Every business has a client path. This path is also referred to as a funnel, or lifecycle, or many other things. A client’s path are the exact steps in which you want your prospect to walk to reach the desired results for your business.
The client path is a systemized process that is intentional, tested, and has a direct purpose.
When designing a client path, there is power is making the process clear, and power in making the process easy.
Make the Process Clear
When I write “clear,” I am referring to the ability to make the client’s path visible and obvious. The client/prospect knows exactly what to do next and when.
For example, if you own an e-commerce website, it is clear that you pick out your item on page X, click button Y to view your cart, click button Z to checkout etc. It sounds simple (and it is), but frequently businesses do a poor job of leading a client/prospect through the process. The more unique your business or process it, the more explaining needs to be done.
This also refers to effectively communicating with your customer/prospect so there is less confusion. Don’t ever assume the client will take the next step by themselves. Even if it is obvious.
In my first business (fitness), most new personal training clients would come in for their first session dressed in exercise clothes, as expected. However,some beginners would arrive in jeans or odd shoes (like sandals). This obviously was an issue and affected the product.
But this issue was entirely our fault, not the clients! We did not clearly explain the process and the expectations clearly. These “newbies” had never exercised! Although it would seem common sense to wear certain clothing, it is our fault for not assisting and leading our clients.
Examples of making the process/experience clear
- Writing out exact call to action details on advertising (BIG ONE, see below)
- A “percent done” bar (ex. you are 70% done with your application)
- Steps in process status update (ex. step 2 of 4 completed)
- A welcome letter with next steps clearly written out
- An infographic visualizing the client’s path
- A detailed calendar
- A client to-do list with deadline dates
Benefits of making the process/experience clear
- Higher retention
- Higher conversion
- Decreased confusion
- Increased authority
Don’t be afraid to tell your prospects and clients what to do. This is never an excuse to be rude, but you can and should be assertive. Take control of the situation and the relationship. Leadership requires such.
Example of being clear in advertising:
“Pick up your phone now and call ###-###-#### before June 31st and ask for Jim. Tell him you would like to schedule your consultation and he will take care of your accounting questions and needs from there”
“Contact us for more information”
The first option is clear and direct and leaves little room for error. The second is vague and does not inspire action.
So whether it is advertising, client on boarding, product service or something else, ensure you are CLEAR.
Make the Process Easy
When I write “easy,” I am referring to the ability to make the client’s path painless to walk down. This also translates to the user experience within the product.
If you had to purchase Netflix every single month by logging on to your computer, inputting your credit card, etc. you would cancel Netflix after 1-2 months. It would be just too much of a hassle. Obviously you just have to input your info once and they take care everything via their digital systems. You do it once, and you are done. And because of that, your experience is much improved.
This is one of the reasons why subscription models are so great for business and consumer. It make the process easy.
Trunk club makes the shopping process easy by sending clothes directly to your house AND having an easy to use return box for all customers. Easy.
Once again, this may appear obvious in those examples, but the idea is create ease in all facets of the client path/life-cycle.
Big Question: Think about every interaction you have with prospects and customers. How can you as a business, make it easier for them? How can you make it easier for them to progress to the next step?
Examples of making the process/experience easy
- 1 click up-sells
- User profiles to remember customer shipping data
- Setting up reserved rooms for a conference
- Transferring to digital formats (think contracts in real-estate, much easier now)
- Simple returns
- Sending videos and information directly to an inbox at a predetermined schedule
- Any and every obstacle that gets in the way of an easy client experience
Benefit of making the process/experience easy
- Lower cancellations
- Lower abandoned cart #’s
- Less frustration from customer/prospect
- Higher referrals
Combine “Clear” and “Easy,” and watch your customer/prospect experience improve dramatically.
Now take 5 minutes for both “Clear” and “Easy” and brainstorm on how you can improve your process/experience.
Let’s get to work,