Often it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.
Like examining the seemingly minute details of your customer journey.
It starts with a customer-centric approach that “focuses on creating a positive experience for the customer by maximizing service and/or product offerings and building relationships.” (1)
Customer centricity, otherwise known as “the customer journeys’ made easy,” as I like to call it, essentially means putting your customer and their needs at the center of your business.
This type of process improvement approach is important, but not necessarily intuitive.
The easiest way to understand customer-centricity is through the AIDA model.
The AIDA Model: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.
The AIDA model essentially states that each customer journey starts
with a customer becoming aware of a product or service (attention), followed by an expressed interest that translates into desire, leading to purchase (action).
The idea is to structure communication in a relevant way at each stage of the AIDA journey, ultimately leading to loyal customers who repeat purchases.
The AIDA framework can help give you answers to important questions:
- Does my advertising really generate awareness (why, or why not?)
- Will my messaging get people interested?
- Does my offer raise desire – why?
- Is it obvious what I’m expecting people to do? Click, Call, Purchase?
This simple approach is expanded with The Customer Centricity Framework.
The Customer Centricity Framework
Rather than a funnel working from top-down, as in the AIDA model above, the Customer Centricity Framework serves as a guiding tool that assumes a linear customer journey, from left to right: From awareness (Seed) to interest (Prospect) to Conversion (Customer) to Loyalty (Repeat Purchase).
The customer journey is now connected through awareness and experience—the two overlap at the point of conversion.
For example, ads that aim at increasing brand or product awareness, such as TV or Display Ads on Google, will be used to get attention and create interest at the seed and prospecting stage.
Special events or actual product experiences such as test-drives for cars are marketing tactics that will be used to increase desire.
These types of product experiences move a prospect from being interested in purchasing to becoming a customer.
Translating strategy to communications
Regular communication activities such as newsletters or magazines serve to retain customers in our universe and help strengthen the bond for increased loyalty and retention.
You cannot underestimate the importance of how to make communication relevant for a given audience.
While both simple and tactical, the AIDA model and Customer Centricity Framework
can work wonders when it comes to communications with consumers.
I’ve developed this over many years, both at Harley-Davidson and Aston Martin, to help build better-aligned brand and marketing campaigns. I talk about lessons learned from working with these powerful brands in my updated book, The Guiding Purpose Strategy.
How to get started
Applying these frameworks in your planning starts with the Customer Journey:
- Think of a typical person becoming a customer. How and where does she learn about you? Does she see an ad, click on a banner, find you on Instagram? What does she do next?
- Draw it! Get a huge sheet of paper, use colored post-its and list all touch-points and place them on the customer journey, from becoming aware of your brand (seed), expressing interest (prospect) to buying your product/service (customer), to being a loyal customer (repeat purchase).
Include the small “moments of truth” (2) that may seem insignificant now, but could be leverage points for process improvement in the future. Map them all out.
- Don’t do it alone – involve your team and especially colleagues from sales. Ask a friendly customer to join you in this exercise.
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- According to Investopedia, customer centricity is “an approach to doing business that focuses on creating a positive experience for the customer by maximizing service and/or product offerings and building relationships.”
- The term “Moments of truth” was coined in the 1980’s by Jan Carlzon, president of Scandinavian Airlines as “Any time a customer comes into contact with a business, however remote, they have an opportunity to form an impression.”