Creating your Customer Journey

What we’re going to do in this tutorial …

We are going to define what your particular customer journey looks like, which is composed of the 7 key steps a customer goes through to move from “I don’t know you” right through to “I’m a big fan of what you do, I always buy from you, and I recommend you to everyone I meet, whether they ask or not.”

Why we need to do this …

The customer needs to move through a number of stages on the right order, and be intelligently brought up to buying temperature at a speed that’s right for them.

Think of it like a courtship.

Too fast, and they will reject you. And they will also  tell their friends to avoid to you, because you are too pushy.

Too slow, and you end up in the Friend Zone.

Skip steps, and you come across as creepy, like someone who starts stroking your hair within a few seconds of you meeting them at a bus stop.

The marketing assets that you create should be specifically designed to move people from one stage to the next. When you know what those stage are, it’s easier, faster and cheaper to make what you need.

How we are going to do this …

  • We’ve listed the steps below, along with examples of what other people do at that stage.
  • For each step, let’s decide what you will do to make them forward. 
  • When we create your marketing in later tutorials, you’ll then know which assets you want to create and why.

Stage 1: Customer becomes aware

  • Description: At this point the customer has become aware of us, we have caught their eye.
  • Examples: Posters, flyers, Facebook posts, Instagram pictures and videos, YouTube pre-roll advertisements, partner network advertising, sponsorship, branding of people, vehicles premises et cetera
  • Ideas for your own business:

Stage 2: Customer becomes engaged

  • Description: At this point, the customer has started to read articles or watch videos from us, and consume the materials we are creating.
  • Examples: Facebook videos, YouTube videos, forum and Facebook group posts, Facebook live, brochures, leaflets and articles, Retargeting advertisements,
  • Ideas for your own business:

Stage 3: Customer gives us their contact details

  • Description: At this point, the customer provides us with contact details in order to be able to receive more interesting and useful stuff that is relevant to their problem or opportunity, which then allows us to start to bring them up to buying temperature, either for a straightforward purchase if we have a low entry price point, or for a first touch product.
  • Examples: Webinars, surveys, quizzes, free e-books that require registration, free products, newsletters
  • Ideas for your own business:

Stage 4: First Touch

  • Description: At this point, the customer invests a small amount of money or some time to either learn more about our solution to the problem or testdrive our product or service. This teaches them that they can buy from us with confidence and also help them better see how we can help them – and is especially useful for higher price point product.
  • Examples: Testdrive, 30-day free trial, open days, free strategy call, taster sessions, free samples
  • Ideas for your own business:

Stage 5: First Touch Follow Up

  • Description: At this point, the customer becomes more excited about the possibilities our product or service offers, based on the pleasurable experience of the first touch, and we understand more about them so that we can start to point them at the right level of product based on their appetite and budget.
  • Examples: Surveys, follow-ups, consultancy and strategy calls, vouchers, special offers
  • Ideas for your own business:

Stage 6: Customer Routing, Purchase, & Up-sell/Cross-sell

  • Description: At this point, the customer is pointed at the optimum product for their appetite and budget, and is optionally offered additional products and services to enrich their use or experience of the product or service.
  • Examples: “If you like this, you might also like”, “customers who purchase this also bought”,  “special offer, buy these two items together as a combo”, Vistaprint-style additional use items, one-time discount offer, flash sales, VIP upgrade, McDonald’s meal super-size, warranty and product cover.
  • Ideas for your own business:

Stage 7: Customer repeat sales and referrals

  • Description: At this point, the customer becomes a regular ongoing purchaser, provides testimonials and also acts as a promoter by referring other customers to us.
  • Examples: Recommend a friend, loyalty vouchers/rewards, loyalty cards, newsletters and follow-up groups, mouse mats, mugs and stickers
  • Ideas for your own business:

Creating a Customer Avatar

Why we need to do this …

We do this for a number of good reasons:

  • It’s essential to have an image of who we are talking to when we design our products and marketing messages.
  • Knowing their interests helps us find and target them more cost effectively

How we are going to do this …

  • We divide our target market into segments. We can do this in a number of ways:
    • How good/skilled/experienced they are
    • What their appetite and budget is 
    • What their desired outcome is
  • For each one, create an avatar using the questions below. 

Section 1: Demographics

  • Name:
  • Age:
  • Gender:
  • Marital status:
  • Age and # of children:
  • Location:
  • Field of occupation:
  • Job title:
  • Annual income:
  • Education level:

Section 2: Challenges & Pain Points

  • What are this customer’s top 3 challenges?
  • What are this customer’s top 3 pain points?
  • What is your customer not good at?
  • What is your customer uncertain about?
  • What does your customer no longer want to experience?
  • What does your customer no longer want to feel?
  • What does your customer have bad dreams about?

