We cannot change the way people think, but we can change the way they feel.
Most sales are made, for emotional reasons and then backed up with logic later. The way customers feel through their journey is hugely important.
So, what is the best way to find out, what it is like to be your customer?
It's quite simple really, ask them. Try to ask a selection of people and go from the start, when they had their first contact with you. Right through to delivery of the product or service and after sales contact.
You may be surprised by what you find. It may be a stroll through the wooded glade, or they may not know where to go, get lost and it may end up like a scene from Little Red Riding Hood.
My son had a Red Riding Hood experience recently with a company. All was all going well until the product arrived damaged. The journey quickly became a huge nightmare, and the company were suddenly elusive and difficult to contact. It got to the point that even contact with the wolf would have been a start!
It is safe to say none of us will ever order from them again! The journey just became a nightmare. It was all very unnecessary, and if it had been handled better by the company, it would have been fine.
Whatever you find out about your customer journey, puts you in a better position to improve and will be far more effective than looking at it from your point of view. As without meaning to, you will already know the path the customer is supposed to take, so it will naturally seem straightforward.
When you have spoken to customers and plotted their journey (post-it notes are good for this), you can then look at what was difficult for them and how it can be improved.
Look at where you had planned for them to go to and where they ended up and then why they missed points. You can look at how to make this point more compelling or more noticeable so that they do not miss it this time.
For example, you may have instructions on the website as to how to place an order, but if people are missing it and then getting confused, as they do not know how to place an order. This can then mean they don't buy on that occasion.
You could just get annoyed that people do not read things. But it would be far more effective, to look at how you can make sure people notice it in the future. This could be by having a button saying order instructions here or moving them to somewhere that is more prominent.
I have a few suppliers I used to use, their products were fine most of the time, but the process of placing an order and having it delivered was just too difficult. I would end up having to call many times to check when the delivery would be arriving; they would say they would call me back and then didn't. They didn't see it as a problem, I saw it as a complete waste of my time.
So sadly for them, I decided to find alternatives. The new ones are great, and when there has been an issue, they have kept me informed throughout the process. Which saves time and helps me to help my customers, which is all part of the service we pride ourselves on.
It is only by being truthful about the journey we ask our customers to take, that we can improve it for them and have more happy customers which is great for everyone.
Next time I will show you how to add touch points to your customer's journey to help you to educate and engage them.
Read more here: How Important Is Your Customer Journey?