Customers have changed the way they research, interact with, and buy from companies. That’s why it’s critical to understand how to reach your customers at the optimal moment, with the right messaging, on the correct channel. With the massive shift to subscription business models, managing customer journeys for retention and renewal is more essential than ever.
A customer journey is the series of interactions relevant for the customer or company to achieve a business outcome. The journey is made up of all the interactions a customer has with your products or services, across all touchpoints and all channels.
In a digital world, optimizing these journeys is essential for managing meaningful, ongoing customer relationships.
The success of a single touchpoint — for example, a sales call or email interaction with customer service — doesn’t guarantee overall customer satisfaction or retention. Customer journeys must take a customer’s full context into consideration (both their historical interactions with your company, and their current stage of the journey.)
Strategic management of end-to-end customer engagement is the only way to move customers on to the next individual best step, at scale. Leading-edge companies approach end-to-end journey management in three key ways: onboarding new customers, targeted cross-sell and upsell, and building models to predict churn, then tailoring journeys to prevent it.
There are four key stages in the customer journey where companies can drastically impact retention and renewal — and thus, revenue.
Customer retention starts at your first interaction with a customer. Successful onboarding ensures that your customer will actually engage with your product or service, and that they’re empowered to find repeatable value.
Once you’ve successfully onboarded a customer, the complex work begins: keeping them engaged, growing their spend with you, and retaining them as a happy customer for as long as possible. Cross-selling customers on other products or services and upselling customers to higher service or subscription tiers are a great starting place.
You may not be tracking all of them, but customers are always giving off signals of their health or likelihood to churn from your product or service. It’s vital to listen for these signals, put them in context of the customer’s full journey, and then take action.
Customer retention starts with onboarding, but it certainly doesn’t stop when a customer churns. Inevitably, some customers will abandon your product or service. But with effective customer journeys for win-back, your relationship doesn’t have to end.
Want to see example journey maps, and take a deep dive into building journeys for onboarding, cross-sell/upsell, churn prevention, and win-back? Read the full whitepaper here