In my first post about the customer journey, we talked about how easy it is for us as proprietors, marketers, and salespeople to only focus on the destination of our customer: when they actually buy and experience our product or service. I made the case that we need to go back to the very beginning of their journey.
Step 1: The Idea - When your customer has a pain point that can only be solved with a product like yours.
Step 2: The Need For More Information - How your customer conducts research to buy what they need.
Step 3: The Google Machine - The search phrases your customer uses to find your product.
Step 4: The Search Results - Why your customer prefers organic results over ads.
Step 5: Your Website - What your customer does when they get to your website.
You might be thinking, "Man this customer journey is taking forever. There's more?" Absolutely. Have you ever taken a really close look at what peoples' behaviors are when they go to your site? What are they clicking on most frequently? What pages are they quickly leaving? Is your site a free-for-all, or is there a specific path you want them to go down? These are all very important factors to take into consideration.
Your website is very realistically your storefront. People may have decided to come to a store like yours, and they have done some research and your store seems like a good place to begin their shopping experience, but the work is not finished when they arrive. There is still so much to do.
When I enter into any store, brick and mortar or website, there are some very important things I am looking for in my overall experience. Some do's and don'ts if you will. Let's talk about a couple of these:
Do welcome me. I want to be greeted, but not in a pushy way. No pop ups please. But, I would like you to tell me what is most important for me to know. What is the first image I see? What is the first text I read? You only get one shot at this, so make it good. Don't be pushy - be informative. Give me something interesting that catches my eye. Greet me warmly. And please, keep it brief and simple.
- Do lead the way. What is my next best step? Guide me. Do you have a helpful blog that teaches me something I didn't know related to the product? After all, remember that research is how I got here in the first place. I like to feel empowered. Don't make me give you my contact information without giving me anything in return. And no, adding me to an automated email list with a bunch more of your products doesn't count as me getting something valuable in exchange for my information. Give me something tangible. A guide. A print piece. An e-book. Something I can really use right now.
- Do treat me as an individual. I am not everyone else. I am me. I have specific wants and needs. Don't treat me like a number. Do you have content tailored to my particular situation? Are your blogs and social posts only focused on one particular niche of which I am not a part? I need to know that you have taken someone like me into consideration.
- Do keep me in the loop. I may not be ready to buy this time. I might still need to think about it awhile, or get some more information. So, next time you write a blog like the one I read and liked enough to give you my info, go ahead and shoot me a line. Don't hit me with a hundred emails a week, but from time to time, a well thought out email from you would be nice, something to remind me that you are a trusted resource for me on my journey. When I am ready, you will probably be the place I decide to buy from.
If we're honest, these are all things you and I want out of our own experience, our own customer journey, so why not make sure our customers have this same experience on our website? This is a revolutionary way of thinking about marketing and advertising. It gives the power back to our customer. That may seem scary, but in this new world of social media, 5 star ratings, and Google's search engine, people want engagement, a human interaction.
If we create the right online space for this through our social channels and website, we can actually achieve this. The best part is, when you attract and delight your customers in this way, they are highly likely to become promoters of your brand through their own networks, which helps you build a lasting brand based on real people who genuinely like your products and your customer service. And it all starts with the customer journey.