Business Leadership – Not being afraid to go into the unknown
It’s the beginning of this quarter and you’ve done the right thing and set your biggest priority for your business. Okay, what’s next?
The hardest and most important step is the first step, taking action.
This quarter’s priorities for our business is to improve the digital customer journey from when they first heard of us, to when they first contact us via phone or e-mail. This could have been via word of mouth, through a social post or from their health professional, however through research last quarter, we realized that although we have a good grasp of the customer experience after they first contacted reception, we had a poor understanding of the journey before this step.
So, I asked myself the following questions:
What am I scared of?
I was trying to understand and change something I didn’t know. After almost 20 years in business, you would have thought that I should know this aspect of the customer journey back to front, but I don’t. I was embarrassed, a bit anxious and felt rather foolish.
In reality, I had a choice from this point onwards. Would I let my feeling of being embarrassed, anxious and foolish stop me from taking the next step? In addition, it was also clear that the biggest barrier to taking the next step was not the task itself, but my feeling about the task.
What is the first step you need to take?
I didn’t know how I would get from the here, to the end goal of the “perfect client journey”, but I had a good guess at the first step – Talk to the customers.
I spent a few weeks interviewing a number of customers that fit into our ideal customer category. The answers were surprising and a little overwhelming, but gave direction to the next step. Although I initially thought that the customers search for us via Google and that’s where the journey began, I was wrong. The surprising aspect was that the beginning was about 6 months before the customers contacted us. They would talk to trusted professionals and friends for recommendations, then explore our website to see if we matched their needs. They reviewed several services and often we were the 3rd or 4th service that they tried.
This made it very clear that our website was not set-up for this kind of customer journey and we needed to change the format and direction of the website.
Again, although this was embarrassing and my pride as a business owner took a hit, that I don’t not know this before, I now knew the 2nd step I needed to change to get to the end goal, improve the customer journey on the website.
What is the worst that can happen?
The worst that could happen when I started asking the customers about their journey before approaching our business is that I found out that we did a bad job.
Firstly, the fact that the customers were willing to tell us what we could have done better meant that they actually cared and that the service meant something to them. This was a big positive affirmation.
Secondly, the hardest hit was to my pride. After this, and after taking the next step, reviewing and starting to make alterations to our website journey, realistically, the only other outcome would be positive. The client journey would either stay the same or get better. There really wasn’t a downside.
Worst, worst case scenario, if the alterations completely ruined the customer experience, I could always make further changes or restore the website to its current state. So in reality the risk was extremely low with more upside than downside.
The biggest question you need to ask yourself, what fear or “feeling” is stopping you from taking the next step that you need to take your business to the next level?
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