Customer-centric behaviours for the future – customer journey progression

by Marty Nicholas

Transforming your organisation to enable your customers to interact and transact with you through the channel of their choice has never been more important. However, the move from a single channel of interaction with customers to multiple channels does provide an added layer of complexity for frontline teams in guiding leads along the customer journey. Frontline teams that successfully do this while providing a seamless sales process will have a distinct advantage in closing deals, creating advocates along the way.

Why is customer journey progression an important frontline behaviour?
From a customer’s point of view, they engage with an ‘entire’ organisation during the sales process and expect to be guided from their initial point of interest through to purchase decision and fulfilment. Being ‘handed off’ to someone else within the organisation is a common ‘break point’ from both a sales and service perspective, which is why it is critical for the frontline to appreciate the importance of managing the entire customer journey, not just the functional touchpoints.
Here are the behaviours we’ve recognised leading frontline teams exhibit when demonstrating successful customer journey progression.

What does good look like for the frontline?

      1. Correctly identifies the customer journey stage and provides relevant information

Once an organisation has mapped their customer’s journey, it’s important for the frontline to be able to identify which stage a customer is in, so that they can work with them to recognise, define and shape their emerging needs. Identifying the journey stage requires an understanding of the signals of engagement through digital and non-digital channels. By understanding the customer journey stage, the frontline is able to develop and communicate relevant insights to optimise customer interactions and provide information appropriate to their needs.

      2. Guides customers through critical journey progression points

The frontline of the future will need to understand the techniques available to progress customers through various stages of the journey and identify the critical progression points – the ones that matter most to customers. Understanding the critical points of a customer’s journey allows the frontline to know when to proactively create ‘face time’ and urgency with key decision makers, finding opportunities to influence their customer’s decision and progress them along the journey. Having the ability to articulate points of difference between their organisation’s offering during these critical moments will provide customers with the confidence and support to navigate through these critical journey progression points.

      3. Follows up interactions to progress opportunities

Seeing customer requests through to completion requires creating a culture of ‘taking ownership’ within the organisation. However, for the frontline in particular, it’s important for them to ‘own’ follow up through interactions with other organisation functions or customers. We’ve observed leading frontline teams exhibit this skill by scheduling follow-up interactions with key decision makers and closing information gaps proactively after customer interactions, using a variety of channels including internal advocates and thought leadership material.

What’s next?
The ability to navigate internal processes, communicate clearly and continuously follow up with customers is a game changer from a customer advocacy perspective. As competition across many industries intensifies, this will require organisations to invest in upskilling the frontline in the above behaviours, so that they’re equipped to understand the progression points that matter to customers and seamlessly navigate them through the customer journey. Our next blog will explore the fifth customer centric behaviour, Customer Experience Optimisation – adding strategic value at pivotal points in a customer’s journey for deeper relationships and long-term value.
This was the fourth post in our blog series, The 7 Key Customer-Centric Behaviours. Our previous blogs explored Customer & Buyer Understanding – having a deep understanding of customers to tailor approach and offerings accordingly for each segment and persona, Data & Digital Literacy – translating data into relevant insights and executing on these insights in a meaningful way, and Dynamic Prioritisation – the shift from sequential working to prioritising tasks to where most value lies.
We’ve unearthed these seven key customer-centric behaviours for frontline teams in our work helping organisations transform their people to better support digital go-to-market models. These behaviours are critical for frontline teams to equip themselves with when operating in the context of a digitally empowered, customer-led environment.

What customer-centric behaviours can you implement to improve customer journeys? Download our whitepaper to find out.