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Chris:
What’s the next step? How do you use personas to improve your customer experience?
Kirsty:
Sure. The next step that’s really important to, once you have your personas, to actually then use data to see where there may be friction points within the journey. And, then, actually interview your customers based on these friction points to understand what are their pain points as they perceive them and then use that information to prioritize and evaluate where you may have the highest return on investment in terms of making improvements to your customer experience. So, brainstorm potential solutions and then effectively work on a road map based on where you think you have the biggest impact your customer experience.
Chris:
Now that you’ve seen an example of the CJM, or Customer Journey Map, Kirsty, can you talk a little bit about how you identify those points of friction and how you work with your team to resolve those points of friction?
Kirsty:
Absolutely. So, firstly, we will use data across the customer journey to see where their are friction points for the customer. So, where your average order value might be lower, where there might be a lower conversion rate, where your retention rate renewal rate sees that, NPS, any of those core metrics might be slightly lower than you expect, that generally indicates that there may be an area of opportunity to improve. Then, we will go out and ask our frontline teams around their experience with those particular friction points to gather feedback from the internal teams as a proxy where our customer feedback. Following on from that, will design a series the questions that we use to then go out and interview our actual customers to understand, in their view, how the experience is. That forms basically a list of priorities. We then run obviously some math cross that to understand where we think will have the biggest return on investment and where we think will have the biggest impact on the customer experience. That flows out into a roadmap and then we then action that across the quarterly, six monthly, annual basis depending on the size and scope of the project.
Chris:
So you’re saying you go out and interview customers during the persona development stage, and then you build a journey map and then you will identify some potential friction points and then go interview customers again to understand what their needs and desires are each one of those stages?
Kirsty:
Absolutely. I think it’s imperative to talk to customers and every stage of the journey because whilst using your frontline teams as proxy for customers is good, it’s really impossible to know what your customers are truly thinking and feeling without asking them yourselves.
Chris:
So parts of your business at Hootsuite are B2C and some parts are B2B in the way you’re servicing them. What’s the difference there? Are you seeing a difference when you’re doing journey mapping, persona development; can you talk about that?
Kirsty:
Yeah. So, usually, what we find from a biggest B2B perspective is that there’s often more people involved it’s a more complicated buying cycle and sometimes is not just one person making the decision. So, often, there is somebody who will be pulling together a business case for a solution and maybe there might be somebody who is signing off from a financial standpoint. We also see, in a more B2B experience, or a more B2B kind of buyer persona decision-making journey, that there’s more than one person involved. So, sometimes there are buying groups involved and it’s really important to understand who all the various stakeholders are and those decisions because you ultimately need to make sure that your influencing those people with the right content, the right messaging and the right verbiage at the right time. So, an example of this might be, say for example that your marketing manager is the person making the economic decision, sorry, say for example that your marketing manager is person pulling together the evaluation. You want to make sure that you’re providing your marketing manager with all of the information and content in the language that they would use to describe it in terms of the needs or the pain point that it solves for that person. However, you may find that the CFO, for example, or somebody else is making the financial decision and so you may target that persona maybe with more information around return on investment, cost-benefit analysis and so on and so forth. And, maybe be finding information in a different channel, in a different medium or through a different though leadership. So, it’s very important to understand those differences.
Chris:
So, when you’re mapping your B2B, journey it’s important that you talk to each persona within that journey, whereas in B2C, you might only talk to one person? Is that what you’re saying in terms of talking to your customer when you do the interviews and how you understand what their needs and desires are?
Kisrty:
Correct. I mean in a B2C journey, often the buyer is also the user of the product and so that makes a lot of the decision-making process more seamless. What we find sometimes in the B2B journey is somebody making the economic buying decision may not be actually using the product and so there does need to be a different approach in terms of the messaging and the content and even the sales approach in terms of who the account executives and so forth should talk to.
Chris:
And, I know as a leader of the customer side of Hootsuite that you’re often talking to customers. Are you the only person organization responsible for going out doing these interviews or other people involved in this?
Kirsty:
Absolutely not. That would be a very interesting exercise. So at Hootsuite, effectively, I lead a cross-functional team of 15 people. And, those people are represented across sales, marketing, support, success and finance and operations. So, really we like to think that we’re a customer obsessed company and customer obsession really sits with every employee. It’s very very difficult to make changes to the customer experience without breaking down the silos between teams and departments and making sure that, really, everybody works together, truly focused on the customer. And, that’s where I think a lot of companies have difficulty in actually making customer experience changes; is really breaking down those silos and making sure that all employees focus on their customers to drive truly meaningful customer innovation.
Chris:
Do you use journey mapping as a way to align those the organization around the customer?
Kirsty:
We absolutely do. It’s one of our core mechanisms by which to align all of our employees around the customer.
Chris:
I want to thank you, Kirsty, for joining us today and sharing her best practices to improve customer experience and showing the impact that customer experience can have across your organization.



Also watch: Digital Transformation & The Customer Experience Part I

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Chris Lazzarini

Director of Operations

Chris Lazzarini
Chris Lazzarini

Chris Lazzarini

Director of Operations

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