In Part One of this article, we looked at what a client journey map is and why your business needs one.
We also explored how a client journey map can help you: attract more of the right-fit clients, create the best experience for your clients, build a solid brand and improve your profitability.If you haven’t yet read the first part of this article, click here to read it now.
In this second article, I want to take you deeper into the practicalities of using your client journey map.
Let’s jump straight in!
What can you do at each stage of the journey?
How you nurture your client will change throughout their journey. They will have different needs at each stage. Their thoughts and feelings about your brand will change, too. Providing the right information or service at each stage will help a client to move smoothly through the sequence.
Educational content is key at the awareness stage. You want to teach prospective clients, not sell to them. Aim to feed their thirst for knowledge as they start to understand their current problem. Make your content informative, valuable, and easy to digest.
For example, you could create social media content based around the common problems your ideal client faces. Post informative articles on your blog to encourage traffic to your website. Or create insightful videos to share on YouTube and repurpose for your social media.
Lead your readers to longer pieces of content like how to guides, webinars, podcasts or ebooks. Point them to white papers and industry reports to learn even more. Weigh up the option of launching your own newsletter – full of useful content.
If you have the budget, you might use online advertising, too. First impressions count and adverts with impact really do get noticed. You can then nurture these prospects through the rest of their journey with you.
At the consideration stage, demonstrate how your brand and your offer are the best option for your ideal clients. Show that you understand their problem, pain points, values and desired outcomes and how you are ideally placed to provide a great solution.
Content here explains why you are different. It builds trust and starts relationships. Be clear about the benefits of working with you and what the experience will be like.
Share your clients’ success stories. Provide case studies with more detail. Demo videos and webinars are great ways to explain the benefits of your products and services. The FAQ section of your website works hard at this stage. Make sure all the questions a prospect client might ask, are answered.
Finally, have a look at your website and social media. Is it easy for prospective clients to get in touch? Or take the next step in their journey with you?
The decision stage is where you will want to invest more time and energy on prospective clients. They are ready to make a purchase, so will have more specific questions about working with you and the outcomes they can expect. A more personal touch is required here.
Provide social proof and credentials. Testimonials and customer reviews are particularly powerful. Make them visible everywhere.
A live demo or no-obligation trial can help them experience your offer directly. Sample lessons could persuade a prospective customer to register for a course. Payment plans, bonuses and guarantees could also be used to help clinch the deal.
Focus on responding to any outstanding queries prospective clients may have. You want to build personal relationships with clients at this stage. Choose what works best for you: a live chat, a free consultation or a longer call.
And remember, if your prospects ask questions at this stage, they are not objecting but showing interest. They are trying to figure out exactly how your proposal could work for them. Keep an open mind and answer all their questions fully. Asking ‘does that make sense?’ will give them the chance to tell you where they are. It opens the doors to any further questions or gaps that need to be addressed before working with you.
Don’t rush this stage. Give your prospect the time and attention they need.
Even if they decide your solution isn’t right for them right now, you will have still built a positive relationship with that person. This often yields opportunities later. I regularly get positive reviews and referrals from prospects who chose not to use my services, but loved my approach, brand and values.
It is easy to see the sale as the end stage of a client journey, but far from it. Take time consider your client’s ongoing needs after your initial offer. How do you keep these clients and continue to provide value over time?
Regular personal contact is one of the best ways to find out. Learn about your clients’ experiences with well-crafted onboarding and customer care. What did they love most about your products and services? What was not so great? How can you remedy this?
Develop additional services to retain satisfied customers. These could be loyalty programmes or memberships. Perhaps special events, masterclasses or additional training. Find out what your clients need next, and what would make your clients continue to work with you.
At this stage, constructive customer feedback is vital. Surveys, interviews and follow -up calls can all provide valuable opportunities for feedback.
Advocacy is when your satisfied customers show their appreciation for and loyalty to your business. There are a host of ways that clients can do this. From word-of-mouth recommendations to social media shout-outs to becoming brand ambassadors.
Devise services that incentivise loyalty. This could be a referral programme with rewards. Or affiliate links you build with other companies.
Give your clients the opportunity to add their voices in case studies and surveys. Happy customers are happy to help.
How to Create your Client Journey Map
Now that you have a deeper understanding of what a client journey is, it’s time to map your own. Step outside your business for a moment and consider your customers.
1. Know Your Dream Client
Think about your target customers. Do you have a clear image of who they are? Their problems? How your solutions help? If not, dedicate some time to creating a customer persona or avatar. Find out as much as you can about their needs, values, aspirations and how they feel.
You can mine the internet for clues. Examine YouTube video comments, book reviews, influencer social media profiles, and competitor websites. These can all provide great insights as to what people like, don’t like, and where there are gaps you can fill.
Complaints are another great source of information. If you are in hospitality, for example, you could look at sites like TripAdvisor to see prospective clients’ concerns. Where do your ideal customers ‘hang out’ on the internet? Go there and hang out with them and listen closely.
2. List Touch Points
Next, list all the touch points a customer has with your business. All the interactions between a prospective customer and your brand.
What happens at each stage? What content do you produce for each one? Most importantly, think about how the customer feels. What attitudes and mindsets are in play? At the awareness stage, a prospective customer could be concerned and worried. What do you do to help reassure them?
Collect customer data for each stage of your client journey. Sources could include website analytics, user experience (UX) interviews and customer feedback. How do people arrive at your website? How long do they stay there? What content attracts them to stay for longer? This data can help you plan content and resources for your client journey. And select the best channels for the different stages.
3. Design Your Experience
Take the journey yourself and analyse it. Is there anything missing? Have you considered the later stages of retention and advocacy? Are you providing educational resources to create awareness, but failing to talk about the benefits of your products and services? You may find there is an imbalance.
4. Create Your Actions
Finally, determine how you will manage each stage according to your findings and the experience you want to create. What will you do to ensure your prospects think, feel and do what you intended at each stage?
Build these activities into your, or your team’s schedule. Consider creating a simple checklist or toolkit to accompany each action. This will make it easy for you and your team to be consistent. Having a checklist also allows you to respond to changes and make adjustments quickly. This will save time and money. It also helps keep your client journey map and brand experience optimised.
As with all things in business, the key to success is to keep things simple, clear and practical. And remember, every business is different. So, every client journey will be different, too. Businesses change over time and a client journey is never static. It will evolve as your customers and their needs change. Review and update your journey regularly. Your business will benefit!
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.
One Step to More Dream Clients
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