Your Customer Journey: Five Steps to Business Success

Cody Burch of Red Anchor Marketing says too many business owners are leaving money on the table.
Cody Burch of Red Anchor Marketing says too many business owners are leaving money on the table.

As an entrepreneur, focus is critical to your business's success. But if you're focusing on promoting a single product or service to the exclusion of all else, you're leaving money on the table, says digital marketing expert Cody Burch.

Burch, founder of Colorado Springs-based Red Anchor Marketing, says that far too many business owners are limiting themselves to one offering, and missing the bigger picture of what they can do to serve their target audiences. Instead, he works with his clients to focus on the customer experience: The path and process customers take from their first encounter with you, through deeper and deeper levels of connection.

It's like inviting someone into your home, he says. “Do I open the door and then close the door? No, I invite you in. But do I invite you in and then let you stand there?” he asks. “No, I invite you a little bit deeper.”

If you're leaving your clients standing on your doorstep, you're missing the opportunity to create a stronger relationship. By focusing on their needs rather than on your individual products, services, or offers, you can provide additional value and, ultimately, generate additional income.

Here are five steps Burch suggests if you want to establish a complete customer journey:

1. Start with the ideal. Start with the pain or desire your potential client is experiencing. What would you need to do to completely serve them at the highest level? “I start with the way to get people the best result,” says Burch.

For instance, if you're a personal trainer, maybe the ultimate solution would be to move into your client's home for 90 days and monitor their food and activity around the clock. Sure, that might seem crazy, but don't worry if it's “realistic” or not; at this point, just figure out what that ultimate solution looks like.

Then ask yourself, “What dollar amount would I be willing to do that for?” Even if it seems unlikely that someone would pay you, say, $30,000 for three months of full-time access, it's important to know your price. Even if you never sell it, says Burch, it helps anchor your value, both in your mind and in the mind of your customers.

2. Take a step down... and another, and another. Now that you know what the “ultimate” looks like and how much it would cost, take a step back. Maybe a step below 24/7, 90-day access is personalized daily workouts and unlimited phone support. Then ask yourself, “What's that going to cost?”

A step below that might be a daily workout sent via email, and online group coaching at a slightly lower price point, and so on.

Repeat these steps until you have an array of offerings, from low-cost/low-touch to concierge-level service. “We start to splinter this down,” explains Burch.

While Burch advises against having a dozen different product offerings at different price points, he stresses that businesses need a variety of solutions at various price points. “People with three to five product offerings are the most successful,” he says, because that's enough to appeal to different budgets, but it's limited enough to be easily understood.

3. Be clear on the transformation you provide. Sometimes we can fall so in love with our products or services that we forget we need to “sell” them to our audience. You might provide the most amazing solution in the world, but if you can't present it in a way your market intuitively understands and values, you're going to miss out.

Be clear on the “before and after” transformation that clients and customers will experience, says Burch. If they don't see how you're going to rock their world, they'll pass on your offer.

4. Cross-sell and upsell. The first time a customer pulls out his or her credit card to buy should NOT be the last. Burch stresses the importance of cross-sells – products related to and that will enhance your current offering and upsells – an upgraded offering. Ask yourself, “What else do people need to get the most of their service?”

Burch praises the easy one-click upsell and “order bumps” from services like ClickFunnels that make it easy for business owners to put additional offers in front of their buyers. “They work so great,” he says. A recent launch he managed had about a 30 percent take rate on the order bump. That's easy money that would be left on the table if without an additional offer to make to buyers.

Even after the initial sale, continue to cross-promote your products and services. Burch points to Sabra hummus as an example. When you remove the lid, there's a printed message: “Enjoy our hummus? You should try our salsa!” Sabra is leveraging every opportunity to educate its audience on other products and services they might be interested in. You can do the same.

5. Think about your customer experience as a competitive advantage. Burch points to the contrast between the Broadmoor, a high-end luxury hotel in Colorado, and a generic hotel or motel. They both provide lodging, but they offer very different experiences. The staff at the Broadmoor look upon every touchpoint, from the parking attendant to the valet to the front desk clerk, as a way to make their guests feel pampered. “That is so different than a normal hotel experience,” he says, and the difference stuck with him, long after his visit.

Burch says that no matter how big or small your business is, you can create a memorable customer journey, one that serves your market, highlights your brand, and makes it stand out from the competition.

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