“I think once customers get to my site, it’s pretty obvious what I want them to do.”
This quote, from a prospective client years ago, continues to serve as a reminder to not assume too much. The reason for our conversation was that he was not getting the leads he was expecting. He had given them a place to find out about his business, but they never called or bought anything. Hmmmm…maybe he assumed too much.
There are 4 types of customers who fail to follow-through and pick up the phone to call you:
- NOT READY FREDDY – perhaps a friend at church told him about you. Out of curiosity, he paid your site a visit. But he has no real need for your services. He glances around and registers that experience in the back of his mind.
- FIRST DATE FLO – she was referred from a friend because she mentioned a frustration on Facebook. She was raised to be wise and cautious so she keeps her guard up and makes observations about how well you seem to understand her pain. If you show her you care, she may continue the path, but if you don’t, you’re done. Her friend said you were good, but she is still searching herself for evidence of that.
- KICKIN’ TIRES KIRK – this guy is not necessarily ready to commit to a purchase. He is checking things out, exploring his options and still highly uncommitted (he usually waits for promo codes, coupons and specials). He will spend the morning checking out many other sites first.
- MAZED MOLLY – as she tries to navigate your site, this customer keeps running into dead-ends. Familiar with website navigation because of her years of online shopping, she begins to get frustrated with your site because the path to her destination is unclear. She has high expectations that you will lay out a path for her, not leaving it up to her to find her own way. Perhaps eager to buy or contact you, she will give up if it is hard to do.
We all fall into one of those categories at one time or another. In marketing, you must create a comfortable customer path. At the airport, the “people mover” is a comfortable automated walking path that is a good place to step on and place your feet. You know exactly where they are taking you and it is super easy. You can even walk on the left side and get to your destination faster! Or we have all been to a park or creek where the only way to the other side was over water. Either a bridge was built, or someone nice enough had laid out clear stepping stones. Our next step was as easy as putting the next foot forward.
Customers are at different points in their “know-like-trust” journey with you. Some customers are not even facing a real need when they check you out, while others may be desperate for a clear solution. You must ensure your website (and all of your marketing touchpoints) have this range of customer in mind. Depending on where they are, you can do this by laying out some clear stepping stones that will move your prospective customer along a comfortable path.
- KNOW – like Freddy, some customers stumble into your site because they are inquisitive. There is no real urgency to purchase. Encourage them to sign up for your fantastic monthly newsletter for tips, stories, or something helpful. Twelve months later when their need arises, you will be top of mind.
- LIKE – perhaps Flo and Kirk are in the market because they have a urgent need, pain, frustration or fear that needs to be cured. But they barely know you. Before expecting them to dive in deep with their wallets, encourage them to download a free report, link to a related article or watch a video of you addressing this problem. Warming them up with your obvious knowledge, skill and ability ensures them that you are the best solution.
- TRUST – When the Molly’s visit, they are not wanting to be bombarded with clutter. They don’t need to hunt for a phone number, contact form, or button to buy. Perhaps they might even want to sample your product, or buy a small service package. As soon as the blog post, article, or promotional text is finished, give an obvious bold link or shiny action-colored button to guide them to their next step.
Adapting the old saying to the importance of creating comfortable customer paths, “don’t put up stumbling blocks, but provide stepping stones.”