The future of marketing is through ‘Word of Mouth‘, and it is a known fact in today’s world, consumers are asking for recommendations for most of the thing that they want to buy. ‘Where is cheap?’ ‘Where to buy?’ ‘Is this product good?’ ‘Can someone recommend a nice restaurant to me?’ ‘Where should I do my hair?’ We see these sort of conversation in Whatsapp groups and Facebook all the time. Customer Experience (CX) infinite loop journey map is the answer.
On the other hand, we are also seeing customers sharing their experiences in Facebook and Whatsapp groups such as; ‘you must check out this restaurant’, ‘I love the melting choc fudge at the restaurant ABC’ etc. Indirectly they are acting as the brand advocate based on their customer experience (CX) with the brand, product and services.
Customers are becoming influencers and advocates within their family and friends. They influence their circle of a network to embrace their customer experience and accept their advocacy. Some will go to the extent of defending their brand because they believe their customer experience with a particular brand is the best.
In today’s digital world, your customers know your product better than you. They are more informed by the digital presence and the 4R; family, friends, Facebook & fans. They can find your business information via their mobile phone. You can’t run away from the fact that 80% of their buying decision is already made even before they make the first contact with your brand. They decide based on the 4R factors; Recommendations, Reference, Referral and Reviews from their 4F; family, friends, Facebook and fans.
Dr Philip Kotler said in his book Marketing 4.0; that businesses are given only 5 seconds to capture their audience, the same time limit that given by Youtube to skip an advertisement. All your investment in marketing worth only 5 seconds for your customers time, but the same customer listens more to someone’s recommendation compared to all your marketing mix summed together.
Now, how do you influence your customers to become your advocate? Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts for success. You have to ensure that your customer has a pleasant customer experience throughout the journey in the Customer Experience (CX) Infinite Loop Journey Map. Below are the six steps in Customer Experience (CX) Infinite Loop Journey Map.
Step 1 – Need & Research
Firstly, there will be a need for your product or services. Customers will do research either online or offline. They refer to the 4F – family, friends, Facebook and fans for reference. They look at the 4R- Recommendations, Reference, Referrals, and reviews to identify a few options. Then the research continues, they read about the shortlisted brands and come to a conclusion which brands to pick. It is all done based their research, and they haven’t contacted your brand.
Step 2 – Contact the brand
They will make a phone call, drop an email, chat via Facebook, or drop by at your outlet, kiosk, sales office etc. They come in contact with your brand. They may meet your salespeople, chatbot, call agent of front liners for the first time to inquire more about the product or services.
Step 3 – Select & Buy
They will choose the product or services after a careful evaluation. Decision made and they place an order. They are thrilled and excited about their purchase.
Step 4. Receive & Use
They will receive the product or service and use it. The quality of the product or services determines the perceived value to the customer.
Step 5 – Maintenance & After Sales Service
Now they are your customer, how you provide the after sales service and continuously engage them with your brand determines their level of satisfaction with your brand, product and services.
Step 6 – Recommendations
Based on Step 2, 3, 4 and 5, your customers going to recommend your brand to their 4F, family, friends, Facebook and fans. And the cycle continues. Their overall customer experience determines whether they are going to be your brand advocate or not.
In conclusion, invest in customer experience (CX) to refine all the touchpoints and design the entire customer journey for your brand. Turn them into your advocate; it doesn’t happen by chance; now you have a choice to let your customer experience occur by chance or to make it happen by design. Customer Experience (CX) is the way forward. Customers are more informed and influential than before. Look after your Customer Experience (CX) they influence the 4F & 4R.