Onstage/visible contact employee actions
Direct customer contact Email, online chat, social media messages
4. Backstage/invisible contact employee actions
Non-visible interaction with customers
Order processing and management
5. Support processes Essential business services Uploading products to the database, ensuring payment systems operate
Activity 2.3 Create a Service Blueprint Imagine you and your classmates are running a coffee shop.
1. Take five sheets of A3 paper and on each piece write one heading for each element of the service blueprint: 1. Physical evidence; 2. Customer actions; 3. Onstage/visible contact employee actions; 4. Backstage/invisible contact employee actions; 5. Support processes.
2. Split into five groups and identify the actions for each element.
3. Re-group and put the actions in order.
4. What did you learn?
5. How could using a service blueprint improve the customer journey?
2.4.2 BEST PRACTICE FOR CUSTOMER JOURNEYS Norton and Pine provided a detailed checklist which I have distilled into the key factors and is shown in Table 2.6 (Norton and Pine, 2013, p. 14). This indicates the best practice for developing customer journeys and adopts a strategic rather than a tactical approach which will involve different departments working together.
Table 2.6 Aligning the customer journey and business strategy
Customers What do customers want and need and when do they need it? How can you approach customers in a coordinated, cross-functional way?
Value proposition What do customers value – the product, the delivered service, the staged experience?
Resources What resources are missing?
Channels How should disparate channels work together?
Revenue How do you increase revenue based on value created from the experience?
Cost structure How can you prioritize spending?
Technologies What technologies could enhance the experience?
2.4.3 VALUING THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY The reason why we focus on customer journeys is to try to understand what works. We attribute specific actions to specific results. For example, a promotional email may result in a 10% uplift in sales. This type of activity can be tracked and correctly attributed from start to finish. But this is a simplistic approach.
As we have seen in this chapter, consumers take different journeys when making a purchase. They visit a website, then the social media, then they make a cup of coffee and forget about the product. Three days later they think about the product again and the customer journey continues. With the help of cookies (see Key Term above) it is possible to understand what generated the final action. Therefore you can credit which parts of the digital toolbox had an impact and correctly measure the market- ing attribution. This makes it easier when allocating budgets to different aspects of the toolbox.
One of the greatest challenges in the digital user journey is when the organisation does not know how the customer arrived at the site – this is known as dark social and is creating a headache for many analytical marketers (Cohn, 2013), so much so that companies are having to find ways to address the issue (see Case Example 2.2).
KEY TERM DARK SOCIAL Originally defined by tech editor Alexis Madrigal in an article on The Atlantic.com, dark social is when a new customer arrives at your website, but you do not know how they heard of you – the source of the visit. They are invisible on your analytics data and therefore cannot be attributed to a specific campaign (Madrigal, 2012).
Dark social happens when friends and colleagues share details via private channels such as instant messages, text messages, email and message boards instead of sharing in wider social media platforms. This means that there is no analytic data (to show the source) in the click through to the website.
Case Example 2.2 Adidas Combats Dark Social Adidas, the sportswear brand, faced a challenge with content being shared on private social chan- nels, which meant they were unable to connect with customer groups. Florian Alt, the Senior Director, Global Brand Communications from Adidas Football, decided to address the issue of one-to-one conversations via instant messaging by creating hyper-influencers.
Called Tango Squads, these communities of influencers gain first access to new content that they can share amongst their friends and followers. The aim is to build experiences and products for the
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target audience. It also means all content can be tracked, all visits can be measured, all expenditure can be attributed and justified.
Alt noted that Adidas needed to listen to what these influencers were saying to understand what type of content works for them.
The programme has been launched in 15 cities with 500 people that are known as ‘hyper-connected football creators’. There is a dedicated web page for others to ‘join the squad’ (www.adidas.com/ com/apps/tangosquad).
The concept has risks as elements of the brand are being handed over to third parties who could abuse the content. Alt has recognised that it is important to allow influencers to talk about the brand, but important that Adidas does react to their feedback.
Challenges with the influencer programme revolve around measuring dark social as none of their current systems could do this. Alt stated that as messenger platforms were built for people to com- municate on a one-to-one basis, it wasn’t possible to track the conversations. Other difficulties were legal issues such as data protection, but at the moment the community was effective for the brand.
Success will be measured by the number of cities where the Tango Squad is active, along with an increased number of hyper-influencers sharing exclusive content.
Watch Florian Alt talk about the Tango Squad and dark social on YouTube: www.youtube.com/ watch?v=rUtyrg0jFBM
Combating dark social As shown in Case Example 2.2, Florian Alt at Adidas has found a way of addressing dark social. Other methods of ensuring that your hard work can be tracked and cor- rectly attributed include:
• Create short and memorable weblinks – instead of a web link like https://www. permanentstyle.com/2017/09/the-growth-of-bespoke-and-customised-glasses. html?mc_cid=207f13a57c&mc_eid=eb6ecee5ea you may create a vanity URL like this: http://bit.do/myspecs
• Create interesting content and place it on your blog with links to products. If the content is unique, you can track all orders from this.
• Include sharing buttons in unusual places – not just at the start and the end, but mid-way through articles and posts.
2.5 WE’RE ALL CONNECTED In 1969, Harvard professor Stanley Milgram and his student Jeffrey Travers conducted an experiment (Travers and Milgram, 1969) where they handed out 296 letters to people in Boston and Omaha, Nebraska with an instruction to deliver them to one person – a stockbroker in a place called Sharon, Massachusetts. They had to send the letter to someone they knew, close to the target person, to see how many people the letter had to go through to get there. There was no address on the envelope, just the name of the target person and the town. The participants were given a pack of information and told to send back a postcard to the researchers every time the letter was passed on. Eventually 64 letters reached the target person.
The average number of postcards received was 5.2, so the number of degrees of separation between one random person and many other random people was said to be six. ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ was later the title of a play in 1990 by an American playwright and later a movie. It quickly became a meme, as in an online world, we’re all connected.
The idea of six degrees of separation is based on the concept of living in a small world where everyone knows someone who knows that person. Social networks like LinkedIn facilitate these connections. As an example, on LinkedIn I’m connected to John Horsley, the founder of the Digital Doughnut which is a digital marketing community – that’s one degree of separation. John is connected to Barack Obama – so this means that I’m two degrees of separation from Barack Obama, former President of the United States!