“Focus on the customer journey”. That’s what all those trendy marketing folks are saying now, isn’t it?

If you’re a Managing Director or a marketing person, you’re hearing about customer journeys a lot. But what does a “customer journey” actually mean… and why is it important?  

Despite what the name suggests, a customer journey is more than jumping in the car and driving to a shop to buy something – a literal journey – but it’s part of it, and all the points in-between. It’s the sum of experiences that someone goes through whenever they interact with a brand to buy goods or services.

Nailing a customer journey means your brand can surprise new customers and delight existing ones – and no one’s doing that better than Monzo right now. Here’s why.

What is a ‘Monzo’, anyway?

Your first interaction with Monzo was probably through seeing that screaming pink card (or ‘hot coral’ as they call it) poking out of your friend’s wallet.

Monzo is a digital bank. That means it doesn’t have any bricks-and-mortar branches for its customers to visit – instead, all of your banking is done through your smartphone.

You control every aspect of your finances with a nicely-organised, clean and clear smartphone app that’s always up-to-date with your latest financial information.

So what? Surely it takes more than a garish card and an app to make Monzo one of the fastest growing banks in the UK?

So why do we love Monzo? There are other reasons as to why they have over 1 million Monzo customers in 3 years and a company valuation somewhere in the billions.

Where did Monzo go right?

The truth is simple: Monzo looked at all the things that annoy people about banks. Then they thought about how they could use technology to solve all these problems.

For me personally, their whole service helps me to:

  • Keep track of my finances up to the minute
  • Transfer cash with ease using just a phone number
  • Set-up a budget and understand where my money goes as soon as I spend it
  • Create separate pots of funds to manage my money

Plus a ton of other cool features and functions that made me realise… it’s an entire, fully-fledged bank! ON MY PHONE! The whole experience of “banking” as I knew it has changed. Monzo meets my basic, rational needs and exceeds my emotional response – banking is so much more enjoyable and I’m more confident than ever about feeling in-control of my money.

Monzo has not only helped me solve the problems I knew I had, but the problems I didn’t realise I needed help with.

Beyond this, Monzo’s looking at ways to ‘de-boringify’ loans and mortgages, simplifying the process as the brand continues to solve ‘problems’ in innovative ways for its audiences.

Back to the point…

For me, providing a great customer journey is how we solve our audiences’ problems throughout our time with them, making their process of dealing with a brand easier – and, if possible, enjoyable.

Succeed like the big guns: talk to your customers!

Alright, improve customer journey. Got that one in the bag. But how do you go about “improving” it?

It’s a simple answer, and Monzo took a leaf out of our book: they spoke to people to see how they could improve the overall banking experience.

They looked at the competition in terms of products, proposition and the typical journey (and yes, that meant jumping in the car and waiting in a queue at the bank). They used all that gathered insight to create a fresh way of thinking: “We could service people better with an online only experience.”

It sounds almost too simple, doesn’t it? The thing is, many brands have forgotten that marketing is all about identifying the needs and wants of the customer. Just because businesses hold huge amounts of data on how their customers behave, they think they know what their customers want – and build journeys around them. Or make assumptions.

But… what about the folks that didn’t become customers? Brands need to ask those people why they didn’t become customers, surely!

Keep learning, keep improving, keep more customers

In order to grow and maintain relevance and competitive advantage, you need to continually revisit and revise the customer journey. You will find problems that other brands aren’t fixing for their audiences – and you can address it. Suddenly, you leap frog the competition and, with ongoing customer focus, you stay ahead of the game.

From the start, Monzo developed a process of amassing as much customer feedback as they could. Then, every insight was fed back into an ongoing development programme.

Insight first

This test-learn-test again process works. I’m confident that Monzo will continue to thrive, bringing even greater innovation to the finance sector… and potentially other markets too.

Guesswork doesn’t work

The alternative for Monzo is that it could have guessed what customers wanted from an online bank by making lots of assumptions. Ultimately, though, it’s a far more costly process and it would’ve taken far more time for the brand to reach its frankly vertigo-inducing heights. If indeed it ever got there.

For this reason, I believe in the customer journey process and the advantages it brings. You grow fast, you become stronger, and you keep that competitive edge.

I wish it was rocket science 

Many brands have stopped talking to customers. I suspect it’s because we’re in a world awash in data and think we know everything there is to know.

We don’t.

Data tells you what people have done, not why they did it. When you understand why, you understand what motivates your customers – and how you can speak to their wants and needs.

Keep the customer at the heart of everything you do and you can be confident that your brand is solving the right problems.

(A pink card helps too.)

If you would like to consider talking to your customers or potential customers, then let’s have a conversation. Drop us a line here.