I run workshops on the Customer Journey or Customer experience frequently – at least once a quarter – and it is a topic that I always discuss with clients.
Digital marketing is great! We can all speak to the world from behind our keyboards with the greatest of ease – reaching the far corners of the world.
When I first started out in business marketing consisted of:
• Leaflets and brochures
• Business cards
• Networking (but not to the extent it is today – and all face to face)
• Word of mouth
• Newspaper ads and yellow pages!!
• MAYBE a website!!!
• (and maybe some online directory-type sites)
Well now – who prints anything? (However, it should be noted that you may be missing a trick there but that is a conversation for another day).
Everything is Digital
Now that we are publishing on social media who knows who is seeing our stuff? (to be fair the same can be said for leaflets and newspaper ads etc – but our reach is much greater, many more people have the opportunity to see our social media posts).
The thing is – people are judging you from the minute they see your Instagram post – or meet you at a networking event. And the customer journey starts right there – often before you even know who they are.
The journey continues – they may sign up for your email marketing, or follow you on Facebook until they decide they might be ready to buy and – depending on your business model – they might just buy, or you might have to go through a sales process.
Once they decide to buy they have the “experience” of buying, paying, getting a delivery, treatment or whatever.
And then there is the after-sales period – where you can nurture and keep customers close – or otherwise! Andit is amazing how many businesses are continually seeking NEW customers, but not seeing their existing or lapsed customers as an opportunity.
The point being – in any given relationship between you and a customer there are dozens of opportunities to grow the relationship – or destroy it!
I have talked about trust before – the entire customer journey is all about building trust. That’s what I am doing right here right now – letting you “try me out” – discover whether you like me and what I say and do – and decide whether you want to extend the relationship into a paying one.
I talk to clients about this and how it might work in their business. Let’s consider the example of an IT consultant – I KNOW that they are really great at what they do, and that they provide the most fantastic experience in the way they manage their clients’ IT – and I wouldn’t presume otherwise or tell them how they should be doing that.
However, what they sometimes forget is the rest of the journey:
• The inconsistent branding on their social media
• The salesperson forgetting call back when they said they would
• The proposal which is obviously a cut and paste job
• The pain of “onboarding” and inconsistencies in the process
• The aftersales service – where the client decides to go with someone else just because they don’t really know what their IT provider does (this is a problem with IT companies – if they do a great job of managing their clients’ IT then they are largely invisible!)
Other things to consider:
• Your premises – they may be fantastic, but is it a pain to park (or get public transport)
• A clunky website or shopping cart
• Annoying payment processes – how easy it is for your customer to actually PAY you?
Difficulty in speaking to you – do you have voicemail, or (maybe preferably) an answering service – and do you call them back promptly.
The list is endless – and at each stage we can either get another marble in the jar (check our Brene Brown on building trust) or get one (or more) taken out!
Our goal is to Attract people to our business, to Engage with them in a positive manner and then to Delight them throughout the entire process.
ATTRACT – ENGAGE – DELIGHT – courtesy of Hubspot
So – ask yourself – is your customer experience the best it can possibly be? But – don’t forget who’s on the team? Who else can influence your prospects – people on your team can include anyone who is in contact with them at any stage.
Ask someone to “mystery shop” for you and give you honest feedback on that miserable receptionist in your shared office space. That all forms part of the journey.
Your goal is to acquire AND KEEP profitable customers – make sure you are giving yourself the best chance of doing that – every time!
Join my January workshop to learn more about how you can improve your customer experience
Get in touch if you’d like to chat about how I can help.