My son likes the Harry Potter Wii game (hang in there, I’ll make this relevant in just a few sentences). In the game, you have to complete tasks in a particular sequence in order to solve a challenge. Get the sequence wrong and you’ll end up stuck in the game. The game has a flow and it expects to be played according to this flow. Getting customers to your business has a flow as well. Get this customer flow right and you’ll find your own challenges being solved.
What is Customer Flow?
The path a customer takes to a business turns out to be pretty similar no matter what the business type. If a business illuminates this path with its own guideposts, customers seem to naturally flow in its direction. However, if a business fails to have a guidepost at each step, the customer often heads in a competitor’s direction.
Here’s how the flow works:
Here’s the guideposts a business needs for each of the above steps:
- Advertising & content can short-circuit several steps. When a business is identified with an issue, product or service it gets the call first.
- Generate neighborhood awareness to drive word-of-mouth and make it easy for people to share your information with others.
- Getting your information in Google’s search results or in paid advertising is critical in reaching buyers when they actively search for your business.
- Next to your front door, your website is the most important part of your customer efforts. Information needs to be customer friendly and easy to understand.
- An easy to find phone number, email address or contact form are critical. For retail businesses, store locations and hours should be easy to find.
- Once a business has received a phone call, email address or visitor, there needs to be a defined flow that gains the customer’s current business, repeat business and referrals.
Flow is one of the easiest things to understand because, as consumers, we follow a flow with each and every purchase. Flow isn’t hard for business to implement, but it does take time.