Everything You Need To Know About The Customer Journey




What is the customer journey? Why is it important? If the only part of the customer journey you focus on is generating leads and making sales (or if you don’t even know what I’m talking about), this show is for you.

Join Tim Fitzpatrick for this solo episode of The Rialto Marketing Podcast!

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Everything You Need To Know About The Customer Journey

What is the customer journey? And frankly, why is it even important? If the only part of the customer journey you are looking at is generating leads and making sales or if you don't even know what I'm talking about when I refer to the customer journey, this show is for you.

Hi, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing, where we believe you must remove your revenue roadblocks if you want to accelerate revenue growth. If this is something that you are looking to accomplish, we can help. Thanks so much for taking the time to tune in.

I'm going to talk about everything that has to do with the customer journey today in this short show. The customer journey is such an important element in all of our businesses that should not be overlooked. So I want to break down three things for you today. One, what is the customer journey or the buyer's journey, the benefits of optimizing it, and what the customer journey actually looks like.

What is the Buyer's Journey?

So first and foremost, what is the buyer's journey? People will refer to this as the buyer's journey, the customer journey, the customer experience, it's all the same thing. And it's really the entire experience that a customer has or the path that they follow from the time that they begin to investigate how to solve a problem that they have or meet a need that they want to have met all the way through the after purchase experience that is the buyer's journey.

What are the Benefits of Optimizing the Buyer's Journey?

What are the benefits of optimizing the buyer's journey? There's plenty. I'm going to touch on a few today. One, when you optimize the customer journey, you gain a clear understanding of all the customer touch points, all the touch points that your business has with that particular customer on that journey. And when you understand what those touch points are, you can address their needs more effectively. What are their needs and what are their expectations as they make their way through this journey? Right? If you think back as I'm talking through this, you think back, you know, at Lord of the Rings. What were the needs of Frodo throughout the journey from the beginning when he left the Shire, all the way through the end of the original Lord of the Rings movie. His needs were different at each phase of the journey. And the exact same thing happens with our customers. Their needs are different, their expectations are different as they work their way through the journey. And we need to understand what those needs and expectations are, because when we understand what they are, we can also fix gaps and shortfalls in how we're actually meeting those needs and addressing those needs. It's not uncommon to see gaps or shortfalls when a business hand, when marketing hands that customer off to sales or when sales hands that customer off to customer service. If we have gaps there, that's going to create problems for our business. We're not going to convert. We might lose customers, right? We're going to have unhappy customers. None of those things are good. So when we understand what the journey looks like and what their needs at each phase are, we can make sure that our business has exactly what it needs in place at each phase to meet and address those needs. And when we do that, we can actually move customers through the journey in a much more, much quicker, more efficient manner, which is super important. So we can maximize conversions, we can get more referral business, more repeat business, because we've optimized the entire journey.


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What is the Marketing Hourglass?

So really, really important part of the process. So let's look at what the customer journey actually looks like. Most models you see on the customer journey look at it as a funnel, right? It starts wide and it goes super narrow. I think there are a number of problems when we look at it this way because it's not just getting people to buy. There's the actual onboarding process. The after sale experience is super, super important. And when we look at the customer journey as a funnel, we're missing the back half of that. So I love the way that John Jantsch over at Duct Tape Marketing looks at the customer journey. He looks at it as an hourglass. He calls it the marketing hourglass. And that is a philosophy that we have adopted as well. We all know what an hourglass looks like, right? The sand is down at the bottom, and then when we flip it over, the sand starts to work its way through. So when we flip it over and the sand is at the top, think about the sand as the customer, right? The top of the sand is the customer, and it just slowly starts filtering its way down until it gets all the way through the narrow part of the hourglass and then down into that wider bottom part. There are seven steps. When you look at the customer journey as the hourglass. There is at the top, starting at the top, working your way down, there is know, like, trust, try, buy is kind of the middle, the narrow part of the hourglass. And then down at the bottom, you have repeat and refer. So know, like, trust, try by repeat refer. It's such a simple model because we all know, look, people don't buy from us until they know, like and trust us. And that's the job of our marketing is to get people that have a need or a problem that we can solve to know, like, and trust us so that they want to then buy. And once they buy, we want to get repeat and referral business. So if we look at know, know is that traditional awareness phase, people becoming aware of your business. Like, is we're keeping people interested, right? We're getting permission to continue to build that relationship. At the trust phase, again, we're continuing to build that relationship. What types of things do we typically see from a marketing standpoint in these know, like, trust phases? Well, know could be SEO, right? It could be social media posting. Content that we create. Helps people become aware of us. Like could be again, additional content, podcasting, blog, webinars that you're doing right. Trust again typically ends up being more content, but it could be online reviews, webinars trainings, things like that can help people get to trust you after they become aware and they start to like you. Then at Try, try is getting them to try before they actually buy. What can we offer them so that they can try us out? Now, for different types of businesses, this varies a little bit, but we see this like with product, people give out free products or with software as a service companies, a lot of times they have a free trial. That's a great way to try before you actually buy. For people like me, consultants, right, professional service providers, what's that try phase like? I mean, try, it could be a very small project, but it could also just be your sales process. If you offer a free discovery call, that gives people an idea of what it's going to be like to work with you. So aspects, certain aspects of your sales process can be a great tool in that try phase. Free discovery calls, strategy calls, things like that, or really low ticket offers where they're not putting out a bunch of money, they don't have a ton to risk, but they help you go through it.So, for example, I went through a lead generation challenge a while ago. It was paid, but it was like, it was less than $500 and it gave me a significant understanding of what it was going to be like to work with this provider if I chose to do so. So those are great examples in the triphase. Then buy, I sign on the dot line I've bought. In the buy phase, we need to keep the experience great. How many of you have bought from somebody? The presale experience was amazing and the minute you sign on the dotted line, the wheels come off. Horrible place to be, right? So in Buy, we want to make sure that the experience continues to be great. Here, one of the big things is having an amazing on boarding experience and making sure, especially for professional service providers, that that first like 90 days of your initial engagement is absolutely amazing and knocking their socks off. And then the bottom part of the hourglass, which the typical funnel concept of the customer journey misses, is repeat and referral. Repeat and referral is a super important part of all of our businesses. Repeat is how can we continue, how can we create repeat business? You know, do we have Upsells? Do we have cross sells? Do we have ongoing services that we can offer people? What can we do to continue to get repeat business and then referrals. What can we do to generate a lot of referrals? Do we have a referral program? Do we have a referral process? Do we have referral partners in place? All of those things are part of the customer journey.

Conclusion: Everything You Need To Know About The Customer Journey

So I hope this quick rundown of the buyer's journey or the customer's journey, what it is, why it's important, and what it actually looks like has helped you. If you need additional help with this, you can always head on over to Rialtomarketing.com, book a free GPS call over there. On that call, we'll talk about your goals, plan, strategies, and I'll help guide you in the direction that makes the most sense for your business based on where you are and where you want to get to. Now when we talk about the buyer's journey, this is part of your target market and your ideal clients, which is one of the nine common revenue roadblocks that we see. Which revenue roadblocks are in your way? If you want to find out, head on over to RevenueRoadblockScorecard.com and over there you will get visibility to your revenue roadblocks. Takes less than five minutes to get your personalized report and you'll be able to actually discover and assess which of the nine revenue roadblocks are slowing down your business growth.

Hope you found this super helpful. I appreciate you. Thank you so much for taking the time to tune in. Until next time, take care.

About the author, Tim Fitzpatrick

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