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DESIGN THE BEST CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE FOR YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS


So how do you design the best customer experience that will keep your target audience engaged, that will capture their attention and retain them but turn them into ambassadors of your brand? That is what we are going to discuss today. We are going to discuss the Value mapping of the customer experience cycle.


We are going to discuss the 6 stages of this cycle and the key touchpoints found on every stage as a way to help you decide on the kind of processes you will have to put in place to make it happen; look at this as a marriage between the customer journey map and the buyer cycle.


This is a way to streamline both your internal and external processes in your efforts to serve your target customer. It is also a great way to design your sales funnel. Your external elements include customer touchpoints and your internal elements include your processes, systems and performance indicators.


Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself at this stage:


· Where are your prospects on their journey, how do they find you and vice versa. Define the touch-points, points of interaction with your brand.

· What systems and processes do you need to put in place in order to serve them?

· How much time do they spend interacting with your brand?

· What metrics are put in place to measure progress and performance?

· What are their incentives in each stage for choosing you over the competition?

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According to recent statistics done by Microsoft, the average attention span of a consumer is about 8 seconds, which is the time that you have to grasp their attention online. This is where we set the stage, this is a break or make moment, it is your responsibility to make sure that every step of the way, you engage with prospects and gain their trust. This is why it is so crucial to map out the value that you are providing throughout their interactions with you.


I touched on this subject a lot in my past videos, this is the age of the consumer and not only are people woke but they buy into experiences more than they buy products. They want to know the story behind the brand and its overall purpose and how that fits into their own lives. The point is to create benefits for each step with the only purpose of pushing them to the next step.


Here are some of the main points that we are going to discuss:

1. The importance of value mapping in the customer experience design

2. The 6 Stages in the customer experience cycle and key touchpoints

3. I am going to run through the workbook that I have designed for your use, as a way to give you a head start in your value mapping design.


SO WHY IS VALUE MAPPING IMPORTANT?

· It is important to map out the journey of your target audience and showcase your value proposition at each stage, and cater to the customer needs by mapping out the touchpoints and the need that you are addressing every step the way:


· Have an understanding of how customers interact with your brand through analytics, engaging content and customer insights.


· Assess if the level of satisfaction of the customers were met as per design; does your unique selling proposition match the reality of the consumers. Are you really addressing the said touchpoints?


· Your unique selling proposition: What does your store uniquely offer that the competition doesn’t? This will also help you set priorities on what touchpoints need improvement in your future planning.


STAGES OF THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE CYCLE


AWARENESS: this is the discovery stage, your prospects usually find you through your social media pages, organic search, a PR material, word of mouth, referrals and paid ads (Google or Facebook).


CONSIDERATION: they need decide to go a step further, click on your ad or visit you’re your website, your online store, about page, product listings and so on. This is a very important stage, you need to make sure that you have engaging and convincing content and that your online store is easy to navigate and pages don’t take forever to load, remember people don’t have time to wait up.


Your product listing should include detailed copy and visualization elements that will keep your potential customer engaged and informed. Depending on the industry you are in, you might consider creating value-rich, vetted content to reassure your audience. Shopping for a pair of shoes is a lot less consequential than buying food supplements for example. People are very careful about what they put inside their bodies so you might want to educate them more on the subject and invite industry experts’ opinions. Have a call to action on every page. Invite them to join forums or your newsletter to keep them informed.

EVALUATION: at this point, the consumers are satisfied with the information and the quality of your content, you might now want to include social proof- reviews and testimonials that legitimize your offering but also FAQs pages, a dedicated customer representative that should answer any queries related to your product listing or your company. Terms and conditions should be clearly stipulated.


PURCHASE: conversion has happened, you want to make sure that the shopping experience is seamless and straightforward. The checkout process should be smooth and all costs should specify prior to payment, you should use secure online payment platforms to reassure the customer of the safety of information.


Your online store should also be tablet and mobile responsive, as most online purchases are now done through mobile devices. The post-purchase process should be equally smooth, the customer should immediately be thanked and notified by the billing & invoice department.


If it so happens that you get abandoned carts, you should send a kind email enquiring on the reason and encourage them to continue shopping through a let’s say 10% discount and if you still don’t hear back from them, this might be a good time to request feedback, you might need to make a few adjustments and improve on your shopping experience.


And if the occurrence persists that you might want to rethink the whole shopping experience. In case of physical products, you also need to stay in touch and inform them on the shipment status and offer them a tracking number, a reliable shipping company comes in handy in this stage, delay in shipping are some of the most complained about issues in e-commerce.


EXPERIENCE: This is your opportunity to wow your client, by nicely packaged goods and services by guiding them on how to use your product, by making sure that the client not only repeats their order but they become your ambassadors. You also have to be ready for complaints in case it goes sour.


ADVOCACY/LOYALTY: reward your customers by holding special promos for them, offering discounts and incentives for referrals. You should be acquainted with some of their buying habits so that when they return to your site they are welcomed and rewarded. Create engaging content that will be easy for them to share and ask them to take pictures of your products and share them on social media. This is also a great time to ask for feedback and testimonials.


I have designed a workbook for your use as a way to give you a head start into your customer experience design, and help you map out the kind of value you want to bring every step of the way. So the first page includes you defining the experience: so what kind of experience are you creating? The value and the expected outcome.


So you first start by defining the experience, the main input, what is your main input here and what is the expected outcome? What do you hope they will gain from interacting with you? And the main input is obviously what you are bringing to the table.

Then we go into the customer experience cycle, here we start with awareness as I have spoken about it before then consideration then evaluation then purchase then experience then advocacy or loyalty.


So the first thing that you want to do is to define your touchpoints, your processes and your metrics, I have already spoken about that, here are just a few quick questions that you can answer as you go along: it is about the touchpoints, it is about the journey, it is about the systems, it is about the metrics, it is about your processes and so on.


This is where your work starts, at each and every stage you want to talk about the touchpoints and the processes and the metrics, initially as you know the touchpoints are external they concern your customer and the processes and metrics are internal they concern your business. Each step of the way, what exactly are the touchpoints and what are the processes and metrics? How do they find you? What processes are you going the use and the metric that is attached to the touchpoint? This should give you a head start, then you can add any notes that you have. The workbook is both printable and fillable so you can use it to the best of your ability.


Remember that this process is rather complex because you are dealing with people while you might have the best intentions, systems, and teams in place, there is a lot of work to do and things to learn. Having a proper customer onboarding system is invaluable for your brand, you want each benefit to be assigned to the right stage and you certainly do not want to rush the customer from one stage to the next or even skips a bunch of stages.


I see this a lot with infopreneurs who send you at least 10 consecutive sales emails after you downloaded a lead magnet or sign-up for their newsletter or worse send you target ads simply because you browse their website. This doesn’t give the prospect enough time to get acquainted with your brand and unless they really need what you are selling, this could be a huge turn off for them. So please be mindful of how you interact with your prospect. One stage informs the next.


It is about creating valuable and enriching experiences that will turn a total stranger into an ambassador, you might want to be patient pace yourself and let the prospect get acquainted with your offering. This is about understanding consumer behavior and purchasing habits and streamlining the whole customer experience cycle to ensure that no stones are left unturned. Keep in mind that this process is iterative and that continual monitoring and evaluation are required to guarantee customer satisfaction.


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