insights. vision. productivity. knowledge. fun.

Conducting a Customer Experience Audit: Put Yourself in your Customers’ Shoes…or Pants…or Jackets….

Per a recent case study from Hubspot, in 2016, 61 percent of marketers believe their marketing strategy is effective. Unfortunately, this means that 39% of marketers are deploying ineffective strategies. While this could be due to a variety of reasons – one reason is not understanding your customer’s experience.

Customer Portfolios strives to keep customers at the center of a brand’s marketing and business strategy. But what does this REALLY mean? To B2C marketers, it means taking the insights from a customer’s CRM profile and developing a 1:1 experience that is catered to them. This means providing them with relevant content, product recommendations and targeted offers at the appropriate time throughout their customer lifecycle. Some marketers only focus on specific campaigns, which are relevant for only a snapshot in time. We, as marketers, need to think bigger. We must understand the full holistic view of the customer experience to make an impact.

To do that, we need to put ourselves in the customer’s shoes – literally. Instead of just doing a quick audit of what campaigns you have in place, and go through the customer experience as your customers do.


Action: Sign up for emails online

  • What happened next? Did you receive a single triggered welcome email or a series of nurturing communications? Or, gasp, nothing!?
  • The longer you went without making a purchase, were you treated differently than if you had made a purchase?

Action: Fill out any forms such as an account page or preference center

  • What happens next? Were your customer preferences added into communications sent to you?

Action: Purchase a product online

  • Did you receive an order/shipping confirmation? Did your experience on the website change since you became a customer?

Action: In-store Experience

  • Were you greeted properly?
  • Were you asked for your customer information at checkout?
  • Were you asked to opt-in to receive communications?
    • NOTE: Be sure your stores are up-to-date with your state’s compliance laws

Action: Search & Retargeting Experience

  • Are you being retargeted properly or is that pesky image of the product you just purchased haunting you around for weeks?

Action: Customer Service Response & Engagement

  • Is there appropriate follow up communication to this interaction if applicable?

You can take the approach by channel or device. Go through each channel and device experience individually to see where gaps exist. You will want to first fill your gaps, and then identify inconsistencies in omni-channel messaging. It is important to be proactive at customer communications and not reactive. You don’t want to hear from customers only when they are unhappy or something has gone aray.

In going through the full omni-channel customer experience audit, you may find that you will identify gaps not only in the customer experience, but in your infrastructure, too – and that is OK. The need for new system integrations may be necessary to ensure your customers’ experiences are seamless and enjoyable. For example, are you unable to send a real-time order confirmation email with relevant content tied to that purchase? Are you unable to capture customer information at the POS? Acting on these technology gaps can be a difficult problem to overcome, but identifying them is the first step to making a case for these improvements.

One example of how Customer Portfolios helped one of our retail clients improve their customer journey experience was by implementing a proper engagement strategy for new customers. We implemented a multi-touch Welcome Series, which consisted of automated emails to new customers and prospects, depending on their level of campaign engagement. The Welcome Series generated +35% lift in revenue on the test group over the control group, along with a result of customers being 12x more likely to purchase than the control group.

For those who are just beginning to identify the gaps – remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither is a full blown, seamless customer experience. Start small and try to identify what holes you can fill in first to improve the experience along the way. You may find that just one change can lead to less customers falling into the gap of being lost forever! And if you need help identifying the gaps, we’re here to help. Reach out to us at!