Dealing With The Fragmented Customer Journey

By | Small Business

Fragmented Customer JourneyHypothetical situation: The boss has asked you the following question, “How do customers find out about your company?” Give me a report by the end of the day!

If you are in marketing, even if your CEO has not directly asked you this question, it lingers in the back of your mind and the sheer thought of replying to this question may cause a spike in your current stress level.

From my experience, I have looked at this closely and have determined the following information. There are really three ways people find your company:

  1. Referrals or Word-of-Mouth from others
  2. Internet Searches/Website
  3. Talking to a Company Representative

It really is this simple. However, when it comes down to the final analysis people typically make a decision based on word received from others, (in-person or online through social media), through searching your content on your website and finally by talking directly to one of your company staff members.

The trick here is to determine where to put your resources.

Referrals

I can only speak about my company, but over the years we have built up some strong advocate relationships with current clients. In addition, shows and conferences help us maintain that exposure. We are active with social media, but it is not the main driver.

Internet Search/Website

People find our content online through our blog site and our main website because we list our price information on our site. We do very well in search marketing and have done a lot on the SEO side to insure our content can be found through general internet searches. Finding ways to track those people who are coming to our site is our next major move. We want to make sure we are following up with people who are seeking information on particular pages on our site.

Client Service

This is the key. When people are in that stage of discovery or final step in making a decision, client service is the differentiator. We have made a large investment in our client service staff and empowered them to make decisions to insure clients’ questions are answered in a timely manner.

There is a lot of Misinformation out there

Lately, I have a number of articles that talk about how marketers should really try to understand how people get to their final decision.
Time should be spent on recognizing what technology they are using:

  • (Mobile, desktop) Which technology they are using?
  • Which social media sites are they using: Facebook or Twitter?
  • What information they are using to make their decisions: price, value, other?

My advice: Stop trying to analyze the customer journey. It is a big waste of time. Do you go through the same decision process when you buy a new smartphone or a new piece of clothing or selecting the best place to eat pizza. There are all kind of factors that affect our decision-making process. Each time the process is different.

Most of the time, the decision process involves talking with someone else or reading someone else’s review, (newer approach). Why not focus on these areas so the next time your boss asks you how do customers find out about your company, you can tell your boss it is really simple:

  1. Referrals or Word-of-Mouth from others
  2. Internet Searches/Website
  3. Talking directly to a Company Representative

Which area should we spend our time and dollars? Your CEO will be impressed and now you can start formulating a plan to measure and report your findings in these three areas.

[Photo Credit: Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Dealing With The Fragmented Customer Journey

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