Understanding your customer is key to delighting them with your products. Look at it this way - the better you know someone, the better you are able to relate to them.
In the case of your customer, you can help them to have a great experience with your product, and eventually persuade them to make a purchase. This is not the end though - you also need to inspire them to use the product and tell others how wonderful it is. This is how you stretch a marketing dollar!
How do customers go from learning that your product exists, to buying it, and using it? This is the essence of the customer journey.
Customer Journey can be defined as the entire customer experience starting at his first interaction with your brand, and every interaction thereafter. The five main stages of the journey are Awareness, Consideration, Decision, Retention, and Advocacy. At each stage, you need to deliver content that is impactful and relevant to the customer.
One of the most important things to remember is that customers move along the journey at their own pace. They may even revert to earlier stages. This means that you have to be strategic, to find creative ways to delight your customers at whatever stage they are.
Awareness - at this stage your main aim is to gain the trust of as many prospective customers as possible. For the customer, this is the stage that he becomes aware that he has a need (a problem to be solved) and starts to seek possible solutions.
For example, Andy knows that he wants to get a cake for his mother’s birthday. (We’ll refer to Andy through all 5 stages).
Suggestions for Social Media to Build Awareness
How-to videos or graphics
Proof of your work
...things that demonstrate your ability to meet his needs
Consideration - consciously or subconsciously the customer considers various ways and means to fix the problem. He checks product prices, reads customer reviews, and looks for competing products.
Continuing the example, Andy goes to a few bakers and looks at the cakes they have and gets the prices. He also considers baking the cake himself, so he goes to the store and looks at cake mixes. He goes online and looks for customer reviews.
Suggestions for Social Media During the Consideration Stage:
Samples of your product or service
Decision - at this point the customer is ready to purchase the product.
Example: Andy decides to buy a Betty Crocker cake mix so that by baking it himself, his mother’s gift will have a personal touch.
Suggestions for Social Media During the Decision Stage:
Free trial offers
Retention - A key objective of any business is to retain customers so that they will make repeat purchases and become evangelists for your brand.
Continuing with Andy, when he looks at the back of the cake mix package he sees promotions for frosting, sprinkles, cookie doughs and other items that he could purchase in the future. He also sees coupons, and information on where to write a review of the cake mix.
Suggestions for Social Media During the Retention Stage:
How-videos and graphics
Repost user generated content
Testimonial videos or photos with captions.
Engage with customers via DMs, comments and live broadcasts.
Ask for customer input on upcoming products or services.
Advocacy - This is a challenging stage for any marketer. Here you want customers to say great things about your product and your company. You want to inspire them to refer their family and friends to you. Word-of-mouth is powerful marketing!
Example: Ask Andy to spread the word - you can do this via TV ads, social media posts, emails and just about any means of communication.
Suggestions for Social Media During the Advocacy Stage:
Giveaways that complement your product/service
Encourage tagging and post sharing
You will see that some of these stages overlap. In fact, there are numerous models of the customer journey. The key takeaway is that you should delight your customer every time he interacts with your brand. Ensure he understands the benefits of your products, and inspire him to make a purchase and tell others about you.
What do you think? Comment below...
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