2Know Magazine: Sharing KM Knowledge
2Know: Sharing KM Knowledge
September 2021 - Magazine No. 264
September 2021 - Magazine No. 264
Edition:
Written By Moshiko Ofir

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Customer Journey planning in the digital age

When we want a certain product or service, we have a way to go that starts with exposure and does not end with acquiring it. As part of the marketing strategy, the ‘customer journey’ relates to way the customer interacts with the organization via points of contact from exposure to purchase. These points of contact exist on different communication channels, from raising awareness to the brand via social networks to receiving a “thank you for your purchase” message following its completion.

Planning and executing the customer journey leads to a better marketing strategy, improves user expectations, and optimizes the UX through the different advertisement channels to generate business value via intuitive, user-friendly business interface. It’s worth to note that the customer journey is usually described as involving an external customer. However, its stages and recommendations regarding planning improvement are just as relevant to customer journeys involving ‘customers’ who happen to be workers, donors, suppliers, partners or any other party with which we’re in contact.

One of the most important aspects of planning and executing the customer journey is personalization. A study conducted by Salesforce in 2019 found that 84% of consumers believe that a business relating to them as people and not a number is a prerequisite for them purchasing its product. In short, customers now demand a personalized experience of all channels, from customer service to marketing as well as sales. A personalized experience speaks more to customers.

Planning a customer journey requires mapping, i.e., creating a map to allow us to navigate and find the experience’s weaknesses providing solution of value that generates a better customer experience. Furthermore, there is a better understanding of customers and how they interact with the brand. Mapping a customer journey takes us to an extended review of all the different ways in which customers interact with the organization.

There are eight important stages to mapping a customer journey to attain a true and sustainable connection between customers and a brand:

  1. Awareness: at this stage of the customer journey, the user has only learned of the brand and is seeking information to understand more about it. They are mainly interested in the value your brand’s solutions provide, which should be clear and accessible immediately.
  2. Interest: when customers advance from awareness to interest, a more active stage, they wish to learn more about the brand and what the product or service can offer them.
  3. Consideration: at this stage, the customer is contemplating the matter and considering the product’s advantages. Therefore, this stage calls for a friendly UX which highlights the brand’s story and conveys its unique message compared to competition.
  4. Evaluation: during the evaluation stage, customers sum up the decision regarding the purchase and must choose whether to go for it. Therefore, the UX interaction should be presented to display the value customers gain from it.
  5. Purchase: the main objective at this stage is purchasing the product or service, thus making the user a customer. The main point here is that the sale is not the end of the deal nor the journey. Following it, the organization will maintain continuous communication with the customer through newsletters, customer management systems, etc.
  6. Service: customer service is an integral part of the customer experience. It involves the relationship between the customer and the business, and emotional influence is critical for generating a positive experience. Customers must know that someone will answer their questions, which is why information and personnel availability are critical for enhancing this relationship, as well as customers’ willingness to return and recommend the service to others.
  7. Loyalty: loyalty is the stage at which the customer returns to the brand due to an excellent customer service. When the product or service are good, the customer will return for another purchase. An important point here is that the customer becomes an ‘ambassador’ for the brand, who will tell others of their positive customer experience, leading them to show interest in the brand and in turn relay the message to others.
  8. Future purchases: a satisfied customer that feels it provided them value will return to the brand. The customer expects to receive the same customer journey, which entails actively conveying them the feeling that they are an integral part of the brand story. The content and marketing are an important part of this setup, especially regarding current customers.

The goal of planning the mapping of customer experiences is to improve the overall customer experience. Customer journey maps allow organizations to retain a thought pattern that focuses on customers, identify bottlenecks, and quickly locate the needs that must be addresses. Furthermore, the customer journey allows them to gain unique insight regarding specific customers.

 

Some tips on how to improve customer journeys

UX: improving accessibility to customers’ channels of communication with the website, app, software, etc.

Sales and marketing automation: creating automations for new and current customers to draw and retain them.

Content and marketing: deepening the content, transforming it into a personal, unique dialect and developing new and current marketing channels.

Tracking the customer experience: tracking the lifecycle of customer relations and maintaining the brand’s presence.

Customer service: service via a wide variety of communication channels for an excellent customer experience.

A customer journey describes in a more in-depth level of detail, using points of contact, the process users go through and exposes areas to be improved for future workflow. This understanding will stem from the field and lead to a desired development, which is why the various channels of communication are critical for success. Generating a better customer journey will include synchronizing said points of contact so to lead the customer on an enjoyable and satisfying journey with your brand- both benefiting business growth and providing a positive branding experience.

 

 

Knowledge is power!

But wait… why? What makes knowledge so valuable, and as such- what can we do to retain and utilize it?

Let’s start off with defining the term ‘knowledge’. Knowledge is the result of the accumulation of information held by a conscious being. Knowledge enables its holders to face challenges better and more efficiently to attain its objectives. Thus, correctly and effectively using knowledge, the human race has successfully landed on the moon, developed a vaccine for covid19, appointed prime ministers, etc.

So, if people can retain knowledge and process data, why can’t an organization? Well, who said it can’t? An organization, serving as one or more conscious entity, can certainly create knowledge, retain it, and utilize it to evolve as an organization. This knowledge serves as a main pillar on which the organization relies. The human brain receives, processes and outputs knowledge, then uses it to continuously evolve. Organizations, operating somewhat similarly, have their own brain- namely, the Knowledge Management system.

