Photo by Austin Distel

Establishing yourself as a new business is difficult at the best of times, let alone in times of relative economic crisis. Not only are there already a great many businesses with which to compete, but all businesses are currently all-hands-on-deck to weather the financial crisis of our times.

While times may be hard, this does not make establishing a new business impossible. Rather than thinking about what you can’t control, you should be thinking more about what you can – and one of the most important things you can control is the customer journey. Why is this the case?

Competitive Differentiation

Winning over new customers is not a simple task, but taking the customer journey into close consideration can reveal some bountiful potential options for improving your business’ chances. The customer journey is crucial, in large part, due to its contributions to competitive differentiation – that is, the things that set you apart from your rivals in your industry or region.

In today’s saturated marketplaces, there are many similar or even identical products and services vying for the same limited attention, and only a few variables that can be tweaked between them. Some businesses lean into branding and marketing, while others lean into the customer experience. Disruptive businesses in new industries broke their ground with a combination of the two, but it is the provision of an enticing and well-regarded customer journey that will win you longevity overreach.


Customer Satisfaction and Reach

This is where the straight-up metric of customer satisfaction becomes an important consideration. Customer satisfaction is indelibly linked to positive press and increased reach, with word-of-mouth marketing being worth far more than the equivalent spend on social media adverts or PPC. The key to customer satisfaction is ensuring their journey is not only a unique and positive experience but a comfortable and helpful one too.

Going above and beyond, such as incorporating same-day delivery as a standard option for certain e-commerce sales, can make a serious impression on the customer, and dramatically increase the likelihood of their satisfaction in the process. Extrapolating this philosophy to other areas of your business will all but guarantee customer satisfaction.

Customer Retention and Lifetime Value

Leaning into customer satisfaction as an imperative for your customer-journey-planning is vital also for customer retention. While reach and your sales funnel are crucial for expansion in your market, customer retention is crucial for longevity. In hard times when spending starts to fall, it is not new consumers keeping your lights on; it is long-term existing customers that ensure your overheads are covered.

In Conclusion

This demonstrates the sheer importance of the customer to the expansion and longevity of a given business, where the customer journey can often be overlooked in favour of flashy marketing or swift roll-out of new products and services. Thinking carefully about the customer experience from start to finish ensures you will build an equitable customer base and a long-lasting one to boot.