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 their products to the target customer. With our target customers being the youth, we are sure that there is a 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 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
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 online presence where we are selling our ideas through the company website, blogging and sending automated emails. The world has today turned into 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.
The consideration stage is what determines whether or not the efforts being put by the company are going to be fruitful or not. 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, it is a 50/50 chance on whether the customer belongs to us or one of our competitors. Customers at this point are making comparisons between our prices and the major competitors, and the smallest mistake could render them to opt to our competitors.
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 has been 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
A customer 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 expect 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. If for example, 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 in the older version should reason enough 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. For the youth, they tend to go for what their parents bought back at 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 into buying 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 make a follow-up and learn about how well the customer was satisfied with the service to provide 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 made a purchase. It also helps in maintaining their loyalty and increasing 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 offer massage for her clients. People checking into hotels are taking some time away from their normal life and would like to have an experience, 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 determine the ability of the company to retain customers.
The reason why companies are in business because of the availability of a ready market availed by the customer. Without the customer, there is no way we could remain in business. The relationship between a company and her clients improves the experience while reducing problems faced by the customers. To enhance customer experience and respond positively to problems, the following need 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 pa if at all the organization shall be able to retain her 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 quality is by getting customer feedback (Varnali, K. 2018). The sifter the feedbacks are, 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.
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.
Lemon, K. N., & Verhoef, P. C. (2016). Understanding customer experience throughout the customer journey. Journal of Marketing, 80(6), 69-96.
Rosenbaum, M. S., Otalora, M. L., & Ramírez, G. C. (2017). How to create a realistic customer journey map. Business Horizons, 60(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 Services, 30, 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 Journal, 18(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 Research, 17(3), 278-295.
Schmitt, B. (2016). Customer experience management. Handbuch Sozialtechniken der Kommunikation: Grundlagen–Innovative Ansätze–Praktische Umsetzungen, 1-13.