Today I want to talk to you a little bit about customer journey and the importance of good customer experience.
In addition, I will also talk about how important it is for your business to incorporate customer experience seamlessly. I am really focusing on product-based businesses, ecommerce stores and brick-and-mortar stores when it comes to customer experience.
The past few months, I have bought a few things online (well more than a few…. but anyway, let’s not get into that). Recently, I’m also starting to go into stores a little more, and the importance of good customer experience has really hit home.
Every touchpoint that a customer has with your brand is crucial. It has to be aligned, personal and considered.
The customer journey starts from the first experience or exposure they have and ends with that last piece of communication you have with them (and really starts all over again).
You should be able to map out every instance touchpoint customer is exposed to your brand and or store and see if they match up.
The journey or map is visual representation of what is looks like and the customer experience (or CX you may see it referred as) is how that customer actually feels with that interaction.
See a great example of the many layers of the Customer Journey from Bright Vessel here.
What is good customer experience? It starts with the first impressions
An example of a customer journey would be when a customer comes across your brand on social media, or from someone recommending it via word-of-mouth. Maybe an influencer is wearing it.
They might find your Instagram, look at your past posts, stories, or maybe your reels. Everything on there is part of the customer journey.
Here are some more questions to help you build a seamless customer journey on your socials:
- Do they then click on your bio links to go to your website? It is very important that your very first step aligns.
- Do the colours, fonts, copy align and match up to your social media channels? It should all look similar and have a similar aesthetic. This is how you build a strong and cohesive brand!
- Lastly, does your pop up have the same language and feel as your page?
- Are you consistent in your brand values?
The information and content you share your socials should also match what you have to offer on your website.
I get so frustrated when I see something on Instagram, then click through to a website but have no idea where to find the item a brand has shown on their socials.
On top of that, their website is hard to navigate, and there is also no link for me to share on the most recent posts.
Emails are crucial to following through in your customer journey
Do you ensure there is consistency in the way you send out your welcome emails?
Or your welcome sequence (If you don’t have one of these, please tell me! I think we’ll need a podcast on this topic!!)
Emails you send customers should stay aligned to your brand, colours, fonts, and the language you use. The style of photography. Even the filters you use can be important depending upon your brand.
Make sure you keep this similar to the rest of your writing (or I will refer to it as your copy).
If someone actually orders from you, do you send thank you or order confirmations?
Is it neutral and automated or have you given it the personality of your brand?
Moving forward on the customer journey: what happens if they have now placed an order?
What information do you follow up with? Do you send tracking info and other emails?
The more informed and automated these emails can be the better the customer experience as they have information and are informed and they won’t come back to you with questions along the way.
I hate it when I place an order and then hear nothing for a week!! I just want to know it is coming or delayed or being processed. Something!!!!
Product Delivery And The Unboxing Experience
Now let’s talk about the actual delivery of their parcel. The unboxing. The opening of mail.
How special do you make it? Do you add layers of excitement or surprise and delight your customers?
Are they elated when they open a parcel or flat?– like oh ok, great! I got my delivery? Not “oooh what’s in here. How cool is that packaging.”
Do you send a little note or a handwritten card? A postcard with a cute image they can keep? Or do you add layers of fun and anticipation?
I love the way Rachel Castle sends her packages. She includes a cute postcard, wraps with care and colour and a handwritten note. It does not have to be expensive. Can I stress that. It should on brand and appropriate to what you are selling but not expensive.
And it should align to your values. Is sustainability an important value to you then make sure your packaging reflects that.
One of my clients, Stump and Co uses a gorgeous recycled wrap for her candles and ties it with a string and a piece of lavender. This reflects who she is perfectly and is in alignment with her brand values. It also shows acre and consideration in the delivery. That after someone has given you the money, they still want to impress you and keep you as a customer.
Check out the video here!!
More Examples Of Good Customer Experience
Another brand I have recently discovered is journ beauty.
They have the most beautiful packaging and layers of a handwritten note and dried rose petals within the parcel. You can even select you do not want them when you place your order. It is considerate, thoughtful and memorable. And people will talk about!!
I have a huge list of the most gorgeous packaging options and unboxing imagery on my Pinterest page if you want to check out more examples.
Now, I just want to mention also that I am also not advocate for heaps of packaging that is full of plastic, or paper etc. This is definitely something every product brand should be looking into.
Using biodegradable bags, reduced excess wrapping but what I am talking about does not have to be wasteful either. Things that may be used for multi purposes.
The bedlinen company Kip and co years ago introduced a bag made from the same pattern to deliver their products in, as opposed to using individual plastic-wrapped parcels. This bag could be used over and over again and I have seen so many people use them in a variety of ways (I even spotted dolls curtains from it a while ago). I reused some of mine for making face masks recently.
