My Journey from Non-Prospect to Paid Client in One Week

By Nikki James Zellner, Senior Marketing Coach

Have you ever paid attention to even the simplest of “customer journeys” you personally make?

One of my customer journeys started in early February, when my husband alerted me he would be allowed to take some leave time between his changing military commands. Since we have had two children and a deployment in the last two years, “family time” outside of the home has normally involved a quick trip to the park or museum. But a real vacation?! I could hardly contain myself. I also felt I’d gotten in over my head pretty quickly – as I’d never taken a vacation that involved small children. And so, here I was, a prospect. And very soon I would be someone’s new customer.

Here’s what my 1-week customer journey looked like:

    1. In-person discussion of vacation needs with husband
    2. Requested recommendations from friends familiar with vacation area (and vacationing with kids) using Facebook
    3. Ate lunch with a colleague and got word-of-mouth input of where I should stay based on our ideal itinerary
    4. Took specific Facebook and word-of-mouth recommendations and input into Google search engine
    5. Based on Google organic results, selected three dedicated business sites to review that had our “product” – property-managed/owner-managed vacation homes: VRBO.com, StayCharlottesville.com and AirBNB
    6. Each site provided us a rental property we could logistically book (all similar in price, location and timeframe) – so their products were all comparable
    7. Because of the virtual chat option with the property management team at StayCharlottesville.com – they were able to answer my questions in real time on their particular property, whereas AirBNB.com and VRBO.com would had to have been contacted via email/phone
    8. I ended up booking our vacation that hour with the reservations team at StayCharlottesville.com – a business I’d never heard of
    9. CUSTOMER SERVICE BONUS: After the transaction, the team sent a couple of emails with sample itineraries, ideas on what to do in the area, and additional services the company could offer our family such as Pack-N-Play rentals, stocking of the fridge and personal chef
    10. ENGAGEMENT BONUS: To ramp up for my vacation, I’ve engaged with the company as a fan on Facebook to keep abreast of events in the area and new rental opportunities for future trips.

Since I’ve purchased, I’ve been bombarded with mobile and desktop display ads from vacation rental companies targeting me through Facebook and through apps and websites because of my behavior/search history. And knowing what I know about digital advertising, I should expect this for another 30 days or so. However, they’re unaware I’ve already made my purchase and their ad spend on me is for naught (unless they put it in CPC/PPC).

As you can see, my customer journey to purchase was a quick one. Who I did business with was a combination of the company:

  • being able to be found/having an easy to use website
  • having products that matched my needs
  • being available virtually at a time convenient for me (not them) to answer my questions and close the deal.    

In this particular case, it was at no point about ad dollars spent to target or influence me to do business with them (I won’t say this is always the case).

Moral of my story: Think about your customer’s journey – and how your internal and external marketing dollars are being spent in relation to that journey.

Need help in this department? I’m happy to play the role of your prospective customer – and see if you get my business. Our marketing coaching sessions are an excellent resource, so schedule a free consult call with me today!

Nikki James Zellner is a Senior Marketing Coach at Germono Advertising Company. She has over 18 years experience in media development, advertising sales, management and planning working in corporate media across social media, traditional, direct marketing and out-of-home channels. Contact Nikki at nikki@germono.com.

Nikki James Zellner
Nikki@Germono.com