As a local business, social media is not a popularity contest. Who’s got time for games when you have a business to grow?
And you know that social media is a critical source of traffic to websites. Follow the behavior. Just an example, but the average American spends more than 20 minutes a day on Facebook.
Wouldn’t you like to be able to capture those eyeballs? (Click here for a few proven ideas)
For me, it’s all about time. I never have enough time to get everything done that I want to accomplish, and so I need guides and systems to be as effective as possible.
And because time is one of my critical need, I like to keep it as simple as possible.
It’s not about likes, or engagement, but about building your prospective customer base and more importantly converting them into actual paying customers.
The only way to you can do that is to ensure you are using social media and the tools in your business to move people through your customer journey.
If your leaving leaks in your customer journey, you’re literally sending your customers to your competition.
Here are 5 common mistakes you can fix to keep and capture more potential customers, and turn them into actual customers.
Whenever the discussion happens about a customer journey, our first reaction is to make it a step-by-step process. For example, my customer begins in point A, goes to point B, and ends up with a sale a point N.
I’m sure that you’ve tried to predict a person’s behavior before, and how has that worked?
We all know that people rarely react exactly the way we want them to, and technology has made it made it so the customer controls the interaction. Social media expects social behavior rather than selling, and it’s really easy for a potential customers to go on to another shiny object!
For many businesses, Facebook provides an amazing reach for potential customers.
However…you have to remember what you’re competing against. Cats, crazy critters, and all the distraction that comes with being on social media.
So, what does that mean for you and your business?
The real journey is not this straight line that’s simple to predict.
The customer is going to bounce around across multiple steps. They are going to consume articles, and content an order that may not make sense to you. They are going to ask different questions at different times, and that’s all ok.
It’s a messy process.
Have fun with it. Post. Interact. Be a real person.
And, be consistent.
One of the early roadblock I see and have encountered myself is the, “I need it to be perfect syndrome”. The perfectionist that lurks in all of us it just looking for that opportunity to surface. Keep that guy or gal away!
We all know that there’s no such thing as perfection, and the timelines are even more compressed for small and local businesses.
Speed is more critical than polish and trying to get it perfect.
A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is something that often discussed when releasing a new product. It truly is the least viable product that will solve a specific customer problem.
In case of your customer journey, I wouldn’t expect you to be able to fill it out in great detail at every step.
Beginning with a few assumptions where you currently have gaps is completely acceptable.
In virtually everything you work on, you know that there’s always that urge to clean it up and make it polished. No matter how hard you try to make something perfect, it always changes. Just look back at an article your wrote a year ago, I’m sure there would be many things that you would want to change.
Now, it’s really easy to try and polish your customer journey map, and document every step to a fine level of detail.
Don’t take the bait, or chase the squirrel. Yes, you want it readable, but leave it messy and easily changeable. That way, there’s no issue with changing or adding more information to the map as you learn more about your customer’s journey.
Over time, the more refinements you make to this view of your business the better your results will become.
Your customer journey map should be a living document, rather than something untouchable that you do once and hang on the wall.
It’s not a diploma!
Keep your first attempt at your customer journey map very simple. Get the basic steps documented, and then add on to it as you learn more.
This is an important document for your business, but sometimes building this can feel like a project just by itself.
This is supposed to be quick, easy and simple to edit, and it should change and evolve as you add new content, learn what your customers want, and what they engage in.
Once you have a first version complete, then you have the opportunity to quickly make changes based upon what is really happening in your business.
Remember that the ultimate goal is to move people from not knowing you to being actual customers.
Let’s focus on generating sales!
If you have an existing customer base, you already have a great amount of information available to you.
The majority of local businesses get bogged down in the day-to-day, and really don’t tap into the best source of competitive intelligence you could possibly have…your current customers.
You already have the opportunity to talk with people who are buying your product or service. You can hear what they like, what they don’t like, what additional services they want. What they think about your competition.
You can use regular mail, email, social media, even a simple conversations…
You should be writing what questions are asked do during each stage of your customer journey? What objections do the communicate…
OR, what excuses do they make for not taking action?
Remember, if you can get past the surface no, to the issues why they are saying no you gain a much better understanding of the root issues you need to address in your copy, content, and offers to grow your business.
FAQ’s are a power source of content, and they’re everyone. It’s a great place to address objections and keep your customer moving towards the sale.
When you map our your customer journey, you are building a foundation that will allow you to develop a funnel. A funnel is nothing more complex than taking someone who doesn’t know you, and transforming them into a paying customer.
The only difference is that you are tying to use social media, email, your website, and your personal interactions to make that occur.
Most importantly, when you really understand each, you make your growth intentional instead of accidental.
Every business wants more customers. I’ve never heard a business owner tell me, “you know, I wish I didn’t have so many customers”!
Are you relying on chance and fortune to bring customers to your, or are you being intentional in your activity and efforts. Are you making it easy for your potential customers to know you, like you, and trust so that they are comfortable becoming a paying customer.
The best models of your customer journey will setup to be looked at and evaluated by that data, and not by gut feel.
When you first layout your customer journey, you have an idea of how you would like your customer to proceed, but how they actually proceed is much more important.
Pay attention to the data on your content, and the most common customer journey will become obvious. What will also become obvious is where you are loosing the majority of your customers and where you need to focus on improving.
Google Analytics. Google provides a great free tool for seeing how people are interacting with your website. Particularly on content.
How are people consuming content on your website, what landing pages do they hit, what exit points are most frequent.
There’s a lot of information contained in the Google Analytics platform. In developing your customer journey map, keep your focus on how the customer is actually interacting with your business.
Keep adjusting and filling your holes.
SumoMe. Do you know what is being consumed on your site, and what isn’t?
SumoMe is a free tool that gives you insight into how your potential customers are interacting with your content and your site. There are also some paid options, but the main purpose is to help you understand how your site and content is being consumed by your prospective customers.
Two of my favorite tools in SumoMe are Content Analytics and Heat Maps. You gain a real understanding of what is being read, and where you lose your audience.
Content analytics gives you a visual on is how much of a page or article is being read, and it breaks to down by percentage of your readers.
The data leads you to ask content related questions: Do you need another headline, is your copy weak, confusing, or just unclear. Is your Call-To-Action (CTA) being seen, or are people getting off before they’re even presented an offer?
Many insights and improvements can be made using these tools smartly.
The Heat maps tool provides you insight into where people are clicking on your page, and by how many people.
This data provides customer journey question: is your site getting people to do what you want them to? Are they confused with the page? Are there too many options?
Both of these tools provide you additional insight into how your potential customers are moving across and through your customer journey map.
Learn from data, make adjustments, and evaluate again…
Enjoy the journey!