Can a Customer journey become viral?

All brands want their Customer journeys to be as painless as possible.

How can we seamlessly move people from Prospects to Customers?

The problem to fix

To solve this issue, several teams are involved, and they very often add layers of tools to achieve this (each team buys their own tool).

As a result, they make the Experience even more cumbersome for Prospects and Customers.

Learning from Sales Funnel, not!

When reading this Want Real Leads? Quit focusing on the Sales Funnel great article, I loved the goal of a real lead, grow real relationships, long-term customers, ongoing sales, satisfied customers, referrals, consumer advocacy (not only short-term revenue and shelf-ware).

An usual Sales funnel sure doesn’t do that, it bombards prospects with content (ok, adapted to each journey step), till the Prospect is fed up or becomes ready to go further.

How do we learn?

“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room” Chris Dancy

This great quote from Chris first baffled me, and then enlightened me: we all learn from smarter people, let’s spend time with smarter people to improve (and also time with other people, to help them grow too).

Let’s apply this to the Customer journey.

How to convert a Prospect to a Customer? Easy, don’t throw a Sales guy, make sure the Prospect talks to an happy Customer, who will have an exciting story, and there you go, it becomes viral. (note that happy is probably important here, you don’t want a lead to talk to a frustrated customer 😉).

Designing a viral journey

Let’s add some steps, learning from usual journey maps.

Customer journey steps

Let’s consider the following more granular approach:

Prospect > Interested > New Customer > Loyal > Advocate

Ready to give it a try? How does it fly?

  • when loyal customers talk with advocates, there is a good chance that some of them will convert to advocates
  • when brand new customers talk to loyal customers, it increases the chances for them to become loyal too
  • if people who are “interested”, considering to become customers, talk with existing customers, they’ll probably like the way new Customers are onboarded and decide indeed to join the fun
  • Last step, would it make sense for a prospect to interact with people who are just interested? Mhh, I need to think more about this one, let’s table it for now 😉

In this model, we would always foster engagement with people who are in the next step, on the right.

If Shift-left is a very good Service Management Strategy, Engage Right is the best Social Business Strategy.

How can we productize this?

  1. Advocates (champions IDed in the beta program, or Advisory Boards) are showcased/spotlighted on the Community, and active community Members (good illustration of a loyal customer) engage with them, leveling-up on their skills
  2. Loyal Customers help to create very valuable User Generated content on the Community, what about showcasing such content directly on the Support or Documentation site, where all new Customers will be driven too?
  3. Customers are presented with valuable content to make them succeed (Product Blogs, Knowledge Base, Forums Q&A, etc.), what about displaying such resources (featuring comments from customers) for interested prospects? (people who visit web site for the 3rd time)
  4. How could an interested prospect help a less mature prospect? This one is a stretch. But why not, they could interact on their selection process for example. Since such interactions could be pretty confidential, we’d want such conversations to happen in private, not in public.

Wow, isn’t it amazing?

The whole customer journey could be based on Engage Right, beginning in private, then public for a couple of steps, and ending in private (for beta Programs or Advisory Boards).

Do you think it’s realistic? Please 👏 and comment with your perspective.
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