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Plotting the Customer Journey

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The most successful marketers have one thing in common: they understand their customers. Alongside knowing who their customers are and what makes them tick, they also understand how their customers want to work with them. If you want to improve your lead generation, then follow these marketers and plot the customer journey.

A customer journey is like a map that outlines the journey a typical customer will go on from not knowing you exist, to becoming a loyal customer. While every journey is probably unique on some level, you’re looking for the trends. And when you have sight of these, you can then make sure that you hone the customer experience to maximise the chances of people converting.

Let’s take it step by step.

1. First Learning You Exist

    No matter what the brand, we all go through an experience of not knowing it and then knowing it. This is brand awareness, and you can’t overlook the importance of this. How are you going to get anyone to buy from you if they don’t know you exist?

    The first step is to write down all the ways that someone can find out about you. It could look like this:

    • Advertising
    • Social media
    • PR
    • Events
    • Google search

    What you don’t want to include are things like your website or your blogs or newsletters. No one happens across a blog or website by accident. Something makes us visit that website, and it’s that trigger that you need to understand here. Did they search for what you do on Google, did they see one of your adverts, or read that press release? How are you triggering people to find out about your brand?

    2. Proactively Looking

    You have probably seen dozens of adverts today. How many of them do you remember? Just because you have an advert out there, it doesn’t mean that people are aware of your brand. It takes someone about seven times of seeing something before they take notice, so keep that in mind. Existing is different to being noticed.

    This is where the customer journey plotting can really help. When you’ve listed all of the ways that someone could find out about you, you then need to list all the actions they could take next. This could be:

    • Visit website
    • Read blog
    • Sign up for newsletter
    • Visit shop

    Don’t just spend 30 seconds on this. Really think of all the next actions your prospective customers are likely to take. This could be actions that they take already, or actions that you’d like to see them take. For example, you might have not started a blog yet, but you think it could be an easy way to drum up more interest in you.

    When you have your list, there are now two things you need to do:

    • Make sure that your adverts, social media and events (or anything you listed in the “learning you exist” point 1) have a call to action that drive people to take the next step. You need to encourage people to read your website, sign up for your newsletter or visit your shop. Don’t always expect people to do things on their own.

    Set up some sort of tracking so you can tell which of your first points drove action. Is social media, your adverts or your events driving the most traffic to your website, newsletter or shop? You need to do more than plot the customer journey. You need to track how effective each element of it is. The more you know, the more you can hone for success.

    3. Consideration

      For anyone who understands the marketing funnel, you will know that people move from awareness to interest to consideration. We rarely just see something and buy straight away. So you need to make sure your customer journey caters for how people can find out more about you.

      How well is your website structured to tell people all they need to know? Have you answered all their questions? Have you focused on value i.e. don’t tell them what you do, tell them what you do for them?

      For this section, plot all the ways that people can find out more about you. This might cover case studies and reviews as well. Who else is saying how great you are other than you? How are you building up trust and allowing your clients to understand who you are? Don’t overlook how vital this is in your marketing. It’s not just about promotion. You need to build trust.

      4. Ease of Contact

        The next point seems so ridiculously obvious, but you’d be surprised how often it’s not given the consideration it deserves. How easy is it for people to get in touch with you?

        This needs to be about what’s best for your clients, not what you prefer. Do you have a phone number, email address or contact box on your website? Do you have live chat? Whilst you have to be sensible and make sure that you can respond effectively in all the ways you present to your clients, you also need to make it incredibly easy for your clients to use.

        This also means having lots of call to action buttons across your website. Tell them frequently how they can get in touch if they want more information. Don’t pressure them, but also don’t make it hard work to find out your contact details.

        Finally, then, keep a track of all the ways that people are contacting you and see what’s working best. Do more of what works and explore the areas that don’t. Marketing is about constant improvement.

        5. Sales Conversion

        The very last point here is to turn that contact into a successful sale. Don’t delay in replying. Respond in the way that your client wants to be spoken to. As in don’t call them if they’ve clearly asked for an email reply. Or vice versa – if they’ve given you their contact number, take the hint. Don’t be afraid to speak to them. The best way to sell is to build a relationship. Keep that in mind. When you’ve got that sale, then all you need to do is keep it. Customer retention should also be a part of your plan. It’s easier to upsell to existing customers than constantly find new ones.

        This can all seem like hard work that you don’t have time for. But if you get all these elements right, it will give you a long term sustainable foundation that will generate more leads for you. This is how you grow a thriving business.

        Anyone who purchases something goes on some sort of journey to do it. So it makes sense that if you understand that journey, and you make it as easy as possible for your customers to access that journey in the experience of working with you, then you will sell more. This is true marketing.

        If you need any help, you know where we are. We do this successfully every day.

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