In an ever-changing landscape of consumer drivers of demands it is important that businesses don’t overlook the end to end consumer process.
Businesses work exceptionally hard to market to their customers through an absolute myriad of different channels. These may include traditional mediums such as TV advertising, radio and billboards, plus some search engine marketing, social media advertising and activity, and you may dabble in other areas such as direct mail, public relations and events. However those consumers come to you, bottom line is you’ve worked exceptionally hard to get them to you.
We will then often work hard to get them across the line to sign-up, purchase, engage, or instruct you to do the work. This is done through sales pitches, follow up, retargeting, event based networking and many other ways.
Once they’ve signed, we do our happy dance and we take a breather, the hard work is over. Or is it? The number of brands we work with who then take their foot off the pedal after the sale has been converted is extraordinary. It leads to the customer or client often feeling dissolution, frustrated, confused, and disappointed. They were often promised they would be a priority and they are simply not.
Often the issue from the businesses side is they’d overcommitted their services and generally there is a lack of resourcing to service the clients as they’d promised.
So, what’s the answer?
Firstly, map out the end to end consumer process. Simply close your eyes and put yourself in your customers shoes right from the start. From them finding your company to signing up with you, moving through the customer relationship right until the end where the transition is finalised. Be honest with yourself, where is the process falling down, where can you improve and most importantly how can you better manage the customers’ expectations.
Secondly, open your eyes and write all of those elements down where you know you need to improve – scribble it up on a whiteboard and really flesh out the process. Look at where you can outsource or remove a part of the process that may not be necessary, and look for technology to assist. If you have a team of people, include them in this process too.
Thirdly, enlist the help of some trusted customers and ask them for their opinion on the experience they’ve had. See if it matches with what your thoughts were and whether you are as in touch with your customer as you would like to be.
Next, be sure you are including ‘after sales’ communication in the mix. Keep the relationship with your customer open and chances are if there’s an opportunity to come back they will.
Lastly, actually implement the changes! We all know that changing of habits can be difficult, but implementing this sort of reflective activity and change in your business can only lead to improvements to your relationships with clients. It will work to ensure your end to end consumer process evolves with the needs of your customers and your businesses ability to deliver.