One day you wake up with an idea you find perfect. It could be the newest mobile app or the website selling craziest socks’ design, doesn’t even matter. It’s made your day and now you’ve got an itching wish to put it into life.
The worst you can do is to rush into your idea’s launch. It will be like playing chess alone: it’s always your move as you will see it only from your part. Standards practices are hardly a secret to you. So today we’ll speak of one more important approach. According to it the best you can do is to look at the other side of the chessboard and see who is playing with you. Thus you both will have all chances to derive maximum pleasure from the game.
So take your team, the UX designer and the Marketing manager and try to analyze what kind of experience your customers will get using your website or app. Compose together a detailed plan of your interactions with them. It can look like that:
Or like that:
Or you can design your own personal step-by-step Customer Journey Mapping and let the trip begin!
Step 1. “Analyze that”
Whether it is failure or love at first sight between your client and you will depend only on you.
To guarantee the latter before presenting yourself in the web, personalize your ideal customer. Let’s make his profile: his detailed portrait, both physical and psychological.
His common outline is quite easy: you just need to imagine what he might look like, his age, sex, place of work, income, social status, hobbies, etc. His final portrait must be so vivid as if you’ve been best pals for 10 years the least.
More profound description will require harder brain-storming as it will let you communicate with a real, not an imaginary person:
- what are his needs?
- what are his concerns?
- how can you help him to overcome them?
- what motivates him?
- who and what influences his decisions?
- how much time does he need to take decision?
- when is the real moment for making a purchase (for example you hire a move-in company right after you’ve bought a new house)?
- which channels will he likely use for a purchase?
- what kind of support he may need from you?
- what could beсome a stumbling point in your services or what could excite him?
Thorough research will help you to draw your customers’ attention and offer them exactly what they need.
Shooting in the dark will result in wasting money and zero attention rate from your clients.
Step 2. “Press to impress
After you’ve outlined your clients hunt them down both online and offline. Analyze the channels your customer uses and try to be there to meet him.
1) Organic search (this is when the customer has only a vague idea of what he wants and the traffic brings him to your website)
In this case don’t be scared to outperform his expectations. If you don’t show the best of your product he’ll shift to another website with no regrets. Analytics states that main users enter no more than 5 websites from the first page load. That’s why your SEO plays paramount role at your website. Imagine which questions may arise from your potential customers and ensure that your website provides answers to any of them in the right time and right place.
2) Direct visit: this is the case when your brand is catchy so he’s here on purpose; for example you’re selling cosmetics;
This is his first visit and although he’s familiar with your brand already make sure he won’t get lost. All do your best to provide smooth process from the moment of entering the website till making a targeted action (check-out in case of purchase).
3) Referral links (redirect from other websites, for example the client searched for birthday presents and your website was in the list of websites offering them or he wanted to see the latest trends of ties and he came across the collection you’re selling now). Here we use the same rules as with the two above.
As for the search of relevant partners, always keep in mind your ideal person’s image. It will help you to build up a policy of your referral links with those partners who correlate with your targeted audience. The same story goes with your partners. It’s like a diagrams’ intersection.
4) Social networks:
Bloggers’ and influencers’ pages are often boast tons of followers (you can attract these VIP by sending them samples of your products or invitations to your special events, in exchange you can ask them for mentioning your brand at their pages). Of course it would be great if sounds as natural as possible. Influencers inspire confidence and make you feel superb. So if a customer really appreciates the influencer’s opinion he will think that if the influencer has approved you then you’re really worthy of his (customer’s) choice.
Facebook pages of your brand. Here the tone of your voice is the key: be friendly and make their day. Stay positive and helpful and your followers will gladly join you;
Instagram (the best for promoting goods or service which are visually vivid. It’s a platform characterized by highly great rate of engaging and conversion of its followers. It’s for emotional people percepting your brand through images) ;
Please, make sure that all the above is easy to operate. Not less important is that each of them provokes some emotion and shapes its attitude to brand. So think of their emotional fulfillment and thoroughly develop their positioning and messaging accordingly. To make this channels really work you must analyze and update them all the time for enhancing their effectiveness. Otherwise it will be a “wooden leg massage”.
Business varies from type to type so universal offline success story is a myth. Still, some hints are possible. First of all, think how your users communicate with you offline and whether you’re satisfied with your result. Which extra emotions can you evoke in them for motivating them to make a decision?
For example, decent fashion brand must have a clear spacious showroom for demonstrating its range. Highly competent staff and sometimes a personal brand stylist could be a great bonus here.
