Academic Master

Marketing

Retail Marketing in an Organization

Explanation of the customer journey

In any organization, the marketing department tends to be one of the most crucial as it determines the ability of the company to sell its products to the target customer. With our target customers being the youth, we are sure that there is great competition ahead of us since most of the companies that we are competing with are also targeting the youth. The youth are people who have just completed school and are already in their first job (Rosenbaum et al. 2017). This means that they have too many items to go for to have their lives settled. Some of the items that they are expected to purchase include furniture and electronics. Due to high competition, companies need to map up a customer journey that will help them not only win the customers but also retain them. Our customer journey is made up of three steps and entails the following.

Awareness stage

The awareness stage forms the basis for making customers purchase whatever it is that you are selling. This is the point where the target population realizes the existence of your company and the products or services that we are offering. The company has, therefore, embarked on an online presence where we are selling our ideas through the company website, blogging, and sending automated emails. The world has today turned digital, and the youth are the people taking part in online communications (Ordenes et al. 2014). Digital presence helps us reach out to millions of target customers in real-time.

Consideration stage

The consideration stage determines whether or not the efforts being put in by the company are going to be fruitful. A customer may keep revisiting a blog or certain parts of the website severally. This is an indicator that they are feeling tempted to acquire the item or book for a service from the company. At this point, there is a 50/50 chance of whether the customer belongs to us or one of our competitors. Customers, at this point, are making comparisons between our prices and those of our major competitors, and the smallest mistake could cause them to opt for our competitors.

Decision-making stage

This is the point of no return. A customer may, after weighing the options available, decide to purchase from us or to go to another company. This is usually premeditated at the consideration stage. The marketing plan, being consumer-driven, should, therefore, ensure that the target customer is brought in at whatever cost (Lemon et al. 2016). Once the customer has come for the product at any of the stores, trying to lure them into remaining loyal and most probably bringing in some of their friends and relatives becomes easier.

Improvements to be made

Customers will never be fully satisfied since they keep yearning for better products and services. This is the reason why some of the world’s leading innovators in the field of technology are spending days and nights trying to better what they already have invented. In the same way, it is never enough to have a store that maintains the same customer journey process and expects to keep winning. There is always room for improvement, and companies should work towards filling these rooms. Some of the elements in the customer journey that need to be improved are;

The awareness stage

Customers want to be enticed into buying whatever products we intend to sell to them. It is therefore important that the awareness stage gets some improvement to better our chances of getting the customers to purchase our products. Some of how we can make improvements include;

Make the customer realize that they need the product.

It should not be a matter of just letting the customer know that the company is in possession of certain goods that are on sale. Instead, the marketing team should focus on making the customer think of how badly they need the product. For example, if it is a new phone that has been released to the market, make the customers note the difference between the old version and the new version. The improvements that have been made to the older version should be enough reason for them to buy the new one.

Present the products as the best solution.

It is hard to convince people to purchase things that they are not used to. The youth tend to go for what their parents bought back in their homes. This is the point where the company needs to hit the mind of the target customer with the best information. The best thing is usually to make the customer believe that there is only one solution to the problem they have, and that is the product currently being sold by the company. This makes them understand that the problem at hand can be resolved by selling them the products from your brand.

The decision stage

Once the customer has reached the decision stage, it is important to note that this marks the beginning of the marketing process. The previous actions were just but a test to ascertain how best the marketers can convince the target customer to buy the product they are selling. There is, therefore, the need to make adjustments on the decision part of the customer journey to include the following;

After-sales service

There is the need to follow up and learn about how satisfied the customer was with the service provided or the functionality of the product purchase (Spiess, J. et al. 2914). In most cases, this should be an opportunity for the company to make general improvements to the performance of the organization. Customers feel appreciated once a follow-up is made after they have made a purchase. It also helps maintain their loyalty and increases their chances of referring their friends and family to purchase our products.

Meet other customer needs.

At times, there are items that go hand in hand. For example, a hotel room offering bed and breakfast should go ahead and offer massage for her clients. People checking into hotels are taking some time away from their normal lives and would like to have an experience that is better than what they are used to. The marketing department should, therefore, join hands with the production team to see how best they can improve the customer experience. This is another step towards ensuring customer loyalty and increased sales from referrals that are to be made. The marketing department has to keep, therefore, reminding the production that the quality of the products they are giving to the sales determines the ability of the company to retain customers.

Recommendation

The reason why companies are in business is because of the availability of a ready market by the customer. Without the customer, there is no way we could remain in business. The relationship between a company and its clients improves the experience while reducing problems faced by the customers. To enhance customer experience and respond positively to problems, the following needs to be done;

Have a clear vision of customer experience.

The company shall have to state the level of experience that we want for our customers. This vision should be communicated to the organization at large and especially to the store associates who directly deal with the customers. Their level of professionalism should always be at par. If at all, the organization shall be able to retain its customers while continuously improving the quality of service and products.

Capturing customer feedback in real-time

The only way to know whether or not the services and products being offered by the organization are of good quality is by getting customer feedback (Varnali, K. 2018). The sifter the feedback is, the quicker the process of resolving and improving service and product delivery. The company should also ensure that issues raised by any of the customers are resolved within no time.

Conclusion

The customer journey is the most important aspect that the marketing department should take seriously. The company, whether production or a service provider, depends on the customer to generate revenues that will keep the company running (Schmitt et al. 2016). On the other hand, it is up to the marketing department to deliver customers to the organization. The marketing manager should, therefore, seriously take their role and ensure that the customer journey is completed without any hitches. A smooth customer journey guarantees the organization of retaining and gaining other customers.

References

Lemon, K. N., & Verhoef, P. C. (2016). Understanding customer experience throughout the customer journey. Journal of Marketing80(6), 69-96.

Rosenbaum, M. S., Otalora, M. L., & Ramírez, G. C. (2017). How to create a realistic customer journey map. Business Horizons60(1), 143-150.

Varnali, K. (2018). Understanding customer journey from the lenses of complexity theory. The Service Industries Journal, 1-16.

Stein, A., & Ramaseshan, B. (2016). Towards the identification of customer experience touch point elements. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services30, 8-19.

Spiess, J., T’Joens, Y., Dragnea, R., Spencer, P., & Philippart, L. (2014). Using big data to improve customer experience and business performance. Bell Labs Technical Journal18(4), 3-17.

Ordenes, F. V., Theodoulidis, B., Burton, J., Gruber, T., & Zaki, M. (2014). Analyzing customer experience feedback using text mining: A linguistics-based approach. Journal of Service Research17(3), 278-295.

Schmitt, B. (2016). Customer experience management. Handbuch Sozialtechniken der Kommunikation: Grundlagen–Innovative Ansätze–Praktische Umsetzungen, 1-13.

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