Ensuring your clients have the best possible experience is the key to business survival. Customers feel a brand impact long before they open their wallets. This means the customer’s journey often begins before you realize it.
If you want to create a powerful and high-conversion customer journey, focus on what happens before, during, and after customers encounter your brand. Consider the steps that lead to repeat purchases, but also compel them to refer their family and friends.
1. Before the purchase
If a customer’s journey starts long before they make a purchase, how can you ensure they become a customer? First, consider this: “Am I making it easy for potential customers to find me online?” Take inventory of your digital footprint in three key areas:
- Search results: Conduct a quick Google search of your business (using a New Incognito Window, in Chrome, for example, to remove prior search history) and see what shows up. If the search results include anything negative, make sure to address it.
- Company website: Next, when it comes to your company website, is it easy for customers to navigate? Can they quickly figure out how to contact someone? Do you have a prominent form to capture leads (e.g., a name and email address)? Is the information on your website up-to-date? Also, in this day and age of instant communication, conversational chatbots are the new normal. Offering an online chat feature is a great way to address questions or concerns in real-time.
- Social media: Once you’ve reviewed search results and your website, ensure your digital footprint is up to par on your company’s social media pages. Is the information current and easy to find? Social media pages are excellent places to get to know your customers and vice versa. Create and upload useful video content whenever possible (if you can go live, even better!). Content that educates and entertains is high-value. Don’t forget to engage with your audience, as well!
2. During the purchase
A customer may need to experience up to 15 touchpoints before they ever buy from you. So, once they have decided to go all-in and make a purchase, ensure the experience is memorable.
During the buying process, ensure the lines of communication are open. Make it clear what to expect once they make a purchase and what to do if any issues arise. This communication can take place over the phone, in person, or via email. Depending on your industry, a simple text message may suffice. Also, make sure your policies are clear on your website.
To go the extra mile, offering a special gift to show your appreciation can seal the deal. This is a great way to show customers additional products or services they might want to purchase in the future.
Although it is not always pleasant, make sure to address customer complaints in a timely and professional manner. Many times, issues can be cleared up with simple communication. However, if that is not the case, do what it takes (within specified boundaries) to rectify the situation and ensure both you and your customer are satisfied.
When you think about the experiences that stand out to you as a customer, you will notice that satisfaction came from the little things. Think about what made you smile and see how you can include that same element of surprise and excitement.
3. After the purchase
Just because a customer has used your product or service, it doesn’t mean their experience is finished. Following up with prior clients is a great way to gain valuable market research knowledge. Asking a few simple questions can provide valuable insights into your customer experience. If possible, offer a small incentive for their time.
In addition to a survey, this is a great time to ask for referrals. Simply asking if they know someone who could benefit from what you offer can generate another stream of loyal customers. If you did everything right pre- and during the sale, they should not have any problem referring others to you.
Repeat purchases are where a lot of your revenue can be generated. So continuing the relationship after the purchase is a key to repeat business.
Create a VIP list for previous clients to keeps them aware of information, specials, and new offers before they’re open to the general public. This is a smart way to build customer loyalty and sell out before you open up new offers to the public.
Improve your customer experience today
You have one opportunity to make a strong first impression. The first impression is often the one they will carry with them. So addressing the pre-, during, and the post-sale journey is vital to guarantee a positive customer experience. Use these steps to conduct a quick audit of your operations and make changes quickly that can be measured. Your business and brand depend on it!
Beverly Walthour is an award-winning educator, trainer, TV show host, and digital marketing consultant working with business owners, companies, and corporations to create dynamic digital marketing campaigns that increase sales and market influence while leveraging high-performance strategies using the D2M Method™. Beverly’s uses more than 15 years of experience in education, leadership, and digital marketing to pinpoint market patterns so companies can make profitable pivots in their customer acquisition strategies and tactics.
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