Stages of a customer journey and why hitting each touchpoint is vital.
We hear the words journey a lot now.
With TV being overrun with reality TV personalities all on their own journey.
So what does a customer’s journey look like for your business?
Where does it start and finish and how do you guide them on a path you want.
Understanding your customer / potential customer and post-purchase customer is vital.
The journey is a long and sometimes difficult one, but don’t give up on them.
So where does this journey start?
Sometimes it starts before they even know it.
Depending on the product or service you are offering customers may not even know they need you.
Step 1 – Awareness
Your potential customer has a problem either themselves (B2C) or with their own business (B2B)
So the journey starts with a problem.
A problem they’re looking for a solution to. Maybe they are Googling – How do I XYZ, Can I get better XYZ Why is XYZ happening
To service this stage you may look at providing them with support – not a hard sell. They’re not ready yet so be patient.
- A blog
- White paper
Step 2 – Consideration
This is where the seed for your product or service is sown. In looking for a solution to a generic problem they have come across the solution (your product)
But unless it is a low cost or FMCG item often they will need some convincing or proof that your product or service is really what they need.
This can come in the form of
- Social proof
- Email marketing
- Online advertising – Retargeting
- Word of Mouth
Step 3 – Purchase
So they feel confident that you can provide them with the solution they need.
They’re on your website/landing page. It gives them all the information they need, and it is easy to use.
At this purchase stage ease is a massive element. Customer service and speed is everything in today’s market.
So consider your website, storefront on online store. How easy are you making it for your customers and what support are you offering them along the way?
- The page you send them to works – and quickly
- It has all the information they need
- Easy to use a checkout with a credit card, PayPal and bank transfer options
- Happy attentive staff that can answer the questions they need – this could also come in the form of a chatbot on your site.
Step 4 – Retention
I have seen many times businesses see the purchase as the end of the journey.
And if this is how you treat it – that’s exactly what it will be – the end.
Keeping customers and incentivizing them to return or refer is one of the most important parts of the journey.
*Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer. Increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits from 25-95%. The success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60-70%, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is 5-20%
You can look at customer retention in these ways
- Asking for their opinion and surveying them
- Say thanks with a % off voucher for the next purchase
- Loyalty program
- Provide excellent service post-purchase – check in to ensure they’re happy, let them know you’re still here to support them.
Step 5 – Advocacy
The final step is using your relationship with the current customer to draw in more like-minded ones.
How do you get your customers talking about you and your product to their friends?
Word of Mouth is the best form of marketing you can get. A – Its free B -People trust their friends which makes a sale a lot easier.
So how do you get people chatting and recommending your product or services?
- Social Media can be a great way for people to recommend, getting them to like or follow your page and say how great you are can reach more people that chatting alone.
- Incentivizing them to refer a friend
- Providing products or services that continue to support them and compliment the initial purchase. So that their feel-good factor keeps going long after the purchase.
So the timeline for this journey can be anything from hours to months.
Understanding your product and sales cycle and the phycology of your customer is key. Don’t rush them. Let your customers feel supported and not rail-roaded into a purchase.
This leads to trust and trust leads to a happy customer who will keep coming back for more.