Not unlike the human brain, current knowledge may not be relevant regarding its scope, details as well as the various information fragments that comprise it. For example, if one would ask for an immediate answer, it would seem unproductive and incorrect to provide a full answer containing all information this individual holds, when all that is required is a simple yes or no.

Let’s say we ask someone at a fast-food stand “would you like this certain topping on your dish?”. It would probably be unwise to answer: “when I was young, and I mean young, probably about… I loved this dish, or so I was told by my mother, until one day I came home feeling a bit queasy. I then took a bite of this same dish, except it now had a different flavor that I disliked. I have tried it since and have never been able to love it again…”

The type of output we this entity provided seems quite important and depends on the situation in which the information is required. Similarly, an organization is sometimes required to provide complete, detailed and based information (regulatory and legal documents, for example). However, some cases call for concise and straightforward information that can offer solutions to those immediately providing service to organization customers.

Large organizations usually have several branches with similar knowledge arrays.

I wish to discuss two of those branches: The organizational procedure system and the service-oriented Knowledge Management system (the knowledge directory).

 

 

The organizational procedure system handles the complete, detailed and accurate knowledge that directs organization workers how to operate. This information can be based on regulation and external laws and/or based on organizational and professional best practices which direct workers how to operate efficiently and usefully.

The service-oriented Knowledge Management system, on the other hand, focuses on how to convert the complete knowledge to concise, interesting and accessible for all organization service providers. Can both branches be combined to one whole system?

What is the objective?

Let’s start from organizational procedures. These procedures are usually discussed in length and not always sufficiently accessible to organization workers so they can secure the “here and now”. Occasionally, the procedures also include processes executed ‘behind the scenes’ by some workers who serve the organization. This knowledge might not be of value to most workers, since they serve in this case as customers, and wish to receive an immediate answer- what to do/ what they are entitled to. These procedures are meant to regulate all organization divisions and departments’ operation uniformly, efficiently, usefully and legally. Some organizations publish their regulations externally as a recommended organizational transparency policy.

Service-oriented systems, on the other hand, are written in simple, clear, straightforward manner that is always action oriented. The organizational knowledge is organized in this system in a manner that any worker that might search for information will find in as less time as possible. Its objective, in most cases, is to serve the organization’s various service providers. Therefore, the time it takes to provide an answer and its accessibility level are both critical.

Who should be handling this task and how?

Organizational procedures are occasionally written by professional workers specializing in the content area the procedure contains or workers specializing in procedure writing. There is usually a template for writing an organizational procedure, yet this license allows a difference between procedures, especially professional ones, both in level of detail and style.

The information in the organizational service-oriented system is nearly always written by knowledge managers or content editors hired for this task only (there organization usually has a KM department). These writers are synchronized with each other regarding the writing method and making it accessible to the organization’s users.

Can the two be combined?

This question requires deep thought and raises questions, such as:

  • Can we write a procedure that includes much information that is irrelevant to the workers that requires fast, simple, and available information?
  • Can we discard certain data?
  • Will the concise, straightforward and action-oriented writing meet the extra/intraorganizational parties both in terms of regulations and legally?
  • Which party will be maintaining the system?
  • How will the information be received by the parties updating the system?

These are only some of the questions that must be asked before executing this maneuver. Answering them might not be simple, and some questions will be able to be answered only while working on the project.

 

In conclusion

Any organization considering using a knowledge directory for writing organizational procedures, must understand that merging these two central branches of organizational knowledge demands a true and honest inspection which considers all implications’ organizational and professional aspects, regarding both the organization and those expected to use the knowledge.

It seems that as any challenge the organization faces, the various organizational parties readily committing and cooperating are the real elements that will allow us to overcome it.

Considering all the above, it is clear than whoever utilizes their knowledge correctly- will possess much power.

 

Written By Alla Parlov

During the last decade, Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives and daily activity- which raises the question: what the best User Experience is, one that any business would wish to provide their customers. The main dilemma is between developing a website that fits all screens (i.e., a responsive website), developing an application, or perhaps combining the two. This is exactly where PWA- Progressive Web technology that enable enjoying both worlds.

What is PWA technology?

PWA is a relatively new technology developed in 2015 by Google. The idea behind PWA is the will to create anew generation of internet websites which operate exactly like an application when activated via mobile, provide the user fast charging and broad bandwidth, and most importantly- comfortable, high quality user interface from any browser regardless of the user’s operation system.

Main properties of PWA

  • It is essentially a regular website despite its UX more resemblant of a cellular mobile
  • PWA apps are responsive that can be accessed from any device
  • PWA apps are safer, since they are secured by https technology which make it difficult for hackers to view the information, replace content, plant information and such.
  • The website operates like an app, and therefore allows users offline access, to send notifications to users, use a camera and location and tracking features. Thanks to push messages, there is a higher chance that customers will return to the website. For example, if the customer hasn’t completed their purchase, they receive a notification reminding them to return and complete it.
  • There is no need to download or install the application. It can be installed on the desktop, allowing comfortable and quick access to the website.
  • PWA apps know how to adapt themselves to any development environment: Android, Apple, Windows, etc.

Some examples of PWA applications: large, well-known organizations make use of PWA technology, including Twitter, Uber, Instagram, Ali Express, Spotify, Airbnb, Starbucks, etc

References

PWA technologies

PWA applications

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Rom Knowledgeware
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