How do your customers find you? We all want to attract more customers to our businesses. No matter what we offer, we need people to buy from us.
You might be familiar with the concept of the customer journey already but in this article, I’m going to ask, ‘whose journey is it anyway?’
I’m going to be sharing an exercise with you that many people skip but that will really make a difference to your business and set you up to attract more customers in a consistent and meaningful way.
What is the customer journey?
If you haven’t come across this before, it’s the route a customer takes which leads them to your door. Your business is here to serve, and it is doing that by giving your customer an answer to a problem.
Mapping out the customer journey means knowing the steps your customer takes to solve that problem. This is part of the process of getting to know your customer and follows on from these guides:
- 7 steps to building a customer profile that will bring you closer to your customer
- Choose your customers so they fit & say no to the ones that don’t
Doing this work means we really start to understand our customers.
We know, like and trust them, and we need to understand the problem they are trying to solve so they can know, like and trust us.
How to think like your customer
The best way to start; is to take the journey that your customer would take to solve their problem.
An important thing to remember is that your customer WANTS you to find them.
They are leaving clues for you to find everywhere.
All you need to do is follow them. Let’s look at what those clues might be.
Start by walking in their shoes
If you find this challenging, then start by thinking about what you might do in their shoes.
When you have a problem, what do you do?
You might search Google, so that’s your first step on the journey.
Or you go to a particular store. How do you choose which store to go to?
When you get to the store, what do you do then?
Which department do you look for? Which person do you speak to?
What is going to lead you to the answer you are seeking?
Perhaps one of your peers has already found the answer.
Can you ask them? What do they recommend?
Who do you speak to?
Once you have found the person you need to speak to or the shop that stocks the right product, what do you do next?
How do you know it’s the right choice for you?
Do you like the look, touch, smell, taste, or sound of it? How could you find that out?
If it’s bread for instance, are you able to have a taste?
In case it’s a car, can you take it for a test drive?
If it’s clothing, can you try it on?
What if your customers’ challenge is something else?
For instance, they might want to be more resilient, or they want to succeed at some endeavour, or they want to learn about marketing.
What are the steps they take to solve that challenge?
Imagine the steps your customer is going to go through.
Look at this objectively and if you can; stop and observe your customer’s behaviour as they come and find you.
Stop and observe your customer’s behaviour
Now, this exercise might seem obvious, but this is the step many business owners miss.
They don’t take the time to sit and observe their customer’s behaviour. More than that they don’t map that journey so that it’s broken down step by, important, step.
So make sure you write every single step down.
Capture one step per line so that you really break it down for yourself; knowing the importance that each step is to the whole journey.
Resist the temptation to skip a step because that might be the one that changes everything for you.
Doing this simple exercise will help you attract more customers.
This also gives you the basis for your sales process which ultimately helps you attract more customers.
It shows you where you need to focus so you can map your process to their journey.
It’s a game-changer when you start to think in a more connected way like this.
Questions you need to answer
You’ve observed the steps your customer takes, now you need to go deeper.
Remember, your customer wants you to find them. These questions will help you find them:
- How do they become aware of the answer to their problem?
- What decisions did they make to narrow down their choices?
- How do they become interested in you as being the answer?
- How do they notice that this might be the right answer for them?
- Can they test that this might be the right answer for them?
- And once they buy, what is the buying experience like? We often forget this.
- What is the experience like after purchase? For instance, if they bought a rug and they were trying to get it in the car afterwards but it wouldn’t fit, or if it was too heavy for them to carry. What could they do then? What could you do then?
- When there is a problem, what is that like? What would happen if they bought a car and it didn’t work? How do you solve that problem?Do they have to find the answer somewhere else and start the process again?If they come to us for the answer, we want to make sure that they don’t have to find the answer somewhere else.They’ve already spent with us, we must make sure that we deliver on the promise that we make to solve their problem.
Make sure you avoid this trap
The trap that I often see people falling into, when they are doing this exercise is that in their effort to solve their customer’s problem they jump straight to their own answer and forget to walk in their customers’ shoes which negates the whole point of the exercise.
They end up mapping a purchase journey (which is how they want to sell something) as opposed to mapping a customer journey (which is how your customer wants to buy it).
The objective here is to understand where you need to be at each point in their journey, to show them you’re the answer to their problem.
To do that you need to be in observer mode and watch what they actually do.
You must stop your own story from getting in the way of theirs.
When you do that, you will attract more customers to you because they will see that you are where you need to be at every stage in the process.
Focus on what they want to achieve at each stage and how they feel
The next thing that I want you to think about is the goals your customers are trying to achieve at each stage of the journey.
For instance, at the very start, they may be saying, ‘I want to find three people because I want to compare them’. They’re not looking for the one right answer at the start. They’re looking for two or three possible answers so that they can compare notes and because they’ll feel better about the end purchase decision.
Think about every stage in this journey, from identification of their problem, right through to solving their problem.
Their Customer Journey Might Look Like This:
- I want to narrow down who / what can help me.
- I want to know who else talks about this and what I can learn that will help me in my search.
- What kind of reviews does each option get?
- I want to see how much each option costs.
- Can I trust them?
- Is there someone I trust who is also using this?
- Have I got a point of reference here?
These are all possible decision points, and these are all the goals at each point in their journey.
Another good thing to do at each stage, is to ask, ‘how do they feel at this point?’
Are they nervous at each point? Are they confused?
Can you find a way to say, ‘Don’t be nervous, this is the answer you need’?
Or, ‘This is how I will make you feel comfortable in finding your answer.’
Attach emotion to every single stage and think about the emotion that you want them to feel.
For example, you will want them to feel happy and satisfied at the end of this process.
You want to take them on an emotional journey with you whether they’re buying tech or buying a rabbit for their child.
You want them to feel positive and reassured at every single point.
What are you doing that will inspire this emotion at this point in their journey?
How can you anchor that positive feeling?
Look for the opportunities
Remember your customers are leaving you clues.
You need to look for the opportunity they are trying to show you.
Wherever there is friction, there is an opportunity for you to shine.
The things that make a difference to how a company grows and how it succeeds, are discovered during the time they spend noticing the opportunity that their customer is trying to show them.
We are too often focused on our own voice.
When we can integrate the journey of our customer and the voice of the customer with our own processes, then we can truly succeed, because we can hear them. When we hear them we can:
- show them that we understand them
- build products they want to use to solve the problems that they have
- see what they need to help them make the right decision for them
- show them that we are right for them (but only if we are).
Closing Thoughts To Help You Attract More Customers
If you want to attract more customers to your business, then take some time to map their journey to find you. Allow them to teach you what they need at each point in the decision-making process.
When you let your customers teach you, they will show you how to build a sales and marketing process that works.
You just have to take the time to watch and listen for the opportunities they are showing you.
If you’d like to find out more about mapping your customer’s journey so you can attract more customers to you then check out Get Strategic Get Results™.
In this comprehensive program, you’ll learn how to build marketing that feels like you and speaks to your customers with powerful results.
And if you’ve any questions or insights you’d like to share about this topic, please do so below in the comments.
I love to work with businesses, both large and small to help them create sustainable business dreams... Brand and Strategy are at the heart of everything I do and that gets rolled out digitally and across any channel where your customer lives.