sunary-riley-customer-journey

I Want to Talk About My Sunday Riley Customer Journey

First off, what is a customer journey…

Customer journey maps clarify, and develop important parts of just that…your customers’ journey. They allow you to stand in the shoes of your customers, enabling you to improve nearly every aspect of their experience. They provide you with the kind of overview to move customers down your sales funnel. Wait… sales funnel…

What is a sales funnel…

Back to Customer Journeys. Why Are They Important?

  1. Shows you how customers are interacting with your business
  2. Gives the brand owner the chance to stop seeing the perspective from the company, but the perspective of the brand through their customer
  3. Highlights what customers need and when they need it at different stages of the sales funnel
  4. Clarifies needs and pain-points of your customers
  5. Clarifies optimization and development priorities

You can see this best with what’s called a Customer Journey Map.

As a matter of fact! I want to talk about the most perfectly detailed customer journey I went on when purchasing from Sunday Riley, a skincare brand. To demonstrate this, let’s go over my Customer Journey Map and furthermore go through the steps to create a Customer Journey Map. I do this with my clients and their eCommerce marketing strategies all the time and trust me, it helps!

Step One: Build Customer Profiles

The data about customers forms the basis of your map. As a result, this data will come from two places: direct feedback and customer analytics. So who am I?

I visited Sunday Riley because I have a new skin issue thanks to a lovely combo of autoimmune issues including dermatomyositis. My skin is dry but not like normal when it’s dry. I exfoliate a ton of dead skin cells a day, moisturize 2x a day, drink 64oz of what a day, and I’ve tried a bunch of products to fix this.

Step Two: Define General Stages

Stage One – Discovery: I visited Sunday Riley because I have a new skin issue thanks to a lovely condition called dermatomyositis. My skin is dry but not like normal when it’s dry. I exfoliate a ton of dead skin cells a day. I moisturize 2x a day, drink 64oz of what a day, and I’ve tried a bunch of products to fix this. Since this started, someone recommended I try Sunday Riley’s Good Genes lactic acid serum.

Stage Two – Research: Before this, I was mixing a concoction of Licorice Root and oil on my face and it helped a little. So I did my research on this product… Besides other great ingredients, Licorice Root is #2 in the ingredient list for Good Genes!

Stage Three – Choose: Now I’ve never tried a Sunday Riley product so when I visited the site I spent a few minutes reading about Good Genes, but then saw that $122 price tag… I clicked away. I don’t want to spend that much without knowing if it works.

Thus a FANTASTIC customer journey begins and Sunday Riley’s eCommerce team kicks into action to reel me back in!

Stage Four – Purchase: I went to a few more products pages to look around. I knew I wanted to try Sunday Riley in general. So I was delighted to find a sample pack.

I purchased the sample pack and waited for my package. It came less than a week later. Even though I only purchased 3 small jars of product to try out, Sunday Riley sent along with my package an equal amount of product samples too.

Ultimately, I got those (3) 0.3oz moisturizers, a 0.17oz sample of U.F.O. Acne Treatment, a 0.17oz of High-Dose Retinoid Serum, and samples packets of various products INCLUDING GOOD GENES.

This means Sunday Riley gave me more than an equal amount of free samples along with my purchase. But Why?

Well…Who am I as Customer Profile?

I clearly am a first-time buyer wanting to try the brand. I spend a lot of time on the website reading about 1-3 products and even added them to my cart. But deleted them before purchase.

Step Three: Attach Goals to Each Stage

Thus, Sunday Riley’s customer journey is now collecting my goals, needs, and desires.

When you do this, consider the most pressing concerns during the stages in Step Two and how to convert me into being a loyal customer. Don’t be afraid of getting your hands dirty when collecting data too. Asking me straight out what I thought of my 3 moisturizers in a follow-up email after my purchase would have been a great step in itself.

But Sunday Riley went above and beyond for this specific customer profile (talked about in Step One) and now I’m hooked!

Step Four: Identify Touchpoints for Each Stage

Many retailers approach this stage too narrowly. It’s essential to account for all possible “touchpoints” in which I’ll interact with your brand as the customer. Ignoring minor channels or interactions will lead to an incomplete customer journey map. So don’t just do this for your website only.

Account for all of the following touchpoints:

  • Word-of-mouth and referrals
  • Outbound marketing channels like online ads, awareness campaigns, and offline advertising
  • Inbound marketing like content, search engine results, and organic social media posts
  • Social media channels
  • Customer support
  • Your website and apps
  • Email
  • Packaging and delivery

Step Five: Identify Moments of Truth

I had two ‘moments of truth’ here. Moments of truth occur when a customer makes an important decision. Mine was when I decided to buy and when I decided to become a loyal customer after a great experience.

Step Six: Identify Drop-Off Points and Goal Completion

Where are customers typically dropping off and ending their journey? Where did I? Before purchasing many higher-priced products. Where are they successfully completing their goals? When did I? When after getting all my samples and trying them I went back to the site and purchased Good Genes.

Step Seven: Get Even More Feedback

Additional feedback can be immensely useful once you’ve started to put together your customer journey. At this stage of the process, you will likely be aware of what was missing in your original customer research, but it doesn’t hurt to ask a customer outright what their feedback is. What’s mine? This blog post (LOL).

Step Eight: Identify Areas for Improvement and “Amplification”

This step is where the customer journey map moves from being an abstract document to a practical tool. So what would this look like with factoring in metrics and emotions of my customer journey with the help of CTA’s (Call-To-Actions) and little nudges the brand did to make me a loyal customer…? Let’s see a customer journey map! Here’s a basic one:

And a closer look at where you and me are visually right now:

In the End…

Using your customer journey map as an aid for idea generation and really realizing what is going on in the purchasing process for your customers. When you think this way, you’ll make much more sales. So how do you create your own Customer Journey Map for your brand?

