Things are getting very touchy-feely in the business world these days, with a huge emphasis on how a customer feels about their experiences. The focus is on marketing strategies that appeal to the emotional nature of the customer, and ensuring that the customer is happy every step of the way. The modern customer journey is an immersive experience, with businesses tapping into the fundamental motivations and emotional needs of their customers.
Experts like the wonderful Lucy Rennie and the incredible Grant Leboff are brilliantly enlightening about how to provide a fantastic customer “pathway” or journey alongside a marketing strategy that really aligns with what your customers are feeling, thereby maximising their emotional connection with your business.
It’s essential stuff, there’s no doubt about that, and it’s exciting to see this fresh perspective on the customer journey/marketing strategy. But whilst you’re swept up in the thrill of exploring your customer’s emotional motivators, you might overlook a major piece of the puzzle.
This is where MY thing comes in, it’s what gets me all excited, it’s what I love to put in place for my clients, and it’s called PROCESSES.
Look at it like this: you may well be providing a beautifully engaging customer journey, and delivering brilliant marketing that really hits the spot…BUT if you don’t have the right processes in place, then the whole thing doesn’t just lose momentum, it just doesn’t WORK.
Everyone likes a good vegetable analogy (don’t they?), so let’s imagine that your plan is to grow your own peppers. You’ve researched well and you know exactly the type of peppers (customers) you’re after. You know what they like (warmth, sun, water, fertiliser, sticks for support, a bit of mist), and you know what bugs them (aphids, something called “blossom end rot“, and little weird red spiders that live in greenhouses). You know that pinching their tips makes them bushier, and that they will, at some point, develop side-shoots. Oh yes, you’ve done your homework and you know these babies well. You’ve bought the seeds and, because you care so much about them, you’ve bought all the best equipment and even built a greenhouse.
All this gear – like your wonderful marketing strategy – tailored specifically to your peppers, will ensure that they have the best possible journey every step of the way, and that they’ll grow into the biggest juiciest peppers ever. Right?
Not so fast…. there’s a problem, a missing part: you forgot to get instructions. That’s right; you have no instructions for your pepper seeds. You sit, sweating in your fabulous greenhouse with the seeds in your sticky palms, and you wonder how to get started….
You have no idea when to plant them, or what you should plant them in; should you space them out? Do they need to be transferred to pots, and if so, what size pots, and when? How often do they need watering? How much fertiliser do they need? How warm is “warm”? What’s this “pinching” thing all about, how do you get rid of aphids, and how can you tell when they’re ready to eat?
Will they grow AT ALL if you don’t know what to DO with them?
Without processes in place your customers will languish too. Processes are the instructions that tell you how to “do the do”, for example, you might know that you have to contact 10 prospective customers, but processes will tell you how to find those customers, by which means to contact them and when to contact them. Processes will make sure that you record every communication and follow everything up.
Processes will feed, water and nourish your prospective and existing customers at the right time, regularly and consistently. Processes will give you insurance against missed sales opportunities and ensure that no interaction with your customer slips through the cracks.
In short, processes are the instructions that will enable your marketing and customer service endeavours to bear fruit. Or veg!
If you want to maintain and grow a business that’s well nourished, watered and fruitful, then you must have the right processes in place alongside your marketing and customer-experience strategies. After all, Percy Thrower didn’t just know his onions, he also knew how to grow them!
To find out how we can help you grow peppers, or a more productive, outstanding business, contact Joanne on 07928 228764 or at firstname.lastname@example.org