We’re all familiar with the CDJ but what is a CEJ (customer experience journey)? Effectively, it is a plan to reach, influence, and win consumers by differentiating the customer experience at critical moments along the decision journey.
Why invest in a CEJ? Quite simply, when done well, it drives traffic, loyalty, and brand love. More specifically, customer experience journey work can help to:
- Boost customer satisfaction by understanding which parts of the journey are being done well, which touchpoints are causing attrition, and why.
- Grow revenue by differentiating your brand from competitors at critical moments along the CEJ.
- Discover new opportunities to create a competitive advantage and therefore focus your investments on high potential moments.
- Focus action planning around the critical moments that have the highest impact.
- Align critical functional areas within the organization.
- Increase employee retention.
By understanding all aspects of the CDJ, marketers are better able to identify and design the ideal CEJ that will delight customers and build loyalty. This will subsequently ensure that you reach your target audience and add value by increasing competitive advantage, decreasing attrition, increasing retention, and boosting job satisfaction. Over decades of experience helping some of Canada’s iconic companies grow their brands and innovate to meet evolving business needs, we’ve built a proprietary model to help illustrate the CDJ and how brands can create an optimal CEJ.
For example, when a customer is in the consideration set, how can you inspire and motivate them to choose your brand? The customer experience associated with digital and editorial communications should be considered in terms of the impact of:
- Promotional tactics, e.g., e-blasts, online offers with codes
- Reviews, e.g., whether reviews are shared and whether they’re sourced from professionals or peers
- Educational materials, e.g., magazine stories, newspaper articles, blog posts
Let’s bring this framework to life with an example based on Sephora, a personal care and beauty company. Whether you’ve visited a brick and mortar outlet or their online store, the customer experience journey can be overwhelming due to the plethora of products. Therefore Sephora has implemented a number of innovative tools in different areas of the customer experience journey.
For example, some customers want support making decisions about which products would work best for what they need. Rather than requiring them to try multiple products, Color IQ helps customers quickly identify the set of shades and products that best match their skin. Another tool, Virtual Artist, allows customers to “try on” makeup in the comfort of their own home before purchasing it. This is a convenient way to experience new products and can be a big time saver. These innovations, along with professional makeup artists in store, have vastly improved the customer experience journey. Together these efforts build ‘brand love.’
Amazon, the largest online retailer, is also known for its impressive customer experience journey. For example, their Amazon Prime loyalty program has proven to be a runaway success. But Amazon didn’t stop there and rest on their laurels. They continue to think of and action on ways to make the customer experience journey one that customers want to repeat time and time again. Amazon Go grocery stores assist customers with their purchases by allowing them to walk in and out without ever wasting time in a check-out line. Amazon PrimeAir is a potentially to be launched drone system that will also assist in making purchases more convenient by delivering packages in under 30 minutes. Amazon is leading the way by leveraging innovations to offer the most seamless shopping experiences on the planet.
In addition, mapping the CDJ can help brands to make better decisions in other areas such as which channels drive the best customers or what interaction of channels works well together. This includes considerations about in-store and online options, chatbot messaging and in-person services, mass marketing and micro-influencer programs, as well as flyers and digital communications.
The impact of understanding the customer decision journey and responding to it with delightful customer experiences at every touchpoint cannot be under estimated. By identifying pleasure and pain points, and key moments of truth, brands can grow their business and remain leaders in their industry.