Customer journey data is worthless… IF you don’t use it.
I had you upset there for a minute, I hope. Many companies are now able to track the websites, visits, length of time, and online whereabouts of shoppers and deliver this data right into your CRM (or, gulp, to another tool). This type of information can be extremely valuable, but far too few end users understand how to leverage it. So I’ll say it again in a different way. Don’t pay money for customer journey data unless you have the people and know-how to craft better experiences with it.
Here are 4 ways customer journey data can be valuable:
1. Improves the customer experience
Just having the data does nothing for you. Not unless you are able to review their path to website or lead submission and alter your communication and in-store experience to be less redundant by recognizing what steps they’ve taken in advance. Moreover, if you can mention or leverage their off-site tools of choice and work it into your in-store experience, this builds credibility with your process.
2. Understand their needs and subtext
There is a common phrase used in retail sales, “buyers are liars”. I find this false. They rarely lie to you, but they will withhold information. Some is for their safety, and some because they don’t feel it is relevant. Understanding what different vehicles to consider because of other cars they’ve searched for and viewed, as well as how much time they spend on financing pages and trade tools, all help you deliver more targeted messaging. Understanding a customer is not just about listening to what they say, but also hearing the subtext underneath their words and putting alternative scenarios/vehicles they might not have said anything about otherwise into play.
3. Build relationships
We all agree that the more insight you have on a customer, the better you’re going to be at building rapport. Information regarding the customer journey is ideal if you can extrapolate out the data and create real-world personas to identify how to best serve them. (I won’t even get into the marketing play from customer journey data with personas – as that is a much more detailed blog). From their length of time on different pages, to the automotive-specific sites they engage with in advance of becoming an opportunity in your CRM, all play a profound role in getting to know how to be an advocate and friend to your customers.
4. Answer questions before they’re asked
Customers have questions, yet they don’t always come right out and ask them. The path that a customer takes, and the time spent across different channels and pages, are all indicators that a prospect has questions. Yet many don’t ask those questions. They simply complete a form field submission on a website, click a call to action, or call the store. They know they have questions, but don’t always share them with you. Using this customer journey data allows you to answer the questions they haven’t even considered asking. When you and your team can excel at this crucial step, you become an authority in their eyes. They trust you’re a solution provider and prefer to do business with you, the person who is looking out for them.
Is it worth paying for customer journey info pushed into your CRM? Maybe. Maybe not. That is entirely up to you and your team. Ask yourself this…
Do you train your team on how to read and understand this information?
Does the vendor provide it to you in an easily consumable way?
Is your team cognizant of the multiple channels that shoppers explore before arriving in their CRM and what different personas seek?
If you can answer yes to these questions, then the more insight you can get on each unique customer’s journey the better. It’s even worth paying for. If you answer no to any of these, you aren’t ready for this type of information yet. It wouldn’t be worth having. It’s just useless clutter IF you don’t use it correctly.