Tracking the customer journey for marketers is one of the most essential ingredients for a rounded campaign. Metrics of where visitors to your website came from or what made that purchase happen have dramatic effects on the future of the way your business operates. Logical, right?
What isn’t logical is the way customer journeys are being tracked. As consumers become more tech savvy, they’re still drawn to one device that goes everywhere with them - their mobile phone. The mobile phone contains the entire internet and users browse, share and search through their mobile device. This year online users are spending more time than ever accessing the Internet via their smartphones than their laptops. Where do you think this is taking us? With mobile devices, potential customers are only one click away from being able to speak to someone so talking to another human still matters.
In fact, the Harris Interactive IM Shopping Poll says that: “77% of online shoppers want live assistance available with their purchases so it’s not surprising that 52% of shoppers re-evaluate or abandon shopping carts because of the lack of live assistance,” an astounding yet reasonable fact that goes against the grain of what you might think.
More importantly, if you really do the math and track how sales are done, it’s likely the customer journey began online but the sale actually happened over the phone. Not only is this the case for small business owners, but also for large brands.
It is easy to assume that because modern consumers are tech savvy, they would prefer not to speak to a person when making a purchase over the internet but that is a false assumption. I personally would rather purchase directly online but there are occasions when I prefer to talk to someone. What is astonishing is just how bad that user experience can be at times. Somehow it is still acceptable to be put on hold and be directed to an automated service where we are told to press 1 to do this, press 2 to do that. At Freespee, we have seen that I’m not alone. In fact, arguing that customers don’t want to talk anymore is like arguing that we are happy to remove 50% of our communication skills as human beings. Businesses need to be careful not to fall into the trap of trying to predict how customers want to complete their purchase online - that is the customer’s decision to make. Instead, businesses should welcome customers that want to talk to them. Therefore it’s crucial businesses ensure the user experience is as powerful as it is online.
When a potential customer is using their mobile, they’re more likely to use the device for two things: browsing and calling - when these combine we’re met with the ideal situation to make a sale. However, if businesses do not invite their mobile audience to easily connect with them for a spoken conversation, it’s unlikely the consumer can trust or feel connected with the brand / merchant / service provider and will go elsewhere.
Our key tips for brand marketers to make sure their campaigns cover all bases are:
i. Connect: Always give the consumer the option to speak to a real person, in real time, they’ll feel more connected with the brand.
ii. Inform: Make sure potential customers are knowledgable about intricate parts of your business, as well as what is the best way to make a purchase or get in touch.
iii. Join the dots: Offline and online must work harmoniously for a smooth journey, otherwise potential customers will become frustrated and take their hard earned cash elsewhere. Track your customers through their entire multi-faceted journey - that’s every incoming traffic stream, clicks and calls alike - and then take that data and make conscious business decisions with it.
By Carl Holmquist, Founder and CEO of Freespee.
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