Fulfilling your customer’s needs is key to cultivating a successful business. To achieve this goal, every decision RevOps teams make should focus on the customer experience, using feedback from sales, marketing, and CX to ensure a positive journey.
But where do you begin when it comes to building a better customer journey? Read on to find out how RevOps teams can turn prospects into loyal fans by building a journey that places the customer at the heart of it.
What is a customer journey?
Think of your customer journey like a lifecycle that moves prospects through stages designed to help them go from the first encounter to devoted fan of your product. To better understand what a customer lifecycle entails, let’s look at its five stages:
Stage 1: Reach
Reach boils down to the question, “how can we create awareness of our product with new prospects?” The goal at this stage is to help prospects understand what you offer and how it solves their pain points.
Stage 2: Acquisition
Acquisition is all about creating a link between the prospect and your product. If you’re gearing up for a product-led strategy, this is where your product features become the focal point of all go-to-market initiatives. You demonstrate the value you can bring to potential customers through free trial downloads which then convert to paid subscriptions, or conversations with your sales team and demos. To accelerate your success in this stage, personalized contact is needed to tailor the messaging around your product and how it benefits your prospect to ensure it’s resonating with them.
Stage 3: Conversion
Conversion is when your prospect becomes a customer. You achieve this once you prove to the customer you understand their needs, provide enough value to justify cost, and show you are the superior option over your competitors.
Stage 4: Retention
Retention is an important part of the journey. Now, they’re a customer, and you want them to remain one. Use this time to gauge their feelings about the product and address any issues they encounter. If you tackle those concerns early on, you’ll have most of the year to correct concerns. Popular strategies to keep the line of communication open are: cadences of personalized emails, NPS surveys, effective support follow-up and CSAT scoring, consistent product, and customer marketing communications.
Stage 5: Loyalty
Loyal customers can make or break a business, and you want yours to continue using your product for years to come. Once they decide to dive in and use your product, they are much more likely to refer you to their friends and network, helping grow your reach to even more prospects.
How RevOps teams can build a better customer journey
There are three pillars RevOps teams can look to as you build your customer journey: people, processes, and systems. Together these prop up your organization and allow it to succeed.
- People. This includes your marketing, sales, and CX teams that guide your customer through the journey. As you plan the journey, identify the key skills your go-to-market teams need to effectively help leads travel through the lifecycle stages.
- Processes. Take time to think about the processes you need to turn your prospects into happy, loyal customers. Look at what steps need to be completed within your organization to achieve this goal. Once those steps are mapped out, align your sales, marketing, and CX teams to each process.
- Systems. This pillar is about looking at the tools you need to implement your processes. By constantly evaluating and improving your systems, you can have a positive impact on your customers’ experience and address any concerns along the way.
Create a positive customer experience across every stage
Align your team
Proper alignment between your marketing, sales, and CX teams is key to a better customer journey. It’s up to RevOps to bridge the gap between these often siloed teams to achieve successful cross-functional teamwork. By serving as the connector between each go-to-market team, RevOps can drive amazing customer experiences.
Collaborate with your customers
One of the biggest obstacles RevOps teams face when building a customer journey is understanding a customer’s time is finite and therefore valuable. Overcome this pitfall by collaborating early on and understanding what form of communication a customer prefers. For some, a call every 90 days is all they need. While others might want to chat with you once a month. Pinpoint your customers’ needs and time constraints at the start to build a strong relationship.
Stay in the loop on your customers’ needs
Stay tuned in with your customers, so you can easily overcome obstacles they encounter with your product. By helping your customer success team collect feedback, you gain valuable insights you can use to help customers remain loyal.
Equipping yourself with your customers’ feedback helps you cut through the noise and determine the best course of action when they experience problems. On the flip side, you can also show appreciation to customers who give positive feedback. If they feel valued by you, they’re more likely to see your product as a necessity.
When should you update your customer journey?
You might find yourself asking, “when should I update my customer journey?” I’m inclined to say often, but that’s a vague answer. So instead, spend time periodically taking a look at how your three pillars–people, processes, and systems–are holding up, and use the data you collect along the way to serve as a guide.
Once you understand how your customer journey is performing, you can determine whether your messaging is resonating with prospects and customers or if it’s time to make some changes.
At Sonar, we look at our customer journey every quarter as we update our product to ensure our messaging still resonates and aligns with RevOps teams’ needs.
Some companies don’t change their business offerings as often so updating your customer journey once or twice a year might be the perfect timeline for you. This is where collaboration with your customer comes back into play, as their feedback helps you know if they’re having a positive experience or if it’s time to make some adjustments.
And, if you’re new to your role, this is the perfect time for you to evaluate your customers’ experience and how you can impact it. Take a look at your customer journey during your first 90 days to find opportunities for improvements.
Get into your customers’ mindset
When I think of a positive customer journey, I believe knowing the who, when, where, and why to reach out to someone is what leads to the most success. Getting into the customers’ mindset allows RevOps teams to understand possible pain points and how to address them.
A positive customer journey will continue to evolve
So you’ve followed your customers’ path from prospects to loyal lovers of your product. What’s next?
The customer journey never ends. It evolves. RevOps is here to guide that evolution by nurturing relationships and serving as partners with customers. By gathering feedback as your product changes, you can continue to build a strong, long-lasting relationship with your customers.
The customer lifecycle is just that, a cycle. As opportunities arise, it’s natural to find yourself back at the beginning to change how you reach, acquire, convert, and retain. By investing the time into optimizing each of these phases, you can reach even greater levels of loyalty.
Brad Smith is the CEO & Co-founder of Sonar and Co-founder of WizOps. With over 10 years of ops experience, Brad is passionate about helping ops teams solve problems by using technology. Brad and his wife Bryson live in Atlanta, with their four pugs, Frank, Sheeba, Pinto, and Nellie.