Section 3: Goals, Desires and Values

  • What are this customer’s top 3 goals?
  • What are this customer’s top values?
  • What are they committed to? What do they believe in?
  • What they want to get better at?
  • What do they want to experience?
  • What do they want to feel?
  • What does your customer have pleasant / daydreams about?

Section 4: Sources of Information

  • What books does your customer read (which other people would be unlikely to)?
  • What magazines does your customer subscribe to (which other people would be unlikely to)?
  • What blogs and websites does your customer visit (which other people would be unlikely to)?
  • Which conferences and events as your customer attend (which other people would be unlikely to)?
  • What experts does your customer follow (which other people would be unlikely to)?
  • What other interests or activities as your customer have or do (which other people would be unlikely to)?

Section 5: Buying Behaviour

  • What objections would your customer be likely to have?
  • What role does the customer have in the purchase process?
  • Who else would be likely to influence the customer in terms of buying?
  • How comfortable is the customer likely to be at buying online versus face-to-face or over the phone?

Section 6: Outcomes & Alternatives

  • What transformation is the customer looking for (from and to what):
  • How would they visualise that transformation? (Where would they be and what would they be doing?)
  • What alternatives do they have to our solution, and why don’t they give the same result?

Section 7: Context of Problem or Need

  • How or when do they discover they have a need?
  • Who do they first discuss solving this problem with?
  • Where do they usually do their research to solve this problem?
  • Where do they look to find companies to solve this problem?

Evaluating a Business Idea

What we’re going to do in this tutorial …

We are going to take your business idea and ask some killer questions to see just how good an idea it actually is. Then we are going to give it a score, so we can compare it to the other ideas you have.

Why we need to do this …

  • Because we don’t want you to waste a lot of money on an idea that hasn’t been thought through
  • Because you can then choose between multiple good ideas to find the right one to go with right now 
  • Because you’ll have a clearer understanding of the ideas you DO like, and you’ll be able to make them happen faster

How we are going to do this …

  • For each idea you have, answer the questions below. I’d strongly recommend scribbling the answers down on a sheet of paper, especially if you want to compare multiple ideas.
  • TIP: Check out our tutorial on creating a shortlist of business ideas if you don’t have any yet.
  • Give it a score of 1 to 10 based on the answers you get, and that will help you compare different ideas to see which ones you want to go with.
  • NOTE: Sometimes a slightly lower score just means that it’s an idea for a future time, rather than right now.

Here are the questions we need to answer …

  1. What is the main idea for the product or service?
  2. Who is the ideal customer group for this product/service?
  3. What need/desire in their life and/or business does it fulfil?
  4. How many ideal customers are there for this product/service? I.e., what is the market size?
  5. What do you estimate your average transaction value to be, and how often do you think you will be able to get them to buy?
  6. What would be the cost of provision, and what sort of profit margin does that leave? (Bearing in mind all of the other expenses of running a business, not least of which is marketing/advertising)
  7. Is there a way that we can structure the product so that we can have different pricing levels for different customers?
  8. Can we have a low value introductory product (first touch) that helps us sell a higher value backend product?
  9. How easy are your ideal customer groups to identify and access?
  10. How much competition is there? What are the competition doing well, and what are they missing out on that you can capitalise on?
  11. How much desire/active searching is there for this from the point of view of the market?
  12. How much desire is there for this from your point of view? Is this something you would actually love to do anyway even if you weren’t being paid for it? (Not essential, but a massive advantage if you can find something that fits this criteria.)
  13. Which end of the market are you aiming at, premium or volume?
  14. How scalable is the business? Does it rely on skills you can easily transfer or train in to new hires, or is it going to be capped by the fact that it requires attention from an expert with a rare skill base?
  15. In what way is your product different to what is already out there? What’s your differentiating X factor?
  16. Do you have any reputation or visibility in the marketplace? Are there any credentials you could use to backup your offering, if they are required? If not, do you have access to a mentor or other figure you could use as a brand endorsement/credibility builder? Could we use affiliates as brand ambassadors?
  17. What are the setup costs, including premises, equipment, stock, insurance, getting required qualifications, transport etc?
  18. What are the running costs for something like this, and how long could you support it if it takes a while to run properly and make a profit?
  19. How much time is needed to set this up, and is it something that you can run in tandem with your existing commitments, e.g. day job?
  20. How much time do you spend on average with your ideal customer?
  21. What is the possibility of spending time with people who are working for your competitors? Do you have the ability to work with a company that is doing this for a month or two, so that you can learn their business and then start out on your own?
  22. Do we have anybody in mind who can help us get this off the ground? Is there a possibility of recruiting/headhunting someone from a competitor who would be interested in helping start-up a new business?
  23. What is the growth potential for this? Is this something we could potentially licence or franchise to achieve bigger market share?
  24. What is the planned timescale for implementation this idea if selected?
  25. What’s your rating of this idea now, on a scale of 1 to 10?

