The terms “user experience” and “customer journey” get thrown around a lot in business but few people truly understand what they actually mean. Your customer journey and experience is the entirely of your sales funnel, seen from the end users perspective.
While you are focusing on producing content, creating offers and serving your clients, the metrics, analytics, and conversion rates of each step within your sales funnel will be a direct reflection of how easy and effective your marketing is.
Sales and Marketing Funnels Explained
A marketing funnel guides your customer’s journey within your business and throughout their stages of awareness.
The goal here is to create systems and strategies that speak to your audience, streamline their experience and entice them to take action.
A well thought out funnel is designed to compound your brand awareness and authority online, increase your conversions and can be automated in a way that is super scaleable.
Business is all about solving problems. And that means understanding your customers current stage of awareness so you can tailor your marketing on their needs.
User Focused Sales Funnels
Have you taken the time to truly map out your marketing funnel, or did you simply throw together some content, a few services and offers, put together a website, then hope for the best?
To map your sales funnel from a user experience point of view, you need to first understand how the different elements of your sales funnel are experienced.
Let’s take a look at these elements, and how you can optimize them.
A person who will eventually become a lead first gets online because they have a psychological and/or emotional need or want of some sort. Maybe it’s a need to be entertained, a need for information, or a need for a specific product or service. As a result, they will look for content that fulfills this need, or in some case, look directly for a product and/or service that fulfills it.
Or, perhaps they aren’t even aware that they need what you have – but manage to find you anyway and so begins their journey.
It all starts with content creation! Think social media, podcasts, blogs, vlogs etc – this is where you present your personality and expertise in a way that educates and positions you as an expert.
Regardless of the stage of awareness a person is in, the goal here is to take advantage of your opportunity to position your business online in a way that makes it easy for people in your target demographic to discover you.
You want them to understand that you can solve their problems (even if they don’t know there is a problem or solution just yet).
To accomplish this, find out where they’re hanging out online, and how you can get your message in front of them so that they engage with your brand and show interest in what you have to offer.
People will engage with content online that appeals to their needs. This could be reading a blog post, watching a video, or in some cases just clicking on an ad that offers hope in the form of a promise to solve a problem they are facing.
Remember, engaging with your brand is not a commitment to buy, think of it more like a test drive. They’re engaging with your brand and forming opinions on it based on their experience, and these opinions will determine whether or not they continue on their journey.
If your content truly engages your target audience, they will then begin to consider taking action, maybe they opt in to a freebie or contact you directly.
At this point these people can be considered leads. However, leads do not automatically equal sales. They’re shopping around, and making the wrong move can cause a lead to go cold, or lost forever.
Turning a lead into a sale is all about the psychology of being able to accurately communicate to your leads that you have what they want, and that it’s worth more than what you are asking them to pay for it.
Remember, think about this stage of the journey from the perspective of your leads, and focus on fulfilling their psychological and emotional needs by solving big problems.
A good example of this is not getting too caught up on the features of your product, and instead focusing on the results and benefits you can provide.
There are many factors that will determine whether or not your customers and clients want to do business with you again. Did you give them a good experience throughout the journey? Did your product and/or service fulfill their expectations? Did it exceed their expectations and establish your brand as the go-to source to fulfil their needs?
In any case, retaining customers and encouraging repeat business, upsells and referrals which are extremely valuable is all about communication and keeping them engaged.
Once you’ve mapped out your sales funnel from a customer oriented perspective, and truly understand what makes a person move from one step to another, you can begin working on optimizing it.
Unlike the purely psychological process of mapping, optimizing is all about the numbers, at least initially.
Go over your analytics and find the weak points in your sales funnel.
Remember that a weak point will also weaken any steps that come after it by its very nature. Fixing weak points can be fairly oblivious in some cases, while in others you may need to do some testing.
Regardless, make sure that you’re thinking of your sales funnel from a customer experience aspect at all times. Think about what makes a customer take action and go from discovering your business, to engaging with it, to becoming a happy client.
No matter who you are you’ve engaged with other businesses’ sales funnels at some point. Consider which sales funnels were successful in earning your business, and which ones lost you as a customer. What kind of user experience did they offer and how can you apply that to your own?
The essence of offering a good user experience that will transform your marketing into a powerful sales tool is being able to see things from a customer-centric perspective.
This is the key to successful customer journey.