So, I have covered a part of the journey and how important it is to be aligned and track all the touchpoints a customer has with your brand up to delivery. Before I move onto actual bricks and mortar stores, let’s talk about follow up emails to customers after purchase.
Product Returns and Reviews Are Crucial To A Seamless Customer Experience
How easy do you make returns, or at least share your policy on it. How easy is it for customers to get in touch with your customer service email if they need it?
Do you follow up with an automate email 2-3 weeks after delivery just to see how they are going? Depending upon product ask if they had any questions or even could they write a review for you. Stay in touch and don’t forget about them!!!
If you ask for imagery and photos of the whole unboxing experience, you can then repost those images.
User generated content (UGC) is gold in marketing as it shows someone else’s take on the product, as well as how much they love it, or how they use it in their home.
Encouraging it is vital to the success of your product business!!
Brick-and-Mortar Product Business Customer Experience
Next, I am going to talk about bricks and mortar product businesses. Hopefully I won’t go on a rant here but I can tell you it does drive me crazy when the customer experience is not thought out or considered.
First of all, again it should match your digital presence (socials and online) and your physical store. The colours, signage and imagery should be similar.
I should be able to connect the two easily.
- Do you have different logos on your home page or socials but then a different sign /logo on your shop front?
- When someone walks into your store how do they feel? Do they feel welcome? Does it have any atmosphere? Is it vibrant, flat, calming, or full of energy?
- How do the staff greet customers?
- Is there a scent or music what is the ambience?
When I walk into a store and there is no music and the staff look like they are about to fall asleep I certainly do not want to stay in there long!!
I overheard a staff member talking to a customer yesterday, and she was saying that you can’t use the online gift voucher in-store.
Seriously? You have to figure that stuff out. It should not be a different system or experience. Omni-channel retail means consistency and seamless transitions between the different areas.
I went into another store and I had to ask the girl working there about 8 times the price of items. Nothing was marked!! It drove me crazy and I ended up leaving. Do not make it hard for your customers to buy things. That is just crazy approach.
I love this example of some gorgeous pricing for jewellery I spotted in Kitte store in Melbourne.
You might like:
- Top 5 Visual Merchandising Tips To Increase Sales In Your Retail Stores
- 5 Essentials For Product Business Success
Make sure your signage and counter matches your store look and feel. Next, ensure your changing rooms are well looked after and the lighting is good.
Be sure to also align the way purchases are wrapped with all of your online orders. They should be cohesive and consistent.
I used to use my own wrapping paper at Christmas (which I offered as a free download too) and also used either bright pink builders’ twine from Bunnings or I once found a huge pile of silver ribbon from an eco-recycle place which made the best shiny silver ribbon. I still have some today from 5 years ago!!!
Dos your bag have the logo or branding on it. Such a wasted opportunity of it doesn’t. Again, they do not need to be expensive but it is worth the expense if you want to showcase your name post purchase.
Good Customer Service Makes Or Breaks Your Customer Journey
One of the last things I will talk about here today is your customer service team. Whether they are in charge of digital customer services, such as replying to customers complaints or enquiries or in-store.
You need to make sure your customer service team are trained to reflect your brand values. Ensure that your team welcomes customers and that they are well informed about your brand.
Make sure that your team knows about the brands they sell, and that they are keen to chat to customers and build relationships. You will also want them to be excited to reflect the values of the store, and showcase your wares.
Of course, it will be best for your team to want to get involved in building a bigger and stronger business.
It is so important, as they are one of the most visible points of the whole customer journey and experience.
If your current team is not up to standard, you can either invest in training them or move them on. The impact they can have on customer retention and lifetime value is too important to be slack about it.
Final Takeaway: Good Customer Experience Comes From Treating Each Step Of The Journey Seriously
Now, I really hope this helps you think about what you need to be doing in your business, and how you can map out the customer journey. Consider the touch points with customers, and how you can improve on any part of the customer journey, as well as where you might have gaps right now.
All this comes back to the fact that sometimes, it is not about just getting new customers.
In fact, looking after those you already have by making the experience they have with your brand a much more rewarding and pleasurable one should be your priority.
Making your customers feel special, turning them into raving customers and brand ambassadors for you because they can’t help but tell someone else about the experience they had – that is the key to scaling your product business successfully.
That is how you grow a business and develop long term loyal customers.
If you want to hear more make sure you listen to the latest podcast episode here.
Ready to scale your product business beyond 6-figures? Check out my 1-on-1 coaching options here. You can also check out all of my courses here for product business owners who are looking to scale and grow their business!