Put simply, the customer journey comprises of six steps.
Let’s take a look at each one of these and analyze their usage. Notice that all six are necessary for the satisfaction of every customer.
This is the beginning of your business’s and your brand’s relationship to the customer. Think of it as your first impression. Attention can be brought through advertising, PR, word of mouth, and anything that creates a buzz with your target demographic. The other side of that coin is it can also be brought through unwanted publicity, such as an unsatisfied customer. The proper form of attention is extremely important, and that’s much of what Tailgate is all about. When attention is appropriately channeled, it can lead to the next step in the customer journey: Interest.
Once you’ve gained the consumer’s attention, one of two things can happen. They can either ignore it, or open their mind to receive it. For example, if someone sat through an ad before a YouTube video instead of hitting the “skip” button, they are showing interest in either the video ad or the product specifically, and both instances are positive exposure and attention. This step intrigues the customer enough to dig a little deeper to find out what all the commotion is about. Once they have found their answer through your website, video ad, commercial, blog, or a previous customer, they then move on to the next step.
Once the customer has done the legwork in finding out more about your product based on their generated interest, again, there are two paths they could take. The potential customer could discover that their interest was misplaced, or that initial interest could evolve into a desire for the product. If the latter is true, they are now willing to use their hard earned cash to purchase the product. They haven’t yet, but now that the flame has been lit, the potential for sale is increased. Now all they need is the means to make the transfer, and for them to take action.
Step 4 occurs after the customer sees the product, recognizes a use for that product, and has the desire to obtain the product. This step can happen in a store, online, or anywhere that requires the consumer to take the initiative and reach out to you, the supplier. They present you with a question,” Will you have me for a customer,” and now the ball is in your court. After that, it’s up to you.
It’s your turn to make the next move. Onboarding is much more than receiving their money and presenting them with your product. This is your opportunity to make them part of the family. They didn’t just purchase a product from you; they purchased a way of life. It’s your livelihood that you just handed them, and to make sure that they are satisfied, you have to make them part of the team. I don’t mean literally give them a job. All you have to do is convey that without them, there is no you. That brings us to our final step in completing the customer journey: retention.
Ok, so you’ve alerted someone about your product in an interesting way that allowed them to desire the product enough to reach out and offer their cash for it. You have done your best in making the customer realize that they are needed as you bring them onboard as a paying customer. Now it’s time to make sure they keep coming back. Part of this has already been accomplished when you offered them a satisfactory shopping experience. The quality of your product, the method you choose to present it, and the steps it takes for the customer to pull the trigger and purchase it all attribute to retaining the consumer. If you reach out to them in a personal way, they will want to come back again and again. In addition, this step also includes prompting them to subscribe to your email list, “like” your company on Facebook, listen to your latest CD, tell their friends, join your fan club, show up at your booth at the county fair, or whatever you do to reach out to your clientele and community.
Understanding what customers go through to reach your product is so important because it gives you the ability to target a demographic accurately, provide them with relevant content that drives their interest and desire, give them an easy way to take action so that you can bring them onboard as part of the team and finally make them a customer for life. If you can accomplish all that, they are very likely to be willing to take that journey all over again, and bring some other people along for the ride. Just remember, you’re not in this alone. We here at Tailgate Studios are ready to help you and your business succeed. Send us a message; we’d love to chat with you about your vision, or help you create a brand new one!