“74% of consumers are at least somewhat likely to buy based on experiences alone.” Making sure all your customers have a positive experience with your brand is the goal; you wouldn’t want to be losing precious customers due to an easily avoidable bad experience! Have a say in your customers’ purchasing narrative and start being strategic with your customer pathways.
Customer pathways are the journey a customer takes from the first moment they discover your business right through until they are no longer a customer. It is every single touchpoint that a customer experiences in relation to your business (check out our blog on touchpoints for more info on this!) https://www.daisydigital.co.nz/digital-marketing-tips-tricks/
Every business with customers (so literally every business!) has a customer pathway, and by mapping out your customer pathway you can replicate the touchpoints that ultimately lead to conversions and quit wasting time and money on touchpoints that lead to low-value or negative outcomes.
So why would it be important to map out these customer journeys if you already have a steady stream of customers? When a pathway is strategically designed it helps ensure a consistent experience for all your wonderful customers during their purchasing journey. It helps you keep customers, increasing their purchasing rates (and the lifetime value of that customer) and it helps you turn those customers into advocates for your business (in turn helping you get even more customers!)
By planning your customer’s journey, you are more likely to create a fantastic experience for your customers with clear communication and encourage re-purchasing. If the whole process is smooth sailing, your customers will keep coming back for more!
Another great benefit of developing a strong customer pathway is if you put more time and focus into the journey, you can learn a lot about your target customer. You can get to understand their habits, wants and needs. This helps you to tailor the experience, creating an overall fantastic purchasing journey. The more you know about your audience, the better you can communicate with them.
Not only all this, but there are more great benefits too. These include receiving awesome feedback from your customers, having them repurchase again and again, and sharing by word and mouth. A customer sharing their experience with your brand with their friends and family can be one of the most powerful marketing tools. Just think of the time your friend got you onto that fantastic lipstick that ended up becoming your go to!
There are 5 core steps to the customer pathway:
The first step is the entry point. This is when your customer discovers you for the first time. You’ve heard the saying “you only have one opportunity to make a first impression”, and though cliche, it is 100% true. This first stage in the customer journey is the foundation of building a relationship with your customers. Make a great first impression by having eye-catching and valuable social media content (good quality images, rich content and relevant hashtags!) and effective advertising that draws in the right customers.
Trust bridges are when your customer has grown to trust and recognise your brand. This stage is also known as the consideration phase. Customers in this stage are debating their options and comparing features, benefits and pricing between your product and service, and that of your competitors. You need to make your brand stand out in the crowd. This is where you need strong branding and messaging. A customer needs to be able to take one look at your brand and understand your point of difference and see value in choosing you over your competitors. At this stage, look closely at your USP (why should the customer pick you? What makes you better than your competitors? Why should they trust you?), create brand familiarity through consistently using your logo, brand colours and fonts, and create content that builds trust.
The next step in the customer journey is the first transaction. Congratulations, you now have a customer that is familiar with your brand, trusts you, and is willing to part with their hard earned money and purchase your product or service! In this phase of the customer journey, your aim is to continue the conversation post-sale. Don’t treat your customer like a one night stand; put them through a post-purchase email flow or follow up with them to make sure they are happy with the service they received. Continue the great experience they received leading up to purchase so they will keep moving through to the next stages in the customer journey.
Next is the retention phase. This phase is arguably the most difficult phase in the customer journey, and many brands lose a lot of customers because they don’t sufficiently support their customers after their first purchase. Engage in constant communication with your customers (email flows are a lifesaver for this stage in the customer journey!), and look to continue solving your customers’ pain points.
Last but certainly not least is the advocacy stage. You now have loyal customers, who have the power to turn their friends and family into more loyal customers. You have invested in the journey, so now you can start to see the returns. Their loyalty to your brand transforms into one of the most powerful marketing tools; it turns into word and mouth marketing. Whether it’s a chat with their family and friends about a must try product, or simply tagging your Insta in their post, word of mouth marketing draws in more new customers than any other form of marketing.
Having an understanding of the customer journey and how to tailor it to your target market will help give your customers a unique and exceptional experience when interacting with your brand. Sit down and map out your customer journey, and identify any gaps. If you need help mapping out your customer journey and creating a plan for adding more touchpoints, send an email to [email protected] to book in with one of our Marketing Strategists!