I remember a time when if we wanted something and we hadn’t bought it before then we would either look in the catalogue, talk to friends, go to a show, take a trip into Edinburgh to the big shops (I grew up in the Borders of Scotland so this was a big deal for me) or wander down the street and talk to the shop owners on the High Street. And, if they didn’t have it then they would order it for us. This is how our buying journey started.
Nowadays, the way we buy is very different. For many people, one of the first things when we start thinking about buying something is to go onto Google or Bing or Yahoo! or whatever flavour of search engine that we prefer and we search. We “Google” something or somebody to find out more about them, what we want, does it exist and what are our options etc.
Despite this, the process of how we shop or buy has not changed it’s just our technology has augmented our ability to find and compare information ie. we are still talking to or reaching out to people or sources to find out more, look for pointers of who to trust, who to talk to, where to find what we are looking for etc.
Businesses that think a customer’s journey starts when they step into your offices or into your shop or at your first meeting or with your brochure or pamphlet are missing a huge opportunity to connect with their customers at the start of their journey.
Put your customers hat on and think about their journey. Are you there at the start to help? What are they going to want to know around their purchasing decision, what are their fears, concerns etc? Do they want the best, the cheapest, the most trustworthy, the most green, the most ethical, the most of anything? Can you be that person? Can you display those qualities? And, it’s not just about saying that you are the best, the cheapest, the most trustworthy, the most green, the most ethical, the most of anything. You have to prove it. Can social media tools like a Facebook page, a blog, a Twitter account, a Linked In group help?
So, here’s my question…….with all of the tools out there…….
How are you going to start talking to and reaching out to your customers and be there at the start of their journey?
Thanks to Simon Howden for the image.