Car rental service will stand out among its competitors if offers signing a contract within half an hour.
Real-estate agencies offering VR-presentations of the apartments and houses, especially those which are under construction yet will definitely have more chances to attract new customers than others.
You can participate in some special events like some Children’s fest if you’re a centre of early development. Here you can organize some free master-classes for children and make a small playground for younger ones. Such bonuses have great positive impact on your potential customers as they give them positive emotions absolutely free of charge. Be ready to give leaflets with detailed information about your company.
A good example is also cross-advertising campaigns or partnering programs.
For example, you have an app helping to find the nearest gas station, auto service or car wash. For you it’d be rational to partner with insurance companies. Thus they will get a customers’ database and possible exposure and you will get an investor or additional service offering.
It will bring a commission through your app with tracking of insurance subscription and acquiring it through the app. In such case there can be online advertising in the web and on TV. And offline advertising might be billboards near the cashier desks offering the use of such service.
But mind that in case of partnering programs your targeted audiences must coincide. Otherwise your potential hit will turn into a miss.
Grasp your clients. Outstanding design, non-standard promo campaigns, viral videos. Now you’ve caught your customers’ attention. It’s time to ensure they have fallen into you. Here is where good educating, expertise content may help to involve your customers even more.
But be careful. Don’t overload your customers with information. It must pop up in the right place and the right time.
Right place: partnering with those who could be useful for your business. Thus if you have a marketplace of musical instruments you could cooperate with various wedding services or even musical schools, opera houses, etc.
Right time: sending out travel leaflets two months before supposed vacation times or sending an offer of buying baby clothes after the baby’s birth.
If you follow these rules, your clients will join you with pleasure.
Step 3. “I’ve passed the usability testing”
It’s one of the crucial moments. Almost like meeting your girlfriend’s parents. The client wants to see what you can offer. And now it’s time to demonstrate your website’s and social channels’ highest usability. It’s time for your client to make a decision so be gentle but efficient.
Personally re-test every query form; button and app. Pay special attention to getting in touch with your customers: either through live chat or a telephone number or a contact form or e-mail.
Sometimes clients can be lost between these steps:
For example, a client is asked to undergo a registration process at a website of the Internet-shop. The system sends a confirmation e-mail to a client’s mailbox and at this stage the mail can get into Spam and the client can be lost. In such case the client can get one more e-mail within a few days if he hasn’t clicked the link first time.
Or sometimes a client makes a mistake entering his e-mail and doesn’t get a confirmation e-mail. It could be avoided in case the client is asked to re-enter his e-mail twice, for example.
As you can see, usability testing can substantially reduce the risks and eliminate the roadblocks between various stages.
That’s why leave a client zero chance to doubt your professional skills. Everything must prove you always deliver the best results meeting the highest standards.
Fulfill your website and social channels with FAQ sections, be flash-quick to react to any requests and give clear and detailed explanations.
The simpler, the better. The less steps your client will have to undergo from choosing a product till its purchase the more chances you will have he will not drop it all in the middle.
Impeccable navigation and usability, minimum registration time will raise your ratings to top level for your client.
Indiscernible dull buttons, multi-step navigation and long query forms will make your customers forget about you in a blink of an eye.
Step 4 “Inhale! Exhale”
It’s the panic stage. Your client hasn’t parted with his money yet and now he takes a pause to look around. He wants to make sure he’s made the right decision entrusting the development of his product to you. It’s especially true for some complex sales. In such case there is a “pause” stage and it’s your task to anticipate it.
All you need to do is to reassure him once again that you’re delivering top quality service and there is no information you will not be able to provide.
Demonstrate your credentials: experts’ and influencers’ reviews, comparative analysis with your competitors. Explain again why you. Make some attractive offers, show you’re interested in a long-lasting cooperation.
Remember: both insufficient and over-abundant information will undermine the confidence to you by your customers.
Step 5. “Money, money, money”
The most painful part. Money always makes any client regret he has ever started it. Be persuasive. Supply him with all the necessary information. Encourage. Be his mummy and sports coach. Even his shrink if he needs it. Show him that your product is worthy of each spent cent.
Step 6. “Now what?”
The client has made a purchase, “Hooraay!” Now what? Keep on moving, of course! Finalizing the project doesn’t mean you have to leave your customer alone. In any existing business your old clients are much better than the new ones. So, inspire them, build up your common history and enhance them to cooperate even more. Now when you two are so happy due to your brilliantly-planned interaction, it’s time to continue your trip by offering your customer your support with the e-commerce loyalty program which will make your relations even better.