Do you know the path one of your customers takes in order to choose your product or service as the perfect one for them? If you do have your customer journey, you’ve probably mapped it from your own point of view — the journey you think the customer is taking and how you think they expect you to communicate with them.
Turning your perspective on its head can improve both your customer’s journey and your communication with your customers throughout their journey.
A True Customer Journey
No customer journey map is ever going to be so thorough that it will cover every need of every customer. However, if you create your map from the perspective of the customer rather than from your business’s perspective, it’s going to better serve both you and them.
The difference between using a business point of view versus a customer point of view is that using a business POV uses internal processes, systems, and personnel as the foundations of the map. Using customer POV lays the map’s foundations with customer processes, systems, and — well — customers.
With the focus on customers, communicating with them becomes even more important. You cannot rely on them to reach out to you. It’s up to you to reach out to them, and there are ideal ways of doing so for each point on the map.
Communication at Each Stage of the Customer Journey
The customer journey is rarely linear. By keeping track of how your prospects and clients are responding to your communication, you can make sure you target your communication appropriately no matter where they are.
Here are some tips for the most common waypoints on the map:
As prospects discover your company, it’s important to share useful information to establish yourself as a knowledgeable expert. You want to make it easy for people to understand exactly what you offer and why you’re the best at it. Chatbots have continued to be useful in this phase by providing quick answers to common questions customers have when researching websites.
Engagement happens once a prospect has opted in to receive regular communication from you. Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch, but you can also include social media engagement, text communication, and even print marketing. Make sure these messages communicate proper expectations to customers. Don’t promise things you can’t deliver.
If you’ve done all the work, and your product is what the customer needs, this will lead to a commitment from your customers. At this point, you want to make sure your purchase process and post-sale customer service is high-quality and efficient. This will help customers decide to make multiple purchases and hopefully move to the next stage — brand advocacy!
Many companies think that a purchase ends the relationship, but that’s far from the truth. In fact, a happy customer can do more for your marketing than most brand efforts. How do you communicate during this stage? Once a customer has purchased a product, offer a loyalty program. This improves retention and also boosts your chances the customer will continue to communicate with you as well as with other potential customers and guide them on your customer journey.
What Great Communication Looks Like
What does it mean to have excellent communication throughout a customer’s relationship with your company? First, you want to make sure your communication skills are on point, at both a personal and a company level. Next, you have to make sure you understand the customers’ needs at every stage of your sales funnel. What are the biggest reasons they move forward? Why do they drop out?
Using data will help you dramatically improve your customer engagement. You will be able to communicate with clients and customers strategically depending on where they are in your funnel and know how they are currently reacting to your online content, products, and services.
From there, use the data you have to add value and personalize the customer experience. Break your database of prospects into segments and communicate with each one based on their unique interests. You can use customer feedback and other metrics to focus on each groups’ preferred communication channels.
When It’s Time to End a Client Relationship
Not every customer journey ends in rainbows and unicorns. There are times when a customer has expected something you couldn’t deliver, even if you made those expectations clear. Sometimes, you just can’t take on another client. Things happen.
Fortunately, you can fire a client, and it’s possible to do so politely and professionally. If you find that you can’t make someone happy no matter what you do, or the customer is abusive toward your staff, it’s time to move on. Be sure you sever ties according to any contracts you have in place, and consider offering them other referrals or resources.
Strong Communication Builds Great Relationships
Having excellent communication with prospects through the entire customer journey helps build a stable relationship of trust and respect. This encourages prospects to become customers and ultimately decide to advocate for your company.
Technology makes communication easier, as automation, email, and text marketing campaigns are more accessible and effective than ever. When you use these tools to connect and personalize your message, you’ll improve retention, profit, and growth. You can’t afford to miss out!