As a therapist, you know that you have to do something digitally to gain awareness and get clients to book an appointment, but you don’t necessarily know where exactly to spend your money. Driving people toward booking a session requires what is called a customer journey. Have you ever heard of it? It is all the experiences that a customer goes through when interacting with your business, from the beginning, and beyond the booking. It is a story of how they behave during their visit to your website, within your email interactions, and what you can improve once you understand what is not working or losing you sales. As we all know, courting a current customer is way cheaper than finding a new customer. Understanding the stages of the journey and how they intertwine with your marketing efforts will give key insights to engage on a more personal level and reach your clients.
This post will show you how looking at your customer journey is the key to increasing engagement and brand loyalty and in the end the bookings. Another benefit of learning about your customer journey is that if you compare it to your competitor’s customer experience you can find potential opportunities. Taking advantage of the competitor’s gaps in their experience can make your business stand out and annihilate the competition. I know… I know…no one likes to analyze data, but beating the competition at the game should peek your competitive streak. Wouldn’t it be great to have the upper hand?
Here’s how you can get started:
Stage 1 – Awareness and Interest
Increasing brand awareness and interest in your services is definitely important. You need to make sure that people know about you and why they should come to you. You go to local networking events and give your 30-second pitch. You join groups to connect with other clinicians or coaches. You have a profile on Psychology Today. These are great tactics to start with. Now that you are more online-based, conducting online Telehealth sessions, you are wondering what else you can do digitally to get more eyes on your practice. This new platform is a huge game-changer and necessary because of how COVID has changed our world. Your digital marketing plan needs to include multiple touchpoints with potential clients. My clients ask for Facebook ads help, to add to their success plan. Yes, paying for ads will create more brand awareness for your practice, but it’s not enough. You should include other “organic” touchpoints in your brand awareness funnel to drive more prospective clients to your website.
Here are some organic suggestions to add to your brand awareness strategy:
- It would be great to get testimonials, but of course, in the clinician’s industry, people are private. Here is a workaround: Give your branded swag to clients: Such as pens, notepads, and stress balls. This is a way they can tell people about you without actually telling people about you.
- Connecting yourself with journalists seeking experts to highlight in their articles through the site Help a Reporter Out.
- Attend professional Networks, training programs, and conferences
- Join peer Facebook Groups
- Engage in guest blogging and blogging for your own business
- Build complementary partnerships and doing things such as Facebook Lives and Podcast Interviews
- Create newsletters and email marketing giving self-care tips, tools, or discounts/offerings, or between-session exercises to help your clients.
The unfortunate thing is that most people start here and stop. “If I advertise they can find me. This will send traffic to my website or my office.” I hear ya! True, using these methods does help to get more people to book, if targeted correctly. But, as I tell my clients, you have to keep the customer engaged beyond this stage. There is still lot of work to be done.
Stage 2 – Research and Findability
Research and findability is where listings become essential. You want to found because what’s the first thing that a client does when they are looking for a therapist or a service provider? They use organic search engines such as Google or Bing or ask Siri to find one near them. So the question is, can your business be found? If you have optimized your website, claimed all your listings, and set up your GMB page, is the information accurate and consistent? When 88% of local searches result in a call or visit the same day, you want to have this right or you could be literally losing money and loyal customers. You want your information on all mobile sites, mobile apps, voice search, and GPS navigation systems correct.
Here are some relevant directories where you should list your practice to spread awareness.
Stage 3 – Reputation and Social Media
The Reputation and Social Media stage is all about reviews, ratings, and likeability. Does your customer know, trust and like your business? Think about it, the last time you wanted to purchase from sites like Amazon or Etsy, you read an online review first before you purchased it. Your clients are doing the same thing. They are asking the question “If I give them my money can I trust them to do what they say they will do?” Most consumers are relying on a combination of reviews, ratings and social media posts to make informed decisions about your business. The online reputation of your company can be a catalyst or a hindrance for sales. It’s not just about posting and not engaging. It needs to be managed and monitored regularly and effectively. Consumers will trust a review or testimonial over any type of advertisement.
Stage 4 – Purchase and post-purchase experience
Your website is your hub. It is where some kind of conversion happens. The conversion process can consist of online booking, e-commerce, in-app purchases, and in-store purchases…Yep, this is where we get paid. The website is the 24/7 product and service brochure that serves as your representative and customer service during the online search or shopping experience during the findability stage. You want your website to be search engine optimized for organic search and customized to showcase your services or products once the customer gets there. To achieve this the website needs to be mobile-friendly, fast-loading, easily navigated, setup with payment gateways to take payments or contact information to schedule an appointment. Having an e-commerce website will instantly give you authority and credibility.
The experience doesn’t end with the exchange of money.
After they have come to the appointment or purchased their product, they go through different emotions. They are excited, relieved, or anxious that they have made the right decision. Understanding how your customer behaves after purchase can give you a lot of information about how to continue to build the trust you have started. The post-purchase is just as important. Remember it is 5X more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing customer. We have to continue the experience with our packaging, shipping experience, customer service, providing information, or just simply by saying thank you. Showing that you value their business is a large first step towards creating a long-term relationship with your customers. Send a personalized thank-you note.
In the end, a good customer experience can mean that customers will spend more money with your business. As a matter of fact, according to research from PWC.com, 86% of customers are willing to pay for a great customer experience. It is the companies that take the time to make their customer’s experience amazing that will be the businesses that stand out during this unprecedented time of COVID. This means getting to know your customer’s needs, and desires, where they come into your sales funnel and how they progress to the sell.
If you’re having trouble with connecting with new or holding onto current clients due to your visibility or reputation make your appointment today to get your Vivid Visual Marketing Snapshot Report.
This appointment will help you to make informed decisions based on an algorithm that grades all your online brand aspects discussed above, comparing it to your competitors in your industry. It also will give you actionable suggestions on how to improve if needed in the different sections.
Visit https://bit.ly/vivid-marketing-snapshot-report to make your appointment and get your Vivid Visual Snapshot Report today.