powerful CRM strategy can transform your client interactions

By creating a single view of your customer – segmenting them, mapping their journey, and monitoring that you’re meeting their expectations – you’ll be able to develop a powerful CRM strategy that will enable your organisation to become better equipped to personalise and target future interactions with these clients.

You’ll have clearly defined customer journeys, your projects will run more smoothly, and you’ll see a great return on your marketing investments. As a result, your reputation in the industry will grow as your clients start becoming advocates for your business.

Start understanding your customer journey today so you can develop a CRM strategy that will transform your business.

Learn more about our CRM offerings at Squiz.

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