Creating a Business Idea Shortlist

What we’re going to do in this tutorial …

We are going to come up with ideas about services you can provide, and look at who is likely to pay you the most money, and give you the most joy to work with. Just like personal relationships, business works best when both partners are fully engaged, enthusiastic and appreciative. So we’re going to find your ideal partner from a business perspective. 

Why we need to do this …

When searching for a business idea, many people look at what other people are doing. 

It’s not a bad idea – it’s important to know if there’s already a successful business doing the things you want to do, because it means there is a market for it. 

And you have a model to work from when building your own business.

But the person who started that business may well have very different skills and abilities to yours, different strengths and experience levels.

So whilst the business they are running might be the best thing for them to be doing, it might not be the best thing for you.

Rather than “what kind of business should I run?” there is a better question to be asking:

“Given my skills, passions and experience, what group of people can I profitably add the most value to?”

This group needs to be made of people you can resonate with, because it’s very hard to to design a business around people whose key drivers you have no grasp of.

And surviving in business is about finding better ways to profitably serve your customers than the competition does.

It’s how you get people to choose to buy from you.

There’s a saying: you can have anything you want providing you help enough people get what they want.

Your income as a business is essentially the product of how many people you help multiplied by how grateful they are for that help.

How we are going to do this …

  • For the groups of people you know about, look at ideas that will live in the overlap of the three circles above.
  • For each idea that you think has potential, list it in the table below, noting who it serves, and what value you think it adds to them and to you on a scale of 1-10

Defining Your Mission

Part 1 – Create your vision

We are going to have a go at working out what your overall vision is, which is a shared purpose that inspires you and gives a reason and purpose to what you do beyond pennies in bank accounts.

Why we need to do this …

People keep going longer and put up with more when they have a good why. Running a business will have its ups and downs, and the more durability we can give you the better. 

Having a vision will also give you a different perspective when choosing which business ideas to go for.

But your vision is not just for you. It should also inspire and unite the people working with you. It should be an engagement tool for clients, so they get to see you as a force for good as opposed to simply another money-making machine, which helps to create raving fans.

How we are going to do this …

  • Technically, you just need to write down what your vision is, starting with Our vision is a place where …. (See the examples below to help you.)
  • However, your vision might not be very clear at the outset. You can equate it to your purpose if that helps.
  • TIP: Imagine if you woke up with £100,000,000,000 in your bank tomorrow. After a spate of holidays and purchases, what would you devote your life to doing? Who would you serve, and why?
  • Don’t be afraid to create a pencil sketch version now and come back to this at a later date. It can take many years to discover it fully. But having something is better than nothing.

Some examples to help you …

  • Google: our vision is a place where people have access to the information they need anywhere at any time
  • Apple: our vision is a place where people are able to achieve amazing lives thanks to intuitively and beautifully designed devices and systems.
  • AgileOS: our vision is a place where people have the frameworks and systems to define and deliver their own personal vision of success
  • The Performance Partnership: our vision is a place where people have the tools and techniques to make the impossible possible

 

Part 2 – Define your mission

We are going to define your mission, which is an expression of one of the ways we are going to make your vision a reality.  (You can think of a mission as being a business idea.)

Why we need to do this …

We do this because it’s a very useful way of chunking down our thinking about what we are doing into focused units.

The right level to think of a mission is as a division within a group, just in the same way that Apple is divided into music technology, telephone technology, computer technology et cetera.

It’s fine to start off with just one mission. Google started with just a search engine. Amazon started with just a bookstore. Apple started with just a computer.

Not all of the missions have to be moneymaking. Some people have one commercial mission, and one contribution mission.

Take us here at AgileOS as an example. We have two missions. One is a commercial mission, doing what we doing right now, which is helping people design and build a business. 

The other one is our DeliverAid initiative, which is a contribution mission where we take computers and educational supplies to disadvantaged children in impoverished areas using some of the profits we create by doing a commercial mission.

But having those two things divided down into separate missions really helps us think properly.

How we are going to do this …

  • Write down your mission, starting with We are going to … (You can use the examples below if you want inspiration.)
  • If you aren’t sure what your mission should be, try our Creating your Business Idea Shortlist tutorial.
  • If you have a number of ideas that you can’t decide between, try our Evaluating your Business Idea tutorial.

Some examples to help you

  • Google: We are going to reinvent the way that people navigate and explore by creating Google Earth
  • Apple: We are going to reinvent the way that people listen to music by inventing the iPod and iTunes store.
  • AgileOS: We are going to give people the systems and blueprints to start and build great businesses.
  • The Performance Partnership: We are going to combine the best in personal development technologies (NLP, Time line therapy, Huna) et cetera to create training programs that achieve real transformational change)