Your customer data platform is the oracle when it comes to understanding your customers. Providing you’ve pulled in all your available data sources you should have a real insight into what they like.
The more data points you have, the more detailed the picture becomes. As a result, your customer data platform and the single customer view it provides is one of the most important tools you have.
Providing you take full advantage of the insight it provides.
Building your customer journeys starts with your CDP.
However, you need to understand not only the data but what that data can give you. And the options that are present in terms of interacting with your customers.
Your customer data platform can help you to build multi-channel, multi-audience campaigns tailored to specific goals.
All you need to do is put all the pieces together.
What Data do you Need?
The more the better. Your single customer view is entirely dependent on the data sources you plug into your CDP.
The more data it can ingest, the more comprehensive your customer profiles will become. Demographical, location, purchase history, product preferences, average spend and how often all help to create a detailed customer profile.
You should also be able to pull data on how they’ve interacted with your communications in the past. Understanding whether or not your customers engage with your emails is valuable for two reasons. On the hand it’s a good measure of how engaged customers are with your brand. On the other, it’s a measure of how well your emails are performing.
If you use, or want to use, other channels like SMS, web push and app push then you need to ensure you have access to this data too.
Or that your CDP can leverage these communication channels.
Once you have all the data consolidated into a Single Customer View you need to know how to use it to best effect.
This starts with a customer engagement strategy. Every communication you send out needs to be part of a wider plan to nurture your customers.
Whether it’s part of a customer churn campaign or activity to reduce abandoned baskets, it needs to have an objective.
By defining those objectives early on you’ll not only know what data you need but it’ll be much easier to plan your customer journeys too.
A crucial part of the data gathering process is segmentation. You will find that your audience will fall into a lot of different buckets. Gender, number of dependents, garment size, preferred clothing styles.
By segmenting your audience you can tailor communications for maximum relevance. You can apply rules to ensure the right messages reach the right customers.
For example, a customer who has bought childrens’ toys doesn’t necessarily have children. You can create a rule that only sends related content if their purchase history for those products crosses a threshold.
Taking the time to segment your audience takes a lot of the hard work out of your customer journeys. Not least because you know exactly who you’re talking to and therefore what is relevant to them.
Identify Customer Behaviour
There are two sides to customer behaviour. The first is how your customers behave now and how you want them to behave.
Leverage your analytics to examine how your customers interact with your website. You need to understand where your customers enter your site, what products they view and so on.
It’s also important to examine where your customers exit your site as this can help you to identify any issues with the user experience or checkout process. You need to address any challenges with your website before you do anything otherwise your customer journeys won’t convert.
Pay particular attention to the checkout process. If it’s too complicated or the load time is slow, many of your customers will just assume it’s broken.
Customer expectations have never been higher and they will not wait around to give you the benefit of the doubt.
Also, pay attention to shipping costs and any hidden costs like value-added tax (VAT)/sales tax. Not displaying additional charges until the final stage of the checkout process is a great way to lose a customer.
Desired Customer Behaviour
Once you’ve carried out your analysis and made any urgent improvements, you can better determine desired customer behaviour.
Depending on your website and what you sell, the behaviour will be different. The behaviour can also change depending on the time of year, marketing promotions and other offers.
You should already have clearly defined objectives and outcomes for your business. Part of your user experience should be taking customer behaviour into consideration.
Beyond placing an order you should consider the following:
- Upsells – identify ways to increase average order value.
- Cross sells – used purchase history to offer additional products your customer could be interested in.
- Signups – invite customers to sign up to your mailing list.
- Loyalty – increase retention and boost average order value but converting repeat customers to loyal customers.
Breaking out your desired customer behaviours into a series of objectives allows you to work back to create the customer journeys that convert.
Planning Customer Journeys
Once you’ve consolidated your data, segmented it and identified key outcomes and objectives, you can start planning.
To begin with, for each of your customer journeys, you need to define the objective. Understand what you want your customers to do.
As intimated above, this isn’t just about placing an order. Although this is a good starting point.
However, shortening the sales cycle and boosting average order value is the result of lots of other activities. Such as increasing retention and reducing churn.
A good customer data platform will not only give you the insight you need to create customer journeys, but it’ll allow you to build them too.
Customer journeys begin at any point your customers start engaging with you. That includes, emails, a paid ad or your social media page.
Your customer journeys need to take all these different touch points into account.
As a result you should have multiple journeys for the same outcomes.
You also need to factor in the various channels that you can contact your customers. Conditional logic is especially useful in this instance.
For example, if you have an app, you can send a push notification to notify customers your sale has begun. Unless they haven’t downloaded the app, in which case they should receive an email.
Approaching your customer journeys in this way ensures that everyone gets a highly personalised experience. An experience based on their behaviours and preferences.
This is an essential part of the customer journey planning process.
Individual Customer Journeys
Remember, the most effective customer journeys are highly personalised. Therefore your Single Customer View should be taking a lot of the guesswork out of your communications.
Whether it’s an email or an ad, your customers should be presented with an offer or product that they are likely to respond to.
What that product or offer looks like will be different depending on the customer and the campaign.
An abandoned basket email will be tonally different than an email inviting that customer to join the loyalty programme. Equally the offers and products in those emails will be subtly but significantly different.
An abandoned basket email will have lower value items to encourage upsell. Similarly, communications targeted at lapsed customers should contain offers that represent the best value while being relevant. At this stage in the customer’s lifecycle, your relevance to them is low, so asking for a big ticket purchase will kill the relationship all together.
Loyal customers not only spend almost 70% more than a new customer, but they’ll also spend more frequently. As a result product recommendations can reflect a higher purchase consideration threshold.
Again, you can use your customer data platform to impose rules and triggers so customers get the right nudge, and the right content, at the right time.
Your customers’ needs and wants are as varied as they are. Leveraging the first party data you have allows you to meet the personalised experience they want.
Moreover, you can nudge your customers towards the outcomes you want them to achieve. The more your customers interact with your brand the more detailed the Single Customer View becomes. Which allows you to market to your customers more effectively. At which point it becomes a self sustaining, self-fulfilling prophecy.
Get in touch today to book a demo and learn more about how a customer data platform can enhance your customer journeys.
Xtremepush is the world’s leading customer data and engagement data platform. We work with various top brands within the eCommerce industry. Schedule a personalised demo of our platform to learn more about how we can help your brand drive repeat customers and increase revenue.