In today’s world, the customer experience is everything. Consumers are more empowered than ever before, and they have high expectations when it comes to the brands they interact with. They expect personalized experiences that are consistent across channels, and they want their interactions with brands to be seamless and hassle-free. This is why it’s critical for businesses to design a customer journey that delivers a positive experience at every stage.
The traditional consumer journey can be broken down into several stages: Awareness, Findability, Reputation, Conversion and Advocacy; although this system could be not that specific, it does represent the scenarios where a consumer matches with a brand. If any of these stages are not well-designed, it can have a significant impact on a brand’s reputation.
According to a study by PwC, 73% of consumers say that a good experience is key in influencing their brand loyalties, and 32% would stop doing business with a brand after just one bad experience. In addition, Temkin Group found that customers who have a positive experience with a company are 3.5 times more likely to make a repeat purchase and 5 times more likely to recommend the company to friends and family.
The Importance of Designing a Positive Consumer Experience
Let’s try to put ourselves in the consumer’s place: you come across a brand for the first time and you’re not quite sure what they stand for or what they’re all about. You see an advertisement that catches your attention, but when you go to their website, you’re greeted with a confusing layout and incomplete information. You leave the website feeling frustrated and confused, wondering if this brand is really worth your time and money.
Now, let’s say you find a brand that really speaks to you and you’re ready to make a purchase. You go to their website, but the checkout process is long and complicated. You start to feel anxious and impatient as you try to navigate through the process, and eventually, you decide to give up and look for another brand that offers a smoother experience.
But let’s say you do make it through the checkout process and your purchase arrives at your doorstep. You eagerly open the package, only to find that the product is damaged or doesn’t meet your expectations. You reach out to the brand’s customer service, but they’re slow to respond and unhelpful. You’re left feeling frustrated and dissatisfied, vowing to never buy from that brand again.
These scenarios illustrate how important it is for brands to design each stage of the consumer journey with care and attention to detail. Every touchpoint with a consumer is an opportunity to create a positive and memorable experience, but it’s also an opportunity to create negative sentiment and damage brand reputation.
By investing in a well-designed consumer journey, brands can increase customer loyalty and create brand advocates. Satisfied customers are more likely to leave positive reviews and recommend the brand to others, which can lead to increased sales and revenue. It’s truly a matter of strategy and planification, and paying attention to the smallest details will make the difference. Actually, if we go from one regular customer service to one specially designed to the target (in terms of visuals, language and even features or content), we won’t only please their needs, we can become one of the “to-go” brands the users trust because they feel comfortable with it.
Leveraging Social Media for Consumer Experience
In today’s world, where consumers have endless options and the power to share their experiences with a global audience, it’s more important than ever for brands to prioritize the consumer journey. It’s not just about making a sale, it’s about creating a relationship with the customer and building a reputation as a brand that cares about their needs and desires.
So, as a marketer, it’s essential to analyze every stage of the consumer journey and ask yourself: Is this the best experience we can provide? What can we do to make it even better? By constantly evaluating and improving the consumer journey, brands can set themselves apart from the competition and create a lasting impression on their customers.
It’s true that the current landscape is quite competitive, therefore only brands that prioritize the customer experience throughout the entire journey are the ones that stand out. Brands that invest in creating a positive experience at every touchpoint can reap significant benefits, including increased customer loyalty, positive word-of-mouth, and a strong brand reputation.
Those that personalise their communications and experiences can create a deeper connection with their customers. This can be as simple as using a customer’s name in an email or as complex as using data to deliver personalized product recommendations.
Delivering a consistent experience across channels and touchpoints can build trust with their customers. This means ensuring that messaging, branding, and interactions are consistent whether a customer is on the website, in-store, or on social media.
The consumer journey is critical to a brand’s reputation. Brands that invest in designing a positive experience at every stage can reap significant benefits, including increased customer loyalty and a strong brand reputation. By prioritizing personalization, consistency, and convenience, brands can create a customer experience that sets them apart from the competition.
Non-Traditional Platforms in the Consumer Journey
The correlation between social media and commerce platforms, along with the different strategies employed on these platforms, can have a significant impact on the success of a consumer’s journey.
Social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, and Pinterest, offer more than just sharing cat videos or vacation photos. They have become vibrant marketplaces where brands can directly connect with their potential customers. Imagine scrolling through your favorite social media platform and coming across a post from a clothing brand. Instead of just showcasing their products, the brand cleverly includes a “Shop Now” button, allowing you to make a purchase right then and there without leaving the app. This integration of social media and commerce platforms makes it incredibly convenient for you to transition from browsing to buying in just a few taps.
Take Twitch, for example, a platform primarily known for live streaming video games. Brands have recognized the opportunity to engage with a passionate and dedicated community of gamers. They sponsor streamers, who act as influencers, by promoting products during their streams. You might see your favorite streamer enthusiastically talking about a gaming keyboard they’re using, and they provide a link where you can purchase it directly. This kind of integration within Twitch creates a seamless experience where you can discover and buy products without disrupting your gaming session.
Pinterest, on the other hand, takes a slightly different approach. It’s a visual discovery platform where users can find and save ideas, ranging from recipes and home decor to fashion and DIY projects. Brands can create engaging content on Pinterest by showcasing their products in beautifully curated boards. When you stumble upon a pin that catches your eye, you can click on it and be directed to the brand’s website to make a purchase. Pinterest leverages the power of inspiration and visual appeal to guide you on a journey from pinning ideas to making actual purchases.
These examples demonstrate how social media and commerce platforms work hand in hand to make the consumer journey more seamless and enjoyable. By integrating commerce functionalities directly into social media platforms, brands can provide a frictionless experience for customers, enabling them to discover, engage with, and purchase products without unnecessary hurdles or disruptions. Additionally, the use of influencer partnerships, user-generated content, and customer reviews adds a layer of trust and authenticity to the purchasing process, making it more appealing and reliable for consumers.