Understandably, many business owners focus on the part of the customer life-cycle that deals with purchase and delivery of a product and/or service – it’s what brings the money in, and is the easiest part to evaluate in terms of customer satisfaction levels, timely delivery of goods/services, etc. However, it’s really just a single moment of a customer’s journey with you and your business, so it’s worth looking at the big picture – the full journey – in order to ensure that it’s as simple and positive as possible for an individual to become a customer (hopefully for the long-term!).
There are a number of things to consider when mapping out a customer journey, but there are some key points that it might be worth thinking about in order to evaluate the effectiveness of your average customer journey.
1.) When did a customer first become aware of your business? If you can establish where a customer first became aware of your business, it can really help you to ensure that you are assigning your marketing budget to the right places! Perhaps they found you on Facebook, so maintaining a professional and engaged Facebook presence becomes a key priority for your marketing team. Perhaps they found you in the organic search results on Google? In this case, keeping on top of your on-page optimisation work can be seen to have a perceived value. Tools like the native social media statistics and Google analytics can help you establish where people have come from and what they have done on your website, but a simple feedback form on your website that states ‘where did you hear about us?’ can also be a helpful resource for you to see what is working well, and what isn’t working so well, when it comes to your business marketing efforts.
2.) When did a customer first become aware of your range of products? Although some customers may find out about your business AND products/services at the same time, this isn’t always the case. Did a customer sign up for your mailing list and receive further information about your products via your newsletters or nurture funnel? Did they see a post on social media about your products/services? It’s worth considering all of the different ways that people are gently funnelled from first contact with you into making a purchase, and ensuring that there aren’t any holes in your funnel that allow for potential customers to drop out of contact with you.
3.) When did a customer make their first purchase with you? When mapping your customer journey, it’s not just important that someone reached the ‘goal’ of making a purchase, but how exactly they got there and what they did! It’s important to note how much they spent, the length of time between first contact and first purchase, to establish whether they used an offer code (delivered via email marketing or publicised on social media), whether they purchased online or in person, and – if possible, to ask for their feedback on the buying process. When you have this data for a number of customers, you can then start to look for patterns in buyer behaviour that could help you predict future purchases, or identify issues that you hadn’t noticed in the customer journey (for example, a clunky online cart) that might need fixing to improve the overall experience for the customer.
4.) When did a customer make their second purchase? Of course, it’s not the end of the customer journey once someone has purchased from you once! The ideal is a retained customer – a customer who values your products/services so highly that they keep on coming back. These loyal customers aren’t just a great source of revenue, but are the customers who are most likely to rave about you to fellow business owners, helping to add new potential customers to the cycle. Why not take a look at the length of time between first and second purchase (and additional purchases), and ask for feedback about what has kept them on-board with your business?
Once you’ve established the key points on the customer journey, you can then establish the average duration and value of a customer’s life cycle with your business, and use this to work towards improving customer experience and revenue for you. And don’t forget – if you’re having trouble working out what your customer journey is, or are worried that you’re losing potential customers somewhere in your sales and marketing funnel, don’t fret! Feel free to contact me at [Insert Contact Details] – I’d love to hear from you!