What was the last purchase you made? Maybe a chocolate bar you grabbed (on impulse!) or a new pair of walking shoes. Perhaps it was a more expensive item like home insurance or an online course. Whatever the product, you took a series of decisions before handing over your cash.
A client journey maps out these decisions. The ones a customer takes from finding you, to making a purchase, and after the sale. It describes a client’s experience as he or she considers, buys and uses your products or services. The journey details all the touch points a prospective customer has with your business. And summarises what happens at each one of these.
It may sound like a lot of work. But once you understand the stages of your client journey, you can design your brand experience accordingly. This way, you can provide your clients with exactly what they need at each step. As a result, the right clients will move effortlessly closer, and closer to your business. Falling deeper in love with your brand and the value you provide as they do so.
In short, mapping out your client journey helps you attract more of the right clients. And it primes them to buy from you. This saves you time and money and increases your levels of success.
Since your Client Journey Map highlights the activities that add most value to your business. Those that appeal directly to your ideal customers. It also enables you to focus on these activities and experience better returns on your investments.
Sounds good? Let me show you how you can start mapping your client journey.
Mapping out your client journey helps you attract more of the right clients. And it primes them to buy from you. This saves you time and money and increases your levels of success. Here's how to create your Client Journey Map..."
How to Start Mapping your Client Journey
Although client journeys can vary both in length and complexity, they usually include six main stages.
You want to consider what questions and expectations your prospective client has at each one. Then you can focus on providing the right information and delivering the best experience.
Consider what clients need to know in order to move to the next stage. How do you want them to think and feel? What do they need to do to take that next step? What can you do to encourage the right outcomes?
Keep in mind that at the earliest stages, you want to focus on mass market communication methods. At this point, your prospect is far from ready to make a decision to buy. Don’t waste time or resources where this doesn’t have a positive financial impact on your business.
The Six Stages of a Client Journey
Your potential client has a problem, but they are not yet aware of it. At this stage, if they come into contact with your business, your brand could just pique their interest. But since they are not yet aware of its significance, this is likely to be fleeting.
At this stage, clients know they have a problem to solve or a question to answer. They will scour the internet for educational content to help them. They will seek out companies with the knowledge and experience to deliver potential solutions.
A comparison phase where clients are researching the different ways they can solve their problem, which of these feels most viable, and who provides what. They are evaluating which solution is best and who they could work well with. They want to know the results different services offer and the practicalities of that offer.
By this stage, clients often have a short list of providers they would like to work with. It’s time for relationship-building and for more personalised attention. Customers are likely to consider a vendor’s values and approach to solving their problem. Does it match their own values and desires? If the fit feels right, the client will make the investment and work can start.
Your goal is to create an exceptional brand experience for your client. Therefore, the client journey doesn’t end with a purchase. It continues long into the relationship. For this post-sales stage, retention is about keeping your client happy for as long as possible. How can you add value after your initial service? How can you increase the lifetime value of a customer? Don’t forget that it’s always easier and less costly to keep an existing client, than to build new relationships.
Advocacy is the final stage of the journey. You want enthusiastic customers to become active supporters. And to recommend you to new clients.
Client Journey Example
Here’s an example of how the client journey works. One that I think we can all relate to – having a sore tummy.
At the unaware stage, you have a slight pain in your stomach, a niggle perhaps. But you don’t pay it much attention.
The pain doesn’t seem to be going away. So, you make a doctor’s appointment. This is the awareness stage. You realise you have a problem, but you don't know what exactly that is.
The doctor tells you that you have got an ulcer. Now you need to discuss which resolution is best for you. You have reached the consideration stage.
The doctor informs you that you have three main options. Change your lifestyle and nutrition. Have an operation. Or manage the condition with medication. You think: ‘Which one would be right for me?’.
After a period of reflection, you make a decision. I’m going for medication; I'm going to be on it for a while and see what happens. And you take that next step on your journey.
The retention and advocacy stages come later. When your ulcer has healed and not only stay with your doctor, but recommend her to your friends and family.
How to use Your Client Journey to Attract More Clients
Now you know what a client journey is and how important it can be for your business growth and success. See Part Two of this article to learn how exactly you can use the client journey within your business.
One Step to More Dream Clients
This article is based on one of the Marketing Masterclasses within the Dream Clients Academy. If you are finding this information helpful, why not come and join us live for our next interactive Masterclass?
As a member of the Dream Clients Academy, you will have monthly access to:
- Live and Interactive Marketing Masterclasses. Discover how to attract, convert and retain more of your Dream Clients. And profitably provide them with a brand experience they'll love and want to share.
- Live Business Coaching that provides you with personalised feedback on your business ideas and challenges.
- Live Mindset Mastery sessions to help you overcome your doubts and limiting-beliefs, and replace them with clarity, focus and everyday confidence.
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- A Private Online Community to support you every step of the way.
- Instant Access to more than a dozen Masterclasses, Courses and Expert Interviews to kick-start your success and help you attract more of your Dream Clients.
Download the Client Journey Map Template
I created a one-page client journey map template to help my clients with their brand experience design. If you would find this valuable, click here to download a copy for free.
Do you have a client journey map for your business? If not, what will be your first step in the journey? Let me know in the comments below.
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