The aim of every company selling a product or providing a service is to find and retain customers through a predictable journey. However, keeping your customers is easier said than done. This is why many companies have started focusing on customer success and thinking about the customer journey.
At first, these terms may just sound like jargon but they’re actually quite simple to understand. Consider the term “customer journey.” What does it sound like? Everyone has heard the phrase “being on board” in a journey. When you’re “on board” with something, that means that you agree with its aims; you’re “in.” You’ve committed yourself, at least temporarily, to a certain course of action.
A customer journey refers to getting the customer to this stage. It happens when the customer tries out your product or service, finds it useful in the way that they want and commits to using it.
According to this article from Huffington Post, “a talent for strategic relationships is really a hybrid of nature and nurture.” Although some people naturally have what it takes to work in the fields of customer success and customer journeys, it’s also possible to train your staff to focus on your customer and get them through their journey.
The Customer Journey Around Onboarding
Think about it from your own point of view. The last time you went shopping for a new dress, what type of customer journey did you go through?
- Browsing: Your first step was probably to go to the store and browse everything that was available. You checked out the different dresses available, their colors, sizes available and the price of each.
- Choosing: Out of all the dresses you saw, you probably chose a few to try out, which you thought would look good on you and fit your budget. But at this point, you were still not completely on board because you didn’t know how those dresses would look on you. Clothes look different on hangers and on real people.
- Trying On: Your third step was to try on those dresses in the fitting room. A couple of them probably didn’t fit right. They were loose in the wrong places and tight in the wrong ones. And then, you tried on a certain dress and you just knew that you were going to buy it. It just felt right. This is what this article in Inc. refers to as the “Aha” moment.
- Buying: Your next step was to buy the dress.
- Wearing: After you took the dress home, it probably hung in your closet for a few days before you got a chance to wear it. You combined it with the right accessories—jewelry, shoes, handbag, and makeup. And you wore it to work or to a date.
- Onboarding: You found that you got quite a few admiring looks and a few compliments on your new dress. So you knew that your new purchase was successful. And, at that point, you were completely onboard.
This is the point that you want to get your customer to – via mapping an effective customer journey.
Working Towards A Customer Journey
When it comes to dresses, the customer might get on board when they wear them for the first time. But when it comes to different types of products, using them for some time might be necessary before the customer is onboard. Plus, you might need to work with the customer more, in order to show them the correct use of the product and its many advantages.
- How Does the Customer Go Through The Customer Journey? Let’s assume that you’re selling some kind of new, low-fat butter. Many customers might be reluctant to buy this butter because they think it’s not going to taste as good as regular butter. But let’s say they try it for a month or so. During that process, they might find that the difference in taste is very slight. They might also find that they lose a few pounds by switching to this new butter. At that point in time when the customer steps on the scale, they get onboard through the customer journey.
- How Do You Work to Get the Customer Through Their Journey? To get the customer onboard, you need to keep working with them. The first step is to get them to agree to try the butter. And once they’ve bought it, you could provide them with recipes that use the butter. Or give them a complete weight-loss plan which includes using this butter. Keep working with them until they finally get onboarded—until they reach that point when they think, “hey, this really works!” In order to do this, you have to get to know your customer, as advised in this article in Entrepreneur.
- How Do You Understand Customer Success? A low-fat butter is a pretty simple product to use as an example. But there are various other products which could benefit from tracking a customer journey. Understanding the customer’s idea of success and helping them to achieve it should be one of your main aims when you’re selling your product. And onboarding is the customer journey of working with the customer to make sure they achieve that success.
Ways to Share A Customer Journey
Having understood the concept of onboarding and the necessity of getting a customer through the customer journey – you still need to figure out the various ways in which this can be done. The type of product or service you’re selling as well as the demographic that you’re trying to appeal to can influence the way in which you go about onboarding your customer.
- Type of Product or Service: Depending on what you’re selling, the process of onboarding can take various forms. For example, if you’re selling a dress, as in the above example, you can get your customer onboarded by communicating with them via your website, blog and social media pages. You can also provide them with good customer service, in case they call on the phone. But if you’re running an Italian restaurant, the process of onboarding would involve approaching a customer once they’ve begun eating to make sure that everything is the way they want it. In either case, staying in touch with the customer is really important.
- Demographic: The type of customer you’re selling to also influences the way in which you go about onboarding them. If your customer is young and hip, you know that they’re going to be on social media a great deal. So it might be a good idea to communicate with them via Facebook, Twitter etc. But if your customer is wealthy and middle-aged, you might want to give them the personal touch. Send them cards for their birthdays and Christmas. Get an executive to be in touch with them to make sure that they’re satisfied with the product or service. As this article from Forbes says, “the experience customers receive at each touchpoint shapes their perceptions.”
- Responsiveness: Keep in mind that there’s no fixed way to get your customer onboard. The best way to go about onboarding them is to find out what they like. And in order to do this, you have to keep in touch with them and be responsive to their changing needs. A customer who just wanted to look good in a certain dress on a certain day might change their mind and want to look absolutely stunning on a different day. It’s up to you to keep in touch, know what they want and make sure that they’re able to get it.
Streamlining your business processes is a great way of making sure that you give tracking a customer journey – the time and energy it deserves. With an app like Tallyfy, you make sure that all your processes are done in the time allotted to them and in the way that you want them done. Not only does this make things simpler for you, as a business owner, it also makes sure that your customer gets the attention they need. You can assign customer journey tasks, keep track of whether they’re getting done and simplify them in the long run.