The customer journey, how to turn touchpoints into conversions, and why quality content will help
If a sales letter makes it through your inbox from a company you’ve never heard of, with a product you don’t know (or care) much about, how likely are you to buy it?
With every touchpoint, you get another chance to build trust in your brand, display your expertise in your area and appease any objections to purchasing, and authentically show why you are the people they want to do business with. Ideally, in every interaction, your customer learns more about why you are the company they want to engage with.
Unless you’re an impulse buyer, you need more information before committing to a purchase.
Among other things, consumers want to know:
- Why do I need this product?
- Who are these guys?
- Are other people buying this too, is it “cool”?
- Is this the best deal for it?
- Is it worth the money?
If you’re like most people though, you won’t dive into researching this yourself — you’ve got more important things to do.
Successful salespeople know this, and that’s where the basic customer journey map begins.
In sales, there’s discussion around how many “touches” it takes to turn a prospect into a paying customer. Some say it takes 3, some say 7, some say it takes as many as 12 before you hit diminishing returns.
One thing they all agree on is that no customer is going to buy at the first touchpoint. (If they did, we’d be out of a job!)
You must plant the seeds, instil trust, and develop a relationship of sorts before they’ll open their wallet to your brilliant venture.
What are the seven (three, or twelve) touchpoints of contact?
Touchpoints are an integral part of a customer journey map. They refer to any time your customer (potential or paying) interacts with your brand, whether online, over the phone, via email or in person.
These touchpoints along the journey are usually divided into several stages:
- Awareness - spreading the word about your company or product
- Discovery - revealing more information about your benefits and values
- Purchase - helping customers explore your range and make selections
- Use of Product/Service - maintenance, feedback, troubleshooting
- Bonding with Product/Service - maintaining a relationship with your customers
Every company’s customer journey map is unique.
For example, if your company, product or service is already well-known, you can save time and effort on the “awareness” stage of the journey, but may need to spend more elsewhere, depending on where your current pain points are.
However, for a startup or product in a niche space, awareness may be the emphasis for your communications and interactions.
Your points of contact could range from flyers to phone calls, online reviews to in-store events, and personalised e-newsletters to public blog content.
Ideally, in every interaction, your customer learns more about why you are the company they want to engage with.
With every touchpoint, you get another chance to build trust in your brand, display your expertise in your area and appease any objections to purchasing, and authentically show why you are the people they want to do business with.
How do you create these unique messages?
Many of your touchpoints will already exist as part of your sales process, in the form of web content, advertising, and basic customer communications.
To take your customer communications to the next level, create a goldmine of engaging article content.
Think back to the different stages of the customer journey, and what’s needed at each of those stages. What if you could provide insight and value for your customers at each of those stages, and have it readily accessible to call upon when needed?
This is where your blog content will be a goldmine - your own personal bank of informative, insightful, relevant information ready to be delivered to your customers as needed, whatever stage of the journey they’re at.
- Awareness-level content can be highlighted on your website, for customers who need more information about you, your product/service, and your values.
- Discovery focussed content can be sent out in monthly newsletters or personalised emails, encouraging prospects to find out more and keep up with new developments.
- Purchase-specific information can be targeted to customers who are ready to commit but haven’t yet signed on the dotted line.
- Use-of-product and bonding-with-product are both ideal for social media, where you can answer queries, reply to reviews, and encourage your customers to interact further with your company.
With the addition of a blog to your arsenal of communications, you can widen the scope of your touchpoints and reach
Now you know what’s needed, have you got the time (or skills) to write it?
The idea that blogs can be an influential part of your sales strategy isn’t new, nor are customer journey maps with planned touchpoints.
All of this has been used by successful companies from Amazon to Mitre 10 to make them more efficient in their customer communications, and more companies are developing strategies like this every day.
How many of your customers are going elsewhere because they can’t find the information they want? How many are dropping off your sales pipeline because there isn’t information relevant to their needs?
Blog content can be repurposed for each of these situations, and across a range of customer pain points to enable your prospects to find, discover, and engage with confidence.
If you need expert help writing your company blog posts, and advice about repurposing these across your customer touchpoints, call the team at BizStory Content today.
We’ve worked with dozens of small-medium companies across a range of industries: we write words that convert, for all stages of your customer’s journey.