In an ideal world, the customer would look for a product online and run straight to your store to buy it. Unfortunately, the straight line is filled with starts, stops, and curves in the journey. The road is complex with sophisticated competitors finding more ways to disrupt your customer’s journey. In 2011, nine years ago, Google wrote about their “Zero Moment of Truth. The “Zero Moment of Truth, or “ZMOT,” refers to the time in the buying process when the customer researches a product prior to purchase, the journey and what they stop to ponder. Here are six ways for you to stay connected to your customer and their journey.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO MAKE YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE PAY OFF?
- The first way is to imagine the customer’s buying journey through your store or through another business and examine all the points that influence your purchase. Ask yourself, what influenced your decisions as you continue through your journey, what prompts did you receive that moved you forward and where were the bumps in the road? Imagine the customer’s journey, do it slowly and methodically as if you were on a detective looking for clues. In this case, you’re looking for buying clues. When you hit a pothole, instead of looking for an excuse as to why it happened, note the problem, and later determine what needs to be done to keep you on track.
- Observe how the customer is using your social media and your website. What are they talking about, are you engaging or do their comments fall on deaf ears? By engaging you have as great opportunity to show your expertise and ability to build relationships.
- Customers buying relationship is not built on your personality; it’s built on trust. Trust is built through a combination of reliability and expertise. Have you used your website; do you communicate with your customers on social media? Is your business trustworthy? Have you been with your installer on a job so you could familiarize yourself with the process? Do you continue to build the relationship by sending your customers handwritten thank you notes? think digital first. Ecommerce has transformed the customer experience; every customer is leaving a digital footprint on your website. This is the new normal; if you’re not set up to collect these footprints you, and your digital presence is out of date. What we’re calling the “new normal,” is not set up to respond to the old normal. Your online presence must be set up to capture the customer’s journey.
- What should you do with those footprints? Harvest those footprints and connect with your customers on every step of their journey. If your online presence isn’t set up to do this, you will lose out on connecting with customer.
- Customer retention is even bigger these days. Businesses talk about the importance of loyal customer but underestimate the power of these relationships. Others know that it’s important but don’t know how to track it have a way to reward these customers. Loyal customers are more valuable than ever. When times are good, they can help you grow quickly, when times are bad, they can help you stay afloat. Loyal customers are your best brand advocates, but this doesn’t happen if you don’t stay in touch and grow these relationships. The easiest way to grow these relationships is to enter these customers in your database and connect with them regularly.
- . Consider that you’ve already spent your money on obtaining this customer; the outcome of your marketing is a customer who has made a purchase. It’s funny how some businesses only focus on the customer that hasn’t purchased rather than the one who has already bought.
- Since this time, mapping your customer’s journey has become the way to track your customer.
For some store, once the customer has been captured, the game is over, and they have no value. Nothing could be further than retail truth!
Interested in Mapping Your Customer’s Journey? Check in with Lisbeth at [email protected] For more about the customer’s journey, check out my book, Red Hot Customer Experience, www.lisbethcalandrino.com.
Column adopted from Lisbeth Calandrino, LisbizStrategies, Floor Covering News.
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