If someone ever asks me to define the journey for customers, I would most likely begin with the definition of a customer’s journey. Well, it is based on the fact that the customer today is more aware and more informed than ever. Credits to social media and instant communication. This fashion puts them back on track to make an educated guess about what and how to purchase.
Simply put, it is all about going through a whole lot of research before you end up making a final purchase. And of course, we have all gone down that road. Be it a wireless headphone or some cross-functional pair of shoes – we have all done our part of research before we hit ‘Buy Now’.
In other words, a customer’s journey is nothing but the chain of touchpoints your clients have with your brand before they pay up for the service. It clearly demonstrates how, where and when did the prospect meet with your brand or how likely did they end up being a loyal customer. This journey that we are talking about consists of 3 stages, namely: Awareness, Consideration and Decision. Let us see in detail what they mean.
The First Stage of Awareness
Being the first stage, the customers here shuffle around, trying to ascertain the problem and how to derive a solution online. As this is the first step, you must be very careful about how to market your brand to these potential buyers. In order to define the journey for a client, you will have to address your prospect’s pain points and try to build brand awareness in the process.
So how should you go about it?
Begin with strategizing keywords and optimizing your presence in the online podiums. A well-researched content will give you complete leverage to do so. Having done that, you can create e-books, editorials, white papers and blog posts that zero in on about outlining specific issues that your potential prospects are facing at the moment.
Let’s say you are a start-up, whose product offers an innovative solution that dynamically changes the way we think about a specific subject, you might want to begin with Task A, which is to educate people about the same and how this could benefit them.
On the contrary, if you are into a rather mature market, they will usually try to search for symptoms and derive the root cause out of it.
The Second Stage of Consideration
This stage speaks about the time when your clients look for a solution to satisfy their needs. This is where you compete with other solutions directly. Now that the strategy depends on you, maybe you could offer modern solutions, cheaper solutions, or even faster, reliable solutions.
Simply put, you will have to create enriching video content, in-depth guidelines, and podcasts to explain how and why you are more advantageous to the type of solution you offer, above the rest. This can be better understood with many customer journey examples.
One such is of Insightsquared. This company strives to offer analytics solutions for SaaS companies and brought out a podcast by the name of Ramp. This helps them talk about data-driven approaches and analytics. It truly helps companies understand why using this tool can bring them more benefits over the rest.
Remember this stage is all about, marketing your content which is solution-focused. You are not pitching your product, nor the service. You are just positioning yourself in the market as a learned industry expert who knows how to deal and later produce solutions to a potential prospect of yours.
The Third Stage of Decision
To truly define the journey for customers, the third stage is everything – that makes or breaks a deal. Here, the prospects vet specific approaches to the issue, with a hope to find the most pertinent answer to their query. Now you really want this to be you, don’t you? This is where you have to leg up and nudge them. This could be a very delicate step and you must be professional enough to deal with this
You must learn the certain nuances of marketing yourself in this field. Go ahead and preach about your service, dust off your product and vendor comparison charts, offer a trial download, or a live demo, whichever works for you, and put out your best of case studies. It is all fair to hook these tools and entice your buyers.
Let me elucidate this further with another customer journey example. Ultipro is a tending HR tool. They have created their presence on Capterra, which is a comparison and app review site. Here, you will be able to find many suggestions and opinions from the clients that could help a company decide. Over and above, they provide a product demo on their webpage to render personal attention to their potential clients.
To define the journey for a client, testimonials, sales pitches and/or product videos are your essential weapons here. Since this is the last stage of the customer journey, gear up to face the direct competition. If all of your features and prices, fit well, you are already half-way through acquiring a new client, successfully.
The Additional Stages
In addition to the aforementioned three stages, there are two more stages in the customer’s journey which is important as well. Namely, the retention stage, that focuses on the customer’s impression on the product and the sort of communication you are sending out to them. And then is the advocacy stage, which advocates your brand and your messages towards them.
As you are already a part of the SaaS industry, it will be much helpful for you to know all about the various stages that make up the customer’s journey. You will soon be in a position to guide them through your marketing funnel and producing the right content to the right people at the right time.