Steve Jobs was undoubtedly a mastermind. He was an integral person to the implementation of the digital age. He was the mastermind behind the iPhone, one of the first smartphones introduced into the mainstream. Following on from that success, Apple Inc. has transformed the digital age and are often considered the most successful company in the world. Why? Because they deliver on customer experience first.
Developing customer journey maps can aid your business to provide customers with great customer experiences. The key to a successful digital selling is to be informed of the needs and behaviors of your customers in the digital sphere. Companies who provide customer experiences tailored to their customers’ needs are the winners.
Create a customer journey map
Creating a customer journey map can ensure that the customer remains at the center of your intentions. It should outline who your customers are and what their buying journey looks like. It can also help to determine if there are downfalls within your personnel and their strategies, as well as adding what Forrester refers to as “relevancy to your investments.”
Identify your customer
Developing an understanding of customer personas is essential to B2B businesses. Rarely are B2B decisions made by just one person. Decision-makers within a company now hold many different roles with different responsibilities.
It is important to have a clear understanding of each of these personas at every stage of their buyer journeys. Outline their needs and the importance of each person. The influence of these personas can vary through the different stages of the journey. Understanding who is influential, and when, can help you in better strategizing their experiences.
What are their goals?
Understanding the goals and motives of your customers are a key component to understanding who they are. What are the needs of the customer? What issues do they need to resolve to reach their goal? Having a clear answer to these questions can help you to understand your customer’s perception of value.
For a B2B customer, the greatest influencer on their decision to choose a company is what outcomes it can have on their own business. Unlike B2C consumers, who can often be influenced through emotional triggers, B2B consumers are incredibly focused on their intent and they make their decisions based on logic. Emotions do play a certain role in the B2B relationship, however. Building trust and rapport with potential customers can be a defining factor in their end decision.
Outline the stages in their buying journey
B2B buying journeys are getting longer. As previously mentioned, the process now involved numerous decision makers. This alone can extend the journey. Budgets and important deadlines can greatly influence the B2B buyer’s journey.
The main themes of a buyer journey are awareness, interest, negotiation, decision, delivery, and retainment. Begin by mapping a standard buyer journey before tailoring it to fit your potential customers specifically.
How will you engage with them?
B2B companies are being forced to meet their consumers by their terms. In digital selling, the meeting place between suppliers and buyers take place online.
Customers now find the businesses, and it is the business’ job to make themselves stand out in the online marketplace. Businesses do this through content development and optimizing this content for search engines.
While digital channels have become increasingly popular among B2B customers to engage with businesses, some traditional methods also prove effective. Sales meetings and business conferences are a great opportunity to communicate one-on-one with the consumer.
While these can occur outside of the digital sphere, they can be greatly effective when combined with digital communication tools. Understanding your customer’s preferred channel of communication is important to providing the best customer experience.
The relationship between the buyer and the seller is key to a successful digital selling strategy. It is important to maintain communication throughout the journey. This can help build trust and rapport with the potential customer.
Be sure not to focus all your energy on obtaining new customers. Retaining customers and their loyalty is important for a successful B2B business. Communication shouldn’t halt once the sale has been completed. Keep in contact with your customers and provide opportunities for feedback. Knowing what your customers are satisfied with or not satisfied with can aid in understanding which areas of your strategy need further investment.
Your digital selling strategy
Use your customer journey map to ensure your strategic investments are relevant to your customers and their needs. Understanding who your customers are, what digital channels their buying journey will take them to, and how to communicate with them, are all important to take into consideration when developing your digital selling strategy.
There’s no point investing time and money into a strategy that won’t reach your target markets. Sharing your content on the wrong channels may result in little attention from the appropriate audiences. Strategize your content marketing to adhere to your customers. Meet them on their turf.
Implement an optimization strategy for your content to ensure it appears in their searches. If a B2B buyer is researching an issue they may have, optimizing your content will suggest your solutions to them. Providing educational content that is fact-based could even see them returning to you as a source for future information.
It is important to understanding the channels of communication preferred by your customers. This may take some trial and error, along with the use of analytics to comprehend which strategy works best. Email marketing can be very successful. Some buyers may prefer direct messaging through social networks instead. While some may even prefer it the old-fashioned way, the telephone.
Implementing a digital selling strategy that focuses on providing your customers with the best experience increases customer satisfaction. Your business may or may not become the next Apple Inc., but using your customer journeys to guide your digital selling strategy will certainly put you in the right direction.