The Customer Journey. And Why You Can’t Afford To Ignore It
Your customer journey is your biggest opportunity to grow your bottom line. But it’s also an experience that can destroy your company’s reputation.

So let’s talk about how you can enhance your customer journey.

Before we go any further, let’s define the customer journey: It’s all the experiences people have, before, during, and after the sale, when interacting with your company, whether online, by phone, by direct mail, or in person. It begins with their first online search, and hopefully lasts a lifetime.

It incorporates the all-important customer experience (CX). You may think of CX only through the lens of marketing, up to the point of the first sale. We sometimes forget that the sale is just the beginning. As this article points out, CX applies to every possible customer touchpoint, before, during and after the sale. It also mentions that by 2023, 100% of customers will likely value a company’s experience as much as their product. 

At any point from first encounter to long after their latest purchase, you can lose a customer. Or you can enhance your brand and boost their loyalty toward you.

So throughout the customer journey, you need to offer a great experience.

Let’s talk about some ways you can do that.

Your Content

The words you use in your marketing are a big part of the customer journey. They can make it more enjoyable for readers (and profitable for you) or they can hurt it.

Put yourself in your reader’s shoes for a moment. Go through your content with an open mind. Is it easy and pleasant to read? Or is it drudgery? Is it focused on your readers and helping them solve a frustrating problem, or is it focused solely on your company and product? Which word appears more, “you” or “us/we”? If the answer is not “you”, make changes! 

Your Website

Your website is your online marketing hub. It’s property you own and control. You want to attract visitors and keep them there as long as possible. You need your website to contribute to an enjoyable customer journey in which they win and you win. So in addition to posting the right content, as we just talked about, have clean, simple design and graphics, and make sure your website loads quickly.

The Sales Process

Congratulations! You’ve scored a sales opportunity. But don’t celebrate just yet. Even though potential buyers have agreed to meet with your sales team, or they have added your product to the e-Commerce shopping cart,  they haven’t bought yet. They might. Or they might not.

What can you do to make it more likely they will buy? If your sales process happens in person, or by phone or video conferencing, make it easy for your customer. Make the customer experience as painless as possible.

And once again, put yourself in your buyer’s shoes. Take a close look, through their eyes, at your sales presentation. Are you focused on helping them solve a problem? Or are you trying to push a product just to meet quota?

Are you asking thoughtful questions that will help you craft a valuable solution for them, or are you merely pitching?

If your sales process leaves a bad taste in their mouth, they probably won’t buy. Even if they do, what are the chances they will be happy with their purchase? Will they ever buy from you again or become your brand evangelists? Probably not.

If you sell strictly online, examine that process closely. Is there friction? Is there confusion? Is there frustration? All of these will kill your conversion rate. So fix ‘em right away!

After The Sale

Great news! You just made a sale. Your marketing worked. Your sales process worked. But don’t get complacent. And don’t look at this as the end. It’s just the beginning. You’ve closed the sale. Now you have the opportunity to build a relationship that could last a long time, maybe a lifetime. 

So what can you do to make this fruitful relationship more likely? Here’s one way: continue to do content marketing after the sale. Remind them that you are still around and that you care for them. Offer “fulfillment content” that helps your new customer get more value and enjoyment from their purchase.

A lot of business owners and sales pros miss a wonderful opportunity. They do their customers a disservice in the process. Afraid of offending their buyers, they don’t follow up weeks, months or years after the sale and offer their customers new, improved replacements for their original purchase. They don’t offer complimentary, add-on products at the point of sale. 

If the products you offer can truly enhance your customers’ lives, don’t you believe you have an obligation to try and help them take ownership of them?

 

If you said “Yes”, don’t be afraid to sell your products!

And by the way, after the sale, mind your manners, and send your customer a thank you note! Especially one that’s hand written.

 

Customer service is everyone’s business, but if you have a Customer Service department, treat them like gold and make sure they are trained and equipped to give excellent service to your most valuable business resource, your customers.

And learn a valuable lesson from great waiters. Have you ever been out to dinner and noticed how your waiter, if they were really good, took care of what you needed, before you had to ask? For example, your water glass never got below half full. You never had to ask for a refill. Your waiter took it upon himself to fill your glass without you having to ask him or having to experience the inconvenience of an empty glass.

Why not give your customers this kind of service? Do you think they would appreciate it? Do you think they would be more likely to buy from you again? To say nice things about you on social media?

These are just a few steps you can take to enhance the customer journey you offer. I recommend you map out the customer journey for your company and examine every touchpoint. Ask yourself, “How I can enhance the experience I offer my customers before, during and after the sale?”

Enhancing the Customer Journey: Put Automation and AI to Work for You!

In many ways, the customer journey is the same as it was 100 years ago. But obviously, a lot has changed. Marketers of old would have loved it if they had access to the powerful tools you and I now have at our disposal. So why not put automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to work for you to give your customers a better experience and more satisfying journey?

AI is playing a rapidly-growing role in dictating today’s customer journey. According to one source, by 2025, up to 95% of customer interactions will be dependent on AI.

Let me be blunt: use the power of technology to enhance your customer journey and boost your marketing results, or you just might be left in the dust by your competitors.

We Are Here For You

If you feel this process is overwhelming and confusing, and you’re ready to do something about it, schedule you Guerrilla Marketing Agency discovery and strategy session today!

Related Articles

Is Voice Search the #1 Digital Marketing Growth Trend of 2020?

Is Voice Search the #1 Digital Marketing Growth Trend of 2020?

Is Voice Search the #1 Digital Marketing Growth Trend of 2020? Are you looking to ride the wave of an exciting, emerging digital marketing trend that has captured consumer interest in a big way? The tips in this article will help you. So keep reading… But first, what...

Looking to Succeed With Pay-Per-Click? These Tips Will Help You

Looking to Succeed With Pay-Per-Click? These Tips Will Help You

What do you need to succeed in the ultra-competitive world of online marketing? That’s a big question that’s kind of hard to answer in just a few words. But I’m confident we can agree on this: to win at digital marketing, we need leads, traffic and sales.  How can you...

Youtube