I thought I would share with you the definitions we use to describe the journey that customers go through when part of the sales and marketing funnel. It helps us understand what we should be doing at each stage to nurture them through the process of making a purchase.
The first stage is Suspect. We call them these as we suspect that these are the people that should be buying from us. We do not know their names and they are not aware of ours either. We just feel that based on our existing Customers and demographics we think that they fit into the bracket of our target audience. Now the wider the suspect range the harder it is to target them with messages that are going to appeal. Marketing to teenage girls is way different to retired women in their 70’s.

The next stage is Prospect. For a suspect to become a prospect there needs to have been an exchange of personal contact details, they know who we are and we know who they are by name. At this stage it could be following you on Facebook or Instagram or Friending you on Linkedin or signing up to a newsletter or mailing list.

The next stage on the Customer journey is Shopper. My Sister loves to shop so much so that when I was a poor Student her birthday present was a day of babysitting of my nephew to allow her to have a good rake around the shops. She did not buy anything she just loved to have a good look around to see what was on sale, what styles were in fashion, and how much stuff cost. I am sure we all have stories of people who ask us for a price but who never give us the work, tyre kickers as the trade calls them.

Getting a Shopper to make a purchase elevates them to Customer status. Customers have parted with money or goods in exchange for your product or service. The first purchase can be the hardest but can act as an ice breaker. Look after the Customer, value their business, keep in touch with them and you if you have done everything right get a second purchase.

When you get repeat business or a second purchase the Customer is more than likely an Advocate. If we were to ask an Advocate as to whether they would recommend us to Friends or Family then they are likely to say yes as they have enjoyed the product or service sufficiently to make a second purchase. If they did not enjoy the product or service the first time then a second sale and advocacy are unlikely. I remember a comedian saying at the end of his show, if you enjoyed the show tell your friends, if you did not enjoy the show keep it to yourself.
Figures from the US for 2020 show that Americans will tell 2-3 people if they have good Customer service. If they get bad Customer service Americans tell 11-15 people. Now these figures surprise me as I feel with Social Media and sites such as TripAdvisor these figures are not higher especially for Restaurants.

The final and ultimate level on the Customer Journey is Raving Fan. The Raving Fan is so happy with your service that unprompted they will recommend you to everyone. The difference between a Raving Fan and an Advocate is the need to ask for the referral. Raving Fans make regular purchases. One of my Clients has a Stone Masonry Business, he has a Lady who is a Raving Fan, soon as anyone passes away she tells them to make sure that they go and see John as he will look after them and give them a fitting memorial. John recognising the value of the relationship sends flowers to the Lady in appreciation.
It’s the marketing teams role to get the Customer through the door, the Sales Team to bring them across the line, Customers Service to wow the socks off them then we rinse and repeat, remembering that it is x5 easier to sell to someone who has bought from you previous (except if you drop the ball that is).

Have a good look at your Customer Journey. If Customers are not making it through to the top of the ladder, give us a call and we can help you understand why.