Walking in different shoes — Why you need to see the customer journey as the customer.

I want to start this article with a question — How many genuinely unique products or services do you actually buy? I am not talking about small, individual, USP aspects of your decision here, such as buying a particular mobile service provider because it is the only one that covers where you live, or using a particular dry cleaner because they are the nearest to your workplace. I mean actually unique products.

My guess is your answer is probably none.

Ok, now think of a product you buy fairly regularly and consider your journey to that purchase because, it stands to reason that if you have one or probably several alternate choices, your decision to buy is probably intimately linked to the journey.

Finally, consider your own existing and potential customer base and ask yourself what their journey is. If the choice of purchase is embedded in the journey that ends in yours or a competitor’s product, knowing the route they will take is vital. Once you know the route, you can maximise the number of times you touch them on the journey and that, in turn, will result in increased sales.

You notice I said ‘will’ result in increased sales there and not ‘should’ or ‘perhaps will’. It will result in increased sales; we know this because we have seen it happen time and time again. However, the route taken can be varied and needs to be maximised to release the full potential for your business.

For many projects, this trail could start with a mail contact. This may well be electronic or perhaps a physical mailer. Where possible this should be personalised and individual to the intended recipient. Of course, to personalise you will need to have an existing, valid, and up-to-date dataset to work from. Most businesses have this in some form or another, but we often find that it is fractured and not fully integrated into the process.

So that means we need more data, and more to the point, we a need continually refreshing table of customer information. It is really important then that there are options for interaction in your contact with the customer. Often this will take the form of an electronic reply to an offer, or a response to a direct message, perhaps. Competitions, giveaways, free downloads, club membership, and so on, all should be considered as part of the overall customer journey rather that individual means to a specific end.

The start point of the journey is also relevant here. We are sort of assuming that the journey is starting from cold in the above example, but this is often not the case. If the customer is already known to your business, then there is a good opportunity there to re-start the journey on a different or follow-up product. Again here there is an element of knowing when and how to follow up on an initial contact with a personalised and appropriate message.

Reading back over this article I find myself thinking that surely all this is obvious, and all businesses must realise that it is vital to their success. To be frank, I am sure they do, but we see many cases where implementing a strategy, maximising the potential of the sales journey, and creative and effective touch points for the customer are not in place. This is not because the business does not recognise the need, it is usually because they do not have the time or resources to make it happen.

Call us and we will be happy to see what we can do to make that sales journey work for you. All you need to do to help us start is show us something you will already clearly know about — the sales journey through your customers’ eyes. Once we can walk in their shoes, we can walk with them on the journey.

http://www.nutshellcreative.co.uk/

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