Start-ups often make the mistake of achieving revenue as the main target. It’s not actually! Rather, you should aim to attract new clients and continuously work to make them come back to you because this is what leads to revenue and eventually growth. It is also a fact that the basic rules of customer journey and experience remains unchanged, however there are certain things start-ups needs to be extra careful before they jump into finalizing technology for customer experience.

If you look back historically, business has been successful only on three major aspects: Price, Quality and Customer Intimacy. Hence it’s not a new thing to say that customer success is key. However, technology has played a major role in changing how we interact with our customers, and that’s simply because the amount of time any user spends over any digital touch-point such as smartphone, tablet, laptop and even your smart TV is massive and this brings a huge potential for technology vendors like Liferay to invest in cutting edge Web Content Management System, Personalization and Content Analytics that revolves around various Omni-channel touch-points. Let’s spend some time to understand the fundamentals around a consumer buying cycle and what and where technology is important.

Customer Journey Cycle:
Before we understand what enhances a customer journey, let’s brush up our knowledge about it. Typically, customer journey starts when he or she first interacts with your company and brand. It’s a wholesome picture including every bits and pieces of a transaction or experience and it documents the full experience of being a customer. And the most common customer journey cycle in any industry would involve three steps:

Research:
When a customer does not know what and where he wants to buy/transact, usually a vendor try to attract customers via various ways and means such as:
● Search Engine Optimization using Hyper Personalised Content Auto Tagging (making sure every image and document which is available in the system gets auto tagged with most relevant keyword) so that it appears in the search of the right user at the right time.
● One customer comes to the site, same personalization feature can start serving them most relevant content at the home screen and even if there are any personalized offers and plan. Personalization post customer lands to your site can be achieved via web campaigning tools like audience targeting etc.
● In order to make sure that customer does the right thing on the site and to provide a more engaging experience to the customer companies implement a ‘Chabot’ which should get well integrated with a knowledge management system and multiple other subsystems to bring the best of its potential.

Transact:
Most of the marketing experts only worry about bringing the leads to the system but a large portion of lead conversion also depends upon giving a seamless experience to the customers during the transaction and post transaction. Some of the important aspects which help making this possible are as follows:

● A detailed comparison of products and services along with user feedback and instant answers to the queries. Most companies have attempted this for tangible products like (electronics, clothes etc), but very few have attempted this in service and intangible products like (insurance policy, loan, legal, accounting consulting, travel packages etc).

● A huge amount of content analytics is required to enhance the buying experience of a customer during the transaction phase such as, ensure the ‘order form’ is asking just the right amount of information needed. Also, if the flow of that information is correct or not, etc.

Businesses should avoid asking details which they think they should not be using in immediate transaction.

Service & Re-engaged:
“Most analysts believes that it takes 7 times more money to acquire a new customer compared to retaining & upselling an existing customer”
Above statement puts huge amount of responsibilities on our shoulders as technology vendors to provide the right set of tools which can help businesses achieve customer retainership. Some of the classic use case:

● Self Service and Engaging Customer portals, which allows customers to perform most of the things ranging from checking & buying warranty or warranty add-ons, booking a service appointment, new product purchases, add-on product purchases, exchanges, returns, view of purchase history and archives etc.

● A better customer intimacy always results in retained customers and growing revenue. Businesses can also run loyalty program via customer/ self service portal and offer various personalised services and also gain control on Unified view on Customer Journey and encourage customers using digital products and services in the interest of time and money for others.

What customers want?
A crucial factor in deciding a customer journey for any organization is “value”. This single element may take a role in deciding a customer whether to take your product/service and come back for the second time. Successful start-ups should know exactly what the value proposition of their products and services that would attract target customers and should not keep changing that for one of deals or short terms benefits.

Eg. Imagine what would happen if a low cost airline suddenly attempts to be a full service airline under the same brand name. Do you think the same old customers will accept it and will be willing to pay premium against better services? This example also resembles with example of luxury hotel chain suddenly jumps into budget hotel segment under the same brand name, either customer’s expectations will miss match or hotel management will end-up providing the same set of services at both the hotel in order to maintain the brand name and face value either case it’s a bad business decision. Hence, it’s very important to identify the key offerings and its target buyer and should stick to the plan for a good amount of time to make it work.

An article by Dhiraj Khare – Alliance Manager, Global Partners, Liferay India.

Dhiraj Khare - Alliance Manager, Global Partners, Liferay India

Dhiraj Khare – Alliance Manager, Global Partners, Liferay India

About Author:
Dhiraj Khare Heads the Global System Integrator business in APAC for Liferay Inc – a leading open source based Digital Experience Platform Company.

Dhiraj is a Computer Science graduate and a IIM Bangalore alumnus with more than a decade of experience in & around various Digital Platforms & Open Source Technologies. Dhiraj has worked in various roles over the past several years, including Sales & Alliances, General Management, Advisor to Digital and Open Source Forums & Start-ups, Customer Advocacy, Product Management etc.

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