Covering all things Sales, Marketing, Product management and Going global. Content taken directly from our jams and delivered in bite sized learning chunks.
Successful businesses do more than just provide great products. They create and deliver an exceptional customer experience every step of the way. Today’s customer has access to a global marketplace and a myriad different options- it isn’t enough to just offer the most affordable solution in your area. You need to stand out during every stage of the customer journey. If your business can’t give customers what they need, they’ll find someone that can.
That’s why smart businesses optimise their customer’s experience at every stage of the buying journey.
What is a customer journey and why does it matter? When you first hear it, the term “customer journey” sounds like a fluffy marketing buzzword that has zero place in the real world. It isn’t. The buying process can be broken down into five distinct stages. At the end of every stage the customer re-decides, consciously or subconsciously, whether to continue their journey with you or move on to one of your competitors.
By creating a delightful experience every step of the way, you are encouraging them to choose you. Let’s take a look at the five different decision points.
Your customer has a problem. They are vaguely aware you exist and offer something that can fix what’s bothering them. So, they look you up! They check your website and scroll through your social media profiles. They look at online reviews.
At this point, they make a snap decision. Are you worth exploring further? Make sure that the answer is a resounding yes by creating a strong social media presence and using an intuitive, UX optimized website that has enough engaging information to make them want to learn more.
You made it through the first test. Now, your potential customer wants to understand if you are a good fit for them. They’ll begin by scouring your resources and digging through your user reviews. They may even hit you up on social media.
To pass this stage, create resources that answer their burning questions. Build a powerful FAQs section on your website and create blog posts that address the most common pain points. Show them you’ve got the answers and aren’t afraid to share them!
Your customer has decided they want to buy. Now comes the real test. How easy is the process? How long does it take for your sales team to reach out to qualified leads? What are your email and social media response times like?
Can you answer all their common objectives? Can you make your customer feel secure that they’ve picked the best possible option? You’ve got to anticipate their questions and assuage their worries. And, you’ve got to do it quickly! If you don’t, someone else will.
What happens shortly after buying? Elation, followed by buyer’s remorse. With so many options available, your customer wants to feel like they got the best possible one. A big part of that rests on how well you treat them after the purchase.
Do you have a customer nurturing plan in place? Do you go above and beyond and offer special deals to existing customers? Do you answer queries and questions quickly? According to research, 60% of customers who complain on Twitter expect a response within one hour.
So, make sure that you’ve got your bases covered! Create a system that helps you catch inquiries and respond quickly.
The customer journey doesn’t end after the purchase. Retaining existing customers increases their overall value to your business. One of the best ways to keep customers and leverage your relationship to reach new potential customers? Turning them into advocates.
Create a loyalty system and reward customers that recommend you to their social circles and share your content. This works on two levels. By making your customers feel like a part of your team, they feel more invested in your success and want to help! Plus, you are tapping into one of the most effective forms of marketing- word of mouth.
Understanding your customer
This all sounds great, but to create a quality customer journey you need to understand what makes your customers tick. Everyone is different. What works for one segment for the population will be completely ineffective with another.
To really optimize your customer journey, you need to get to know who you are speaking to. One of the best ways to do this is by creating an ideal customer avatar. Your ideal customer avatar is an amalgamation of the main features your target audience shares. It gives your team a real target- someone they can understand and relate to.
When creating your avatar dig into the data. Who are they? What’s their job title? What clubs are they a part of? How do they think about their problems? Sales VPs and solopreneurs use different terms to describe their pain points. To be effective, you need to understand who you are talking to. A little research now will have big benefits later.
Level up your skills further
Optimising the customer experience takes time. To help get you on your way, we recently interviewed Kirsty Traill, the VP of Customer Success at Hootsuite, as part of our Sales & Marketing Jam webinar series.
Kirsty shared a lot of fantastic, actionable tips she uses to optimize the process and create a delightful customer experience. And, with a 97% customer satisfaction rating, she is definitely doing something right.
Jump over to the webinar and get some tips you can start applying straight away.
An event series and online resource dedicated to supporting the New Zealand ecosystems development in Sales, Marketing and Product Management.