Optimising online - Mapping the customer journey
As the country's largest internet infrastructure company, Chorus is well placed to help identify what good broadband looks like. But we want to go beyond that, to help Kiwi SMEs with their own digital transformations so they can make the most of the world class broadband we now have in New Zealand.
With over 90 percent of consumers now using the internet to find a local business—33 percent looking every day—it’s clear that even if you are a bricks-and-mortar store, your customers will probably go online at some point on their journey to you.
In the previous blog looking at how to optimise online created in conjunction with our partners Digital Journeys, we talked through the importance of defining your target customers and how to bring this together by creating personas. Now you’ve given your customers a name, it’s time to put yourself in their shoes to answer the questions: how easily can they find you online? Do you meet their needs once they do?
Don’t expect your customers to work hard to find you – they won’t.
Think about it. If you’re searching online for a local business service and you have two options, are you going to phone the company that doesn’t have their phone number listed? Nope.
This may sound overly simplistic, but online success is not just about selling products, it’s also about building an experience that matches customer expectations and meets their basic needs enough to get them through your door (digitally speaking) and not someone else’s.
Mapping the customer journey
Imagine the goals your customers may have—to find out your shipping costs, for example—and then work through the steps they would most likely take in order to fulfil them. Remember to keep the specific needs of your target customers in mind, and try to identify any pain-points that are likely to crop up along the way—these will tell you where you need to focus your efforts.
Let’s take a simple common scenario as an example and see how it might play out:
Greg is searching for a local business that stocks the Turbo 200 Laser Hedge-Clippers. He wants to know the price, whether they’re in stock, the store’s exact location, and when they’ll be open.
In the below example you can see where Greg’s pain-points occur—that is, where he has to work harder to achieve his goal. The more unnecessary steps he has to work through, the greater the risk of him taking an easier path with a competitor.
As outlined above there is no one-size-fits-all customer journey, there are some common goals that the majority of customers share, along with steps that most businesses can put into place to help them achieve them.
Customer Goal # 1: Find a local business
Think about the customer experience above, how would your customers fare if it was your business they were looking for? Would it be smooth sailing, or sad faces all the way? Searching online for local businesses ‘near me’ is fast becoming a consumer norm, so it’s essential you nail this part of your customer’s journey.
- Google My Business
Claim your Google My Business page! It will ensure you are listed in Google Maps with every relevant search, and improve your Google ranking at the same time. Add as much information to your profile as possible—contact details, business description, opening hours, photos, products and services you sell—and give your customers all the information they might need at their finger-tips.
If you’ve already got your Google Business profile sussed, good for you! But make sure your information stays up to date and accurate—if you say you’re going to be open, make sure you are!
- Your website
After finding your listing, customers expect to be able to click through to a website, yet, statistics indicate that over a third of small businesses still don’t have a one. If you think you are too small to need one, consider the message this sends to your customers—maybe that you’re too small to handle their needs?
Websites add credibility and make you look professional—and they don’t have to be expensive or complicated. Nowadays, one-page websites can be quick and easy to set up with popular platforms like Wix, Weebly, or Squarespace.
So being able to be found online and having a good web experience for consumers once they do find you will help you accomplish the first goal in the customer journey.
In our next blog, we'll talk through the other goals you need to achieve in order to optimise your business for online sales.
 Based on the assessment data collected by Digital Journey.