If you have a business that is suffering from the current economic downturn, you might be asking yourself, “How do I get ahead in my business with Customer Journey Mapping?”
Well, in this blog, I am going to explain how you can get ahead, and why now is the best time to take action.
Firstly, I want to point out how turbulent my world is now and that what seemed ‘normal’ last week is now uncertain. The pandemic has thrown everything up in the air. I don’t know how the pieces are going to fall or what ‘normal’ will look like in the future.
Does that sound familiar?
I want you to know that I understand how crazy this time is and that many of us feel as we are in the middle of a wash cycle in the washing machine!
So, if you are a service-based business, you will have experienced some level of change from your clients over the past month.
I have clients who are service providers, and they have had over 90% of their client revenue slashed in the last three weeks from cancellations—not pausing – cancelling. It’s a tough place for us all right now, and no doubt we are all faced with unusual and difficult situations.
Last week I ran a Live Training for a group of business owners, and polled the attendees asking them “What is the most significant issue you face right now?” The answer was –
“How do I gain market share for my product or service?”
This answer is a direct result of having all their clients drop off. It is not so much a question of how to gain market share for their existing product, but it’s more a case of how do they find a market share for their ‘evolved or pivoted’ product?
That is what the smart, adaptable businesses will be working on right now. The best approach, proven over time is to ensure the sustainability and success of their business when the market picks up again.
Is this how you are thinking too? I hope so – because then I’m talking to the right person.
By the way, this is a very different scenario from clients leaving because they don’t want your service any more, and where they may go to a competitor. What I’m focussing on today is our current worldwide crisis triggered by the ‘Covid-19 pandemic’ causing an economic downturn affecting most of the western world.
This situation is totally out of your control, and everyone in your market will be similarly affected.
So, the key is to follow a few steps to save your sanity – and your business – right now:
- Ask yourself if your customers are no longer buying your product because of the current downturn, and any other reason?
- Identify what your customers are saying they DO need right now
- Consider a slightly evolved (or fully evolved) product that you can create to offer them
- Map your new customer journey and deliver it with compassion
Let’s break these down a little bit more detail so you can see what needs to happen:
- If your clients are cancelling on you, talk to them. Ask them why and find out what they can afford and what their exact needs are right now. Ask them if there are any situations or conditions by which they would re-consider. Just talk to them and find out everything you can.
- Get a whiteboard and list out the things that your clients are saying that they need right now. Don’t make assumptions, and be careful not to skim over the details that seem unimportant to YOU (remember this is about your customers so, you’ve got to honour and respect everything they have said). Your goal is to list EVERYTHING out and then create a clear description of it all.
- Look at your current product and then look at your customer’s current needs. See what the gap is? Hopefully, it is obvious to you! Most likely, there will be some level of ‘online’ involved in what they need or how you deliver it to them. Be open-minded and consider how you can evolve the product and give your customer what they need in affordable, bite-sized chunks!
- The ‘gold’ for you lies in mapping your customer journey for your NEW product in this NEW situation, to your NEW customer need. Here’s why this will be a ‘game-changer’ for you. It will put your business ahead with customer journey mapping.
You see, now is the time for you to evolve your product, and deliver this to your customer in a compassionate and engaging way. Not fake, not rushed, not over-sold. Your customer is likely to be emotionally fragile right now and isn’t as robust and financially confident as they were a month ago! So they need you to understand them with a new level of compassion and patience.
Hence why it’s so vital for you to map your new customer journey, and to ensure your customer is engaged in the right way, with compassion, leaving them feeling understood and safe. These are uncertain times, and it’s your opportunity to show them the depth of your integrity and character.
Over all previous economic downturns, the evidence proves that the businesses that adapted flexibly to the economic conditions are those that ensured their business not only survived into the future but thrived. Also, there have been amazing innovations that have evolved out of the needs that emerged from an economic downturn.
It makes sense then to honour the customer journey and map it out in a way that focusses on the ‘new’ needs they now have.
Without that focus and level of detail, your customers will go elsewhere as they have no reason to stay with you in a market that is totally up for grabs.
I am sending out my warmest wishes to you all and hope you not only survive this difficult time but thrive.
To your ongoing success,