Because customer journey mapping tools are essentially diagram-creation apps, they tend to be relatively inexpensive. You should consider investing in one if you haven’t already. The best out there is the Salesforce Journey Planner. If you want to go a free route and DIY yourself you can use HubSpot’s templates.

But if you’ve gotten to the end of this post and are thinking “Where the Hell do I start!?”. There is also another option for creating a Customer Journey Map… Unglitch.io! Get in touch today and we can strategize a custom map for your brand to help you boost sales ASAP!

In the meantime, I’ll be over here obsessively touching my new, soft, happy face!


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Why Your Sales Funnel No Longer Works

Wait, what…?

I get kind of a twisted kick watching the reaction of people in the digital business world when I say this. I have always said this. The sales funnel is inappropriate for professional services. My stance always creates quite a stir. Turns out the sales funnel is central to the way most people think about how to acquire new customers.

Now I’m a millennial and if anyone who was alive in the ’90s and early ’00s remembers all the old diet supplement websites we fell for. “Just pay Shipping for Dr. Smith’s Fat Buster Pills!” These terrible-looking websites were the original basis for platforms like Cl*ckFunn3ls™ and other similar funnel platforms that are still being peddled by influencers today who have affiliate links to promote with.

This exact template is still being used by modern coaches and funnel enthusiasts alike.

Aside from these websites just making users fell gross… The idea of a sales funnel is not just useless in the world of professional services, it is a distorted and misleading model. The sales funnel model causes otherwise smart people to do the wrong thing when trying to drive business development.

You know the sales funnel. Everyone does, and that is part of the problem.

At the wide end of the funnel are prospective customers who are believed to be primed to buy your product or service. Leads are filtered. The uninterested are culled. The rest are pre-qualified, pitched, and (hopefully) closed over time.

When selling consulting or professional services, the goal is not to find leads then process them like your digestive tract. The objective is to identify a community and position yourself to serve that community over time.

The Math

Now I’ve said it before I’m bad at math, but even I questions the traditional sales model numbers. When managing sales, traditional sales funnel theory tells us to measure yield from one step to the next:

  • 20 of 100 leads result in an initial meeting (a 20% yield).
  • Half of those meetings lead to an opportunity to make a proposal (a 50% yield).
  • 2 of 10 proposals yield a sale (a 20% yield).
  • So, the overall lead-to-sales yield is 2% (20% × 50% × 20% = 2%).

2%! 2%!? What a waste of time…

And from the consumer’s end, millions of dollars are being gained by attracting them in with a small offer. An offer that any TikTok marketer will tell you only takes the professional a bit of time (ex. Record a video of professional tips) to make. Charge for that video and never work again as all that passive income comes rolling in every time someone pays and automates the already recorded video. And to the consumer, they often are getting sub-par info or info they already knew. By 2021, consumers are onto you AND seeing sales funnely website or offer, feels gross.

But instead of jumping into a sales funnel business model what should you do instead?

Are you selling a product?

  1. Start with quality leads: Know who might buy your product. In addition, have someone who can separate themselves from the business pick the products. (Ex. If you’re a boutique owner who loved the color yellow and you end up only stocking yellow products, you won’t sell much). Gather intelligence. Ideally, interview someone who used to work at a company that you want to emulate. The object here is not complicated. You are trying to amass a list of human beings you might call on who would be in a position to authorize the purchase of your product. Keep a list of those people.
  2. Sell! Sell! Sell!: This is where previous sales experience is essential. Which I know is hard to hear if you’re starting your eCommerce or brick-and-mortar boutique. If you do not have sales experience either find another business to run or hire a salesperson to run it for you. Selling is a conversation. The goal is to get a customer to express a “felt need” for which the salesperson or shop can propose a solution. If you have products that can be bought elsewhere, you won’t make sales that can sustain you full-time.

Are you selling a professional service(s)?

We all know that consulting and professional services are sold differently than products. Expert services are sold on reputation, referral, relationships… not selling features of the service. The purchase of professional services requires a leap of faith beforehand.

Despite this, the temptation is to pretend the purchase of expert advice or services is the same as buying office supplies. We’ve been encouraged to accept that the funnel and step-by-step sales process is appropriate. It’s not, and here’s why:

  • The number of relevant leads is limited in a funnel
  • The duration of relationships between client and professional is often long, which causes issues when you are constantly thinking of the client as a new lead to toss back into a new funnel
  • Each client is special, your measurable client data will change per client and the progression of your relationship with them cannot be reduced to anywhere in the funnel process

The super-salesperson is a myth when it comes to professional services. Now there are tons of people online. You see them in Facebook ads and everywhere else convincing you with great charisma to buy their course. You buy. You start the course. You learn nothing. But that person still sold the hell out of you in the beginning, because he’s a salesperson, not a professional service provider. Focusing on the meeting and the art of the sale suggests that some people have some special way with others that causes the target of their affection to bend to their wills. Make sense!?

Salespeople who are thought to be really good with people often come off as just inauthentic and slimy. Call it the backfire effect. I myself am a terrible salesperson. I always have been. I’m here to provide professional creative services, not sell you something you don’t need or want.

The sales funnel assumes that you first create awareness, then uncover interest and desire, and finally that you manifest action. (This is the “AIDA” model of client engagement to which you were exposed in undergraduate marketing.) But what if you stumble on desire first which causes you to get yourself in front of a prospect (awareness)? You decide to do a pilot (action) that leads you to lift the stone on what turns out to be their real problem (interest).

In short for professionals… Do good work for a client. Stay in touch. Keep a long-term relationship with them. It’s that simple. Don’t toss them into a garbage disposable known as a sales funnel.