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Improving customer journeys

Outstanding customer journeys resulting in great customer experiences has become the primary goal for retailers, however, many struggle to turn insights into action. Based on the experience of managing 2 billion customer journeys every year, Qmatic has created a strategy survival guide to create successful customer journeys, an excerpt of which is covered here.

“There is no doubt that customer experience is the key to valuable and lasting relations. But many are still struggling when it comes to turning customer experience strategies into action. That is why we have created an easy to use survival guide for any retailer to help them connect people to its services,” says Vanessa Walmsley, managing director at Qmatic UK. Based on the experience of 2 billion yearly customer interactions, connecting people to services, Qmatic has defined the seven most important factors in enabling great customer journeys and experiences:

# 1: Make it a priority.

Connect business strategy and experience strategy and put it on the top of the agenda and it will drive growth and profitability. Appoint a dedicated CXO for your organisation who places customer experience at the centre for day to day operations as well as strategic decisions.

# 2: Connect the experience.

Many organisations make significant investments in their online presence as well as their physical presence. But recent research conducted by Qmatic found 70 per cent of retailers see customers frequently using online channels to feed decisions instore - retailers must align the online experience with the in-store environment to create a seamless, frictionless journey.

# 3: Be a time saver.

Bad or substandard practices in customer journey management leads to negative experiences and astonishing time wasting. British people reportedly spend six months of their life queueing; however, a well-managed customer journey can cut this time significantly, and provide significant financial benefits for the organisation, including reducing ‘abandoned carts’.

# 4: Use your data.

There is widespread awareness that Big Data and the ability to extract valuable insights from it is one of the most important abilities for any successful organisation. Be sure to integrate the ability to collect and define the data in your system for customer journey management and it can generate significant value for the business.

# 5: An edge in the chase for talent.

Happier customers makes for happier employees and builds your valuable employer brand. Be sure to involve, engage, educate and empower your employees in the customer journey process.

# 6: A simple process.

Improve the customer journey with three simple steps:

Step 1 map and define the optimal process to deliver the best possible result based on the needs of the organisation.

Step 2 deliver the optimal solution to reach the specified targets.

Step 3 drive business development and ROI through data storage and analytics enabled in step 1 and 2.

# 7: Choose the right tools.

Going from insight and vision to action in day-to-day operations requires a careful selection of the right technology. To be effective, the tech tools need to handle a variety of aspects of the customer experience spanning from CRM, employee engagement and interaction with customers to data analytics. Retailers must be sure to choose solutions that integrate seamlessly to create actionable interactions and data insights.

“Retailers that gather actionable insights and carry out simple processes will be able to create seamless customer experiences that save time, regardless of the services you deliver to the world,” added Walmsley.

This article appears in the September/October 2017 issue of Direct Commerce Magazine.