The customer journey 

This week my musings have been inspired by recent experience I’ve had when looking for a specific service provider. It got me thinking about the customer journey, both as an end user and as a service provider. 
I often talk about first impressions. In the digital world our profile pictures, social media content and websites are often the first thing that a potential client might see. A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a friend about a challenge we both share. She had recently started working with someone to help her with it and the results to date were promising. She spoke very highly of them. I expressed an interest in the persons work and took their name. 

How does your online presence stack up? 

My research began. 
Social media – I’ll check Facebook first. I find their personal page which does have a link to their business page. That’s a big tick. I follow the link. 
Unfortunately, though, their content is not that informative. In fact, it’s hard to tell how they work or what they even do from the sporadic posts. There doesn’t seem to be any consistency in when, or how often they post. Sometimes there are big gaps of 3-4 weeks, then a few posts about a variety of topics (none of which are relevant to what I’m looking for). I’m left feeling a bit confused and unable to find any content that inspires me or backs up what my friend was saying. 
There is, however, a link to a website. Maybe that’s where they post all the good stuff? I’ll take a look. Disappointingly that’s not much better. It appears very amateurish; the colours and branding are not consistent with anything I saw on Facebook. Its not mobile optimised either so not a great user experience on my phone. It turns out to be just a one-page website. There’s no real information to read up on. It doesn’t inspire confidence. Just a contact page for me to put my contact details in and a checklist of issues I could choose from on what I wanted help with. Based on what I’ve seen so far I don’t have faith in leaving my contact details. 
Because my contact spoke quite highly of them, saying they really knew their stuff I didn’t want to be put off by this first impression. I go back to their personal Facebook page which seems a bit more current as there is evidence of them having changed their profile picture. I decided to send a message on Messenger. Yay! Result! They got back to me within minutes. I explained that they’d been referred by my friend. I asked if they’d be open to booking a call to chat about the issues I wanted help with. I got a friendly message back, gave them my number and left it that they would call me the following day, which was a Friday. 

Not handing over hard earned cash 

The call never came. 
I figured something must’ve cropped up. I didn’t expect a call over the weekend but thought maybe Monday I’d hear something. I didn’t though. By this time, I’m not having such a great customer experience so far… 
A week or so later my friend got in touch to see what had happened. (Or not happened more to the point.) I explained there’d been no chat despite a call being arranged, she seemed surprised and said she would remind them of me. I thought then maybe I’d get a call or a message to apologise and rearrange. Sadly, still nada… 
Had I got a message saying, ‘so sorry I missed our call, can we reschedule?’ I’d have been happy to do that and based on the outcome of that conversation I would have probably spent money with that person. Maybe they are doing so well in business that the attention to these details doesn’t matter? 
Instead of handing over my hard-earned cash, I’m thinking about what I’ve learned about the importance of customer experience. I’m pondering the lessons I can take from this and what I need in place to make sure that I look after my potential clients, so they don’t fall through the net like I did with them. 
I appreciate it’s tricky when you are a one-woman band to keep all the plates spinning. I know I’m not perfect, but I’ve learned that outsourcing tasks that aren’t your area of expertise is where it’s at as soon as you can afford it. I’d hate to get a reputation for being flaky because I’m not organised and don’t have a system in place… 

Your reputation precedes you 

I found this quote and it really resonated with me. 
“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” Henry Ford. 
Because of my recent experience I felt inspired to create a checklist and will be working through it asap. I’m aiming towards getting 10/10 for all of the questions: 
Am I easy to find on social media? 
Same recognisable profile photo across all social media channels so you know it’s me 
Recent posts across my social media that make it clear who I help and how I do it 
Do all my links on social media work properly 
Does my website look up to date and professional? 
Is my website easy for people to navigate? 
Is it obvious who I work with and how I do it? 
Do my blogs provide free advice across my areas of expertise? 
Are there opportunities for potential clients to sign up for a freebie/taster? 
Do I have a range of different priced products/services to choose from? 
Are my prices current? 
Are there FAQ’s that might be helpful? 
Are there testimonials from happy clients across the range of services I offer? 
Am I happy with how my digital presence represent me and my business? 
How do I record and follow up inbound enquiries? 
How do I look after my clients once they invest with me? 
Is there anything you would add to my list- either as a client or a fellow business owner? 
FAB Network : female authentic ballsy 
Did you know I've started up my own brand of networking for women in business? Hop over to the book of face and join my FAB* Network (*female authentic and ballsy). I ’ve created a space for us to hang out. It’s early days yet but already there’s an awesome, warm, supportive vibe. It’s all about a community that is empowering, enlightening, entertaining and energising for us likeminded women. 
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