Marketers – Should you be spending your time along the way and develop programs specific to the customer journey? I think too many articles are written on this topic and I have never been comfortable developing a plan to address this idea.
Here are my thoughts on this topic. In my opinion, this term, customer journey is an over-used term. Let me tell you why…
What is the customer journey?
Almost every marketing speech I hear these days that tries to marry marketing with sales talks about how customers are coming in and out of the journey. The journey is usually highlighted on a page and it includes stops for companies to draw attention to their company product or services, engage them with blogs and follow-up messages through email and social media channels and hopefully, the client will make the decision to select your company to do business with.
How did the customer journey get so complicated?
The answer, we, as marketers are reading more and more information about how we need to engage more with our clients and bring them into this process of reading content on our sites and continuing a dialogue with clients because they have so much information to sort through regarding their service needs and questions.
Is there a better approach to looking at the customer journey? The answer is YES!!!
Believe it or not, I really do not focus on the customer journey. The focus for me is quite simple.
- Make customers aware of your products/services and show how your company can offer value for your clients.
- Bring people in and make the process simpler and easier for your customers.
- Finally, make sure your clients are connected personally to one of your own client service/management staff.
If you take care of servicing your clients, you don’t need to worry about where they are in the journey.
Where should Marketers focus their time and resources if not focused on the customer journey process?
Going Mobile – People are in more of a hurry now more than ever. Even if your website is mobile-friendly, it still may not be the easiest for your clients to navigate and find information. This is a huge challenge right now for me. I am doing a lot of listening to clients and trying to better understand their pains with respect to our website. From here, I am trying to make our site much more simpler and more appealing to mobile users.
Client Service – People now don’t have time to conduct their own research. They call-in and want answers to their questions over the phone or by email. Where is this step in the customer journey? People want answers to their questions and if your representatives are not available they will go somewhere else. People don’t have time to conduct in-depth searches on their phones. Clients are discovering that they can better use their time by calling or emailing client service staff people.
Manage Social Media Marketing Process more effectively – Learn to find ways to communicate that are radically different than the normal communication on these sites. Get people’s attention and draw them in. For me this has been a huge change I have made in the last year. In addition, I would prioritize the platforms and chose one platform to really focus on. You don’t have to have a presence on every social media site.
Manage Content Marketing Process more effectively – Don’t think more content equates to more hits. Write 2-3 articles a week and take some time to write a good article and lead them to take some more action…read another article, contact a company representative for more information, include an offer or extend an invitation of some kind.
If you work with a system that captures people’s information and sends several follow-up communications over a period of time, continue to work with these type of systems. Make these processes more personal by making sure these messages come from you or someone specific in you company. Make sure you always give people a reason to contact you if they still have questions or want clarification. Track these leads and see if they are already being serviced by your website or client service staff. I am finding the more simpler the process I have in place on the web or by contacting client service staff, the faster these leads are becoming clients.
(This is the real reason below that I am not a big fan of the client journey process) (I am not saying the journey doesn’t exist. I am just wondering why so much emphasis is placed on it. Focus on more on service, mobile and moving toward simpler processes)
One last exercise.
Finally, put yourself in the client journey process. Do you go to a company website and after looking at the service, you navigate the site for more blog information and where to connect on Twitter or Facebook? I can only speak for myself, but typically I look for the product/service, the price and the hours of operation. From here if I have questions, I may call the company or email the company if I can find an email address on the site. I’m not a fan of information emails like email@example.com. Somewhere, I like to see a person’s name that I can can contact. I want a simple process that provides me with additional information about the service that will help me determine if the company I am buying from has a solid, quality product/service. If the process is simple and easy-to-follow, typically I will come back to the site. If I can call and get answers to my questions in a quick, efficient manner, chances go up substantially that I will be doing business with this company. In addition, I may even visit the location in person if it is a local company. Do you want to measure and analyze my journey or would you rather spend the time up front to develop a better client service system? In the end it is about sales…How quickly can you get there?
Picture Source: Pixabay