Startups 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 remain unchanged, however, there are certain things startups need to be extra careful if they want to build their platform for optimised customer experience.

If you look back historically, the 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 touchpoint such as smartphone, tablet, laptop and even your smart TV is massive; this brings a huge potential for technology vendors like Liferay to invest in cutting edge web content management system, personalization and content analytics that revolve around various omnichannel touchpoints.

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 that documents every bit and piece of a transaction or experience as well as the full experience of being a customer. And the most common customer journey cycle in any industry would involve these three steps:

Research

When a customer does not know what and where he wants to buy/transact, usually a vendor will try to attract customers via various ways and means such as:

    1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 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 results of the right user at the right time.
    2. Once a customer comes to the site, the same personalization feature can start serving them most relevant content at the home screen as well as any personalized offers and plans. Personalization once a customer lands on your site can be achieved via web campaigning tools like audience targeting, etcetera.
    3. To ensure the customer does the right thing on the site and to provide a more engaging experience to the customer companies, implement a chatbot that is well integrated with a knowledge management system and multiple other subsystems.

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 providing a seamless experience to the customers during the transaction and post-transaction. Some of the important aspects which help to make this possible are as follows:

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  1. 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, etcetera), but very few have attempted this in service and intangible products like (for example, insurance policy, loan, legal, accounting consulting, travel packages, and more).
  2. A huge amount of content analytics is required to enhance the buying experience of a customer during the transaction phase such as, ensuring the ‘order form’ is asking just the right amount of information needed. Also, if the flow of that information is correct or not.

One thing to keep in mind is that businesses should avoid asking details which they think they would not be using in the immediate transaction process.

Service and re-engaging

Most analysts believe that it takes seven times more money to acquire a new customer compared to retaining and upselling an existing customer.

Therefore technology vendors have a huge responsibility to provide the right set of tools which can help businesses achieve customer retention. Some of the classic use cases include

  1. Self-service and engaging customer portals: these allow customers to search and buy products, book service appointments, request refunds, exchange items, as well as view their purchase history.
  2. A better customer experience always results in recurring customers and growing revenue. Businesses can also run loyalty programmes via the customer self-service portal and offer various personalised services, They can also have full control over the unified view of the customer’s journey and optimise the experience for them.

What do customers want?

A crucial factor in deciding a customer journey for any organization is ‘value’.

This single element plays a key role in deciding whether a customer will take up your product/service and come back for the second time.

Successful startups should know exactly what is the value proposition of their products and services that would attract target customers and should not keep changing that for short terms benefits.

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For example, 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 customers will accept it and will be willing to pay premium against better services? Likewise, if a luxury hotel chain suddenly jumps into budget hotel segment under the same brand name, it will either not meet the customer’s expectations or the hotel management might end up providing the same set of services at both hotel segments in order to maintain the brand name — in either case its 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.

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