There are several touchpoints on a customer journey, and sometimes it is difficult to pinpoint which touchpoints draw a customer into your business and which touchpoints scare them away.
Especially in eCommerce, when a customer leaves without making a purchase, you can’t chase after them to ask them why. You have to guess what’s gone wrong and what’s gone right.
However, you can take steps to minimize the wrong and maximize the right.
Below are some common mistakes businesses make at the beginning of the customer journey.
Inaccurate or Inconsistent Contact Information
There’s nothing worse than trying to get a hold of a business and not knowing how. If someone Google’s your business, will they be directed to the correct website? Will this person find a valid address, phone number, or email information?
What if they look up your business on a site like Yelp or social media like Facebook? Is there accurate contact information there?
Do not make people work to figure out how to contact you. Make it easy for them to reach you by phone or email or a simple contact form on your website. Make your website easy to find.
There are very few businesses in the world that people go out of their way to connect with. For most companies, if the contact information isn’t easy to find, a competitor’s contact information is just as good as yours.
Lack of Reviews or Testimonials
Once a customer has found you, they want to know how good you are at what you do. Be sure you don’t lack in this area of the customer journey. You need reviews on Google Business, Yelp, or some other platform like a Facebook Business Page. Preferably, you have reviews on all three.
If you’re not the kind of business that uses these reviews, then get testimonials from your best customers and put them on your website.
Let people hear from their peers about the quality of your work. People need to know that your customers are happy and feel like they’ve received a good value.
No Personal Photos
People want to put a name with a face. Maybe it’s superficial. Maybe it’s nonsensical. But people want to know who they’re talking to on the phone or via email.
Make sure your website and LinkedIn profile have a professional picture of you. Make sure that your team also has photos on your website.
If you want someone to trust you and your business, then you have to show them that you’re willing to put yourself out there…literally.
Vague or Inconsistent Messaging
Your website is a reflection of you and your business. What you say on your website can draw a client in or scare a client off.
For example, if you’re looking to attract a small business client with a moderate budget, saying things like “high-end” and “top of the line” immediately makes that client think your business is out of their price range. They’ll leave, and they won’t come back.
However, wording like “value” or “reasonable” may make that client reach out to learn more.
By the same token, words like “bargain” and “discount” will have a client with a more significant spending budget thinking that they won’t get value for their money. Your business is cheap and, therefore, not as good.
While your website wording may not be “wrong,” it also may not be right for the type of client that you’re trying to attract.
Read through your website with a fine-toothed comb. Look at the wording and the images that you use. Are these items attracting the kind of client you want in your business, or are they scaring your target client away?
You Don’t Set Clear Expectations
If a client makes it to the point where they reach out to contact your business, you must set clear expectations.
This is where automation can make a big impact on your business’s ability to land a client.
The minute that someone fills out the contact form on your website, send a form email back. Thank that person for contacting your business and tell them when you will get back to them.
It is not enough to say, “We will contact you shortly.” Give a time frame, such as “We will contact you in the next 24 hours.”
The time frame sets expectations. This creates your first opportunity to earn the client’s trust.
Fulfill Those Expectations
Once those expectations are set, fulfill the expectations. Many companies lose out because they are not organized enough or on top of the business enough to satisfy the expectations of a quick first contact.
By promising to respond promptly and then fulfilling that promise, not only are you letting the client know that you are a reliable person to do business with, but you are also telling them that you think they are important.
Many clients are lost because businesses do not clearly set expectations or because expectations are not fulfilled in a timely manner.
Following Up After the Initial Meeting
Two other things scare clients off before you have a chance to make the sales pitch—disorganization and desperation.
If you promise to send a client more information following the initial interview, you better be organized enough to remember your promise.
If a client follows up with you a few days after your initial meeting and you’re scrambling to remember what the two of you talked about, that’s another sign of disorganization.
Remember, clients want to feel like they are important and that you are reliable. You must be organized enough to confirm your reliability, and you must keep accurate notes so that the client feels valuable. This is an important part of the customer journey.
Sometimes, the client does not follow up with you in a few days. It’s okay to send a checking-in email to see how the client felt about the initial meeting. It is not okay to send another email 24 hours later when you don’t hear back.
Yes, sometimes potential clients are blowing you off. That’s the nature of business. However, other times potential clients are just busy. You don’t know what’s happening on the other end.
If you become too needy or too desperate, the client may decide to blow you off simply because they’re tired of the endless emails and check-ins. Be careful to walk that line between attentive and desperate.
You have to set up the customer journey right. None of these steps are going to guarantee that you make the sale in the end. However, they will guarantee you more time to win a client over.
What you do with that time is up to you.
Written by Erika Towne