customer-journey

Just for a minute, I’d like you to think about your brand’s relationship progression with its customers. Is it all rather hot and fast? Heating up quickly and dying out? Or does it seem to lag…losing engagement to boredom?

Pacing is essential to an ever-appealing customer journey. Move too quickly, and you’ll scare your ideal customers away. Dawdle and they will lose interest.

So how can you strike a beneficial balance? Expert brand builders have learnt that the best approach is to keep them interested and in anticipation of the prize, whilst satisfying their needs along the entire length of the customer journey. This keeps them on-board, happy to be there, with a palatable enthusiasm that keeps them around long enough, and excited enough, to make your brand an integral part of their lives.

It’s a lot like a well-written novel:customer-journey

  • First comes the setting/introduction (the problem the customer is experiencing).
  • Then comes the conflict (your brand’s introduction of a solution…the drumroll).
  • Then it’s the climax (big delivery of the solution).
  • And finally, the resolution (happiness after the solution is put to work).

The climax always comes just before the resolution, near the end of the book. This is the same way it should work in your customer journey. Asking for the big sale should never come during the opening chapters. Instead, it should come after much of the story has been told, or after a relationship has been forged. There can be smaller sales and giveaways along the way—to prove your expertise and trustworthiness as a professional; however, none will be as life-altering as the big one.

Let’s talk about how you can place the climax at just the right place in your customer journey…for the best results.

A Customer Journey that Doesn’t Rush in

There’s a fine line that runs between introducing your biggest product too soon and allowing your customers to languish and grow apathetic before its introduction. There’s no universal formula; each brand must respond to its audience’s preferences. However, there are some guidelines you can follow to make the customer journey one that keeps them around whilst they await “the big one.”

  • Avoid marketing dumps and tell-alls. If you’ve ever tried to deliver an elevator pitch to a dream client who is severely limited by time, you know how difficult it can be to “stick to the pitch” and avoid blurting out the BIG details of your top-tier product. As difficult as it can be to rein-in your excitement, it is essential that you always remember to entice with obvious value without giving away the prize. When you rush straight to the end, you run the risk of muddying your message and of overwhelming or confusing your audience. Deliver information and offers in digestible portions, with mounting importance and involvement, so as to progressively grasp more and more of your ideal customer’s attention.
  • Put your loyal brand advocates to work. Word of Mouth Advertising is a powerful form of marketing with one of the highest ROIs known to business owners, and it doesn’t end there. It’s also one of the best ways to generate buzz and get people interested in your customer journey. Hire a PR firm to get your brand name into the sources that are most visible to your audience. Incentivise current customers to spread the word to their families and friends. And ALWAYS offer exceptional value to all those who come in contact with your brand. This way, their customer journey (and the sales funnel) will begin even before you open dialogue with them. They will approach your business equipped with positive beliefs about your brand and with their minds open to what other delicious things you have to offer.
  • Use the element of secrecy to your advantage. People crave surprises. They love anticipation. You can use this to your brand’s advantage by creating excitement for upcoming events, announcements, special guests and more. When your audience is focussed on what’s to come, guess what? They’re thinking about your brand. And when your brand is being thought about, it’s claiming mindshare, staying top-of-mind…and all of that means that your brand is on its way to claiming more market share.
  • Create VIP experiences. All your customers are important to your brand; however, it never hurts to elevate a few to VIP status. Those VIPs will get exclusive access to previews, samples, sneak peaks, etc., and will then proclaim the good news to the rest of your audience. These VIP experiences should be highly valued by your ideal customers, so that those who have not yet received VIP status will “stick around” for the chance to become part of this very special club. And guess what? Whilst they’re waiting, they’re interacting with and growing more emotionally attached to your brand (assuming that you’re engaging them with value…hint, hint).

What is your brand’s customer journey accomplishing? Is it winding your ideal customers around in circles, frustrating them with its lack of direction? Or is it simply dropping them in front of the shopping cart, without enough information and interaction to connect them to your brand? Or is it building anticipation, eliciting emotion, creating buzz, engaging with value…and leading to the pinnacle of your brand’s offerings?

If you’re not sure that your customer journey is truly serving your brand, there’s a way to find out. How to Build a Brand offers a wide range of services to motivated entrepreneurs and business owners interested in building fast-growth brands. Not sure where to start? That’s why we’re here with The Entrepreneur’s Essential Brand Building Kit. You can get started right now.

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