This is a short consideration of the importance of your customer journey and how it can be implemented into your business for ongoing, consistent positive results.
Your customer journey really is the defining factor of your business’ success.
That may be a simple yet controversial statement, but we stand by it.
Perhaps you have a formalised, documented customer journey that your team are expected to know and follow to a ‘T’.
Maybe you chose to establish a clear, strong business ethic right from the start that still clearly feeds into every aspect of your customer service and practices. You trust your staff to maintain that on a day-to-day, month-by-month basis.
Perhaps you don’t have either.
Every business owner and entrepreneur will fall into one of these categories. The fact of the matter is, without a consistently GREAT customer experience, your business will fail.
Gone are the days when you, as the only butcher in town, could get away with a bad attitude. No longer can you rest in the knowledge that there is no one else who can provide the services you do and that you had ‘cornered the market’.
The market is global
There are thousands of people who do what you do.
Positive reviews are king in a world of shouting voices, heaving with competitors on a significant marketing budget.
Instead, as business owners who believe in what we do and consciously rely on our clients to speak positively of their encounter with us and our teams, establishing an exceptional, flawless customer journey is our most vital, foundational step.
When you began your business, it is likely that it comprised of you and perhaps one other person. You chose them (or grew up with them) knowing they would embody the same view of how to treat your clients, as you do.
Each person who walked through the door encountered a warm, welcoming environment. They felt accepted and valued. You were able to show them that you understood their problem, their concerns and their limitations. Your practice was careful and considerate and they left with glowing reports of a wonderful experience.
Word-of-mouth carried fast and in no time, you were growing your team, outsourcing aspects of your day to others to allow you to focus on your core business and skill sets.
If you are anything like most business owners, ever since that time, there has been a niggling sense of concern growing at the back of your mind.
- What if that stray comment leaks back to your review section?
- How do I ensure my staff speak politely to each client – even on a bad day?
- Why have I heard that phone ring and ring without being answered?
- Is somebody checking the Spam Folder regularly in case enquiries are being lost?
- Did I call that prospective customer back after we bumped into each other that day?
- Are my team, past and current customers still my greatest ambassadors?
- Do I need to increase my marketing budget just to keep customers coming back?
These are legitimate fears. What may be occasional slip-ups or missed opportunities now, build to become the overriding view of your establishment. Clients begin to walk into your offices hesitantly with a predefined concept of what to expect, already established by what they’ve heard.
But hold on! This is a very negative approach to what can be a completely manageable situation. It is more than possible to ensure that your customer journey becomes the backbone of your business success.
“Customer journey mapping is a continuous process. Mapping the customer journey tells you exactly how users interact with your brand, website, and product at different touchpoints—and what they’re doing, thinking, or feeling at each stage.” – Hotjar.com
The fact is, when you hired your reception staff, you had a clear idea of what you expected them to be able to do, how you wanted them to speak, and when they were expected to be at their posts.
So why should your customer’s journey – from their first contact with you through to a steady flow of positive recommendations, be any different?
Here are some straightforward steps to a powerful, effective customer journey.
Know what you want
Take the time to consider the intricate details of what you want each and every customer to see, feel, touch, hear and come away with at every touchpoint of their interaction with you, your team, your location and your marketing presence.
Establish it clearly
It must be documented. It must be visual and detailed. It must answer any questions even the newest members of your team might ask. It must be displayed and reviewed regularly.
Choose those you know will consistently and professionally define the highlights of working with you and deliver exceptional outcomes time and time again. Incorporate relevant questions that assess the suitability of people you interview. They may not have the experience, education or natural inclination to know how to exhibit the steps clearly, but a well-designed customer journey map will allow anyone who wants to succeed in their role, to learn the system.
Put guardrails in place to ensure that’s happening in line with your business values and ethics and exactly as you have chosen your brand to be represented. Do team catchups where you go through the journey map and query any steps that people are finding challenging or which are now outdated.
Track each encounter prospects have with your online and call-answering teams. Did you read our blog on Prospect Journey – for those first contact points? Have reports compiled weekly and monthly to review and correct any steps where your customer showed even the smallest hesitancy.
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos
Check out Prospect to Profit – Maximising Client Conversion – our product to help you achieve the best Prospect Journey, Customer Journey and deliver that service to your prospects. Leaving no money on the table!