We view the buyer’s journey a bit differently than most marketers: as a means to an end and milestone chart along the way to engage your member/customer. However, it is not JUST a journey. It is also reflective of our operations, training, marketing, and sales coaching.
The path your customer/member takes to a buying decision is similar from customer to customer; however, the speed of the journey, the duration of each step, the hurdles encountered, and the variables that may cause them to leave the journey prior to a purchase decision, can vary widely!
While it will ALWAYS vary from one bank/CU to another bank/CU, it should not always vary within your own bank/CU.
So how do you know? How can you manage?
The key is actually assessing your customer/member journey and knowing where people join, fall-off, slow-down and complete the journey. Each of these areas may be fraught with hurdles (visible and invisible) that alter the path and cause inefficiency and increased cost.
The “Join” should be the easiest to track. It is the “where” people choose to engage/connect with you and your organization.
- The most common elements
- Digital/search/target platform
This is the start of an engagement — the strength of which will either expedite the journey or drag out the sales process. The further down the digital channel, the faster the engagement; however, the more personal the connection (branch) the faster the completion of the decision. It is a true balance that when done right mixes the two effectively (digital engagement and personal follow-up).
Measuring the fall-off is simpler in some areas than other. Google Analytics on your website will pinpoint where the engagement falls-off and the customer disengages. For branch, if a customer leaves the building the chance of continuing the journey are greatly diminished. The balance here is engaging WHERE and HOW the customer/member desires and then connecting them to a personal connection and information source as soon as is possible.
The slow-down is indicative of a sales/information process that is either incomplete or impersonal and not relevant. If a customer/member slows their progress, they have hit “real” or “intangible” hurdle; regardless of which, both seem real from their perspective. In these cases, follow-up is a time sensitive issue. If they slow down, they are 1) rethinking their need to purchase or 2) rethinking from whom they will purchase. The former is a reality of our business, the latter is a controllable aspect of our business.
This is the nirvana we all seek. Someone entering, traveling and then completing a buyer’s journey with a product or service. Keep in mind that there MAY be multiple completions by a single customer: home equity, insurance referral, credit card, auto loan refinance, savings account, etc. We need to orchestrate each one with the “core completion” going 1st as it is the ticket to all the others (in this example the HE loan is the central cog).
Assess your buyer’s journey starting today! Need help knowing where and how to start…give me a ring!