As a consumer, there’s nothing more frustrating than once you’ve made your purchase either (a) being forgotten about for all eternity, (b) being bombarded with more sales promotions straight away, or (c) feeling like the company just wants as much from you as possible – without any understanding of what you need or want.
That’s why any business, whether a FMCG or service provider, should always take the time to understand the customer journey (the timing, frequency and relevant touchpoints you have with each other) and overlay that with the customers experience (how they feel about you).
That way you can truly tailor your sales and promotional communications at the right time in the right way.
Lets take buying a car for example:
The customer has done their research, heard about the local dealership, had a good feeling about them and so comes along expecting all their needs to be met there and then. They haven’t got time to keep coming back or trawling garages for hours, right?
But how quickly that positive expectation can be met, or disappointed, occurs from the moment they pull up outside. Is there parking space, does it look clean and welcoming, what range of models and prices do they have – will it suit my budget? And is there a loo and somewhere to get a coffee if I need it? (Maybe that’s just me!)
And once inside, how are they greeted, are the sales teams knowledgeable and treat them with respect? Do they take time to make them feel important?
Within seconds consumers make a split decision as to whether this business is going to be able to meet their needs. The 3 second rule applies in most walks of life – how will you match up?
Taking to time to think about all the stages the customer goes through before they even visit or call is vital – what is your brand saying about you, are your messages consistent, and what offers are there for rewarding loyalty, not just for attracting new customers.
How much can you afford to spend on your marketing to beat the heavy competition?
And when they do contact you, do all your staff live up to that brand image? Where could you possibly be letting yourself down, and what can you do about that? More training, 1:1’s, brand awareness through internal comms maybe?
And then to finish there’s the follow up. Is it appropriate to say “Thank you”. Have you agreed a review period. What channel would your customer prefer to be contact via? And whats the proportionate amount of time before you try and up-sell or cross-sell another product or service? This is detail that you should know, or at least research for the future. Look at buying patterns and behaviours and target your sales to the customer journey.
If you watch, plan, learn and adapt – your referrals and retention rates will without doubt increase, raising your sales figures all the time.
There’s an old adage that ‘comedy is about great timing and leaving them wanting more’ – the same should be said of any successful business!
To discuss how to plot and monitor your Customer Journey and Experience, call Pauline Baker Marketing on 07508 467866 and we shall be happy to work with you on how to gain a better understanding of what your customers expect, and to build on those relationships.