Understanding your customer's journey

You know who your ideal customer is, but have you thought about what they're going through? Understanding the emotional states they experience and the actions they take as a result of their feelings will help you craft marketing messages that really hit the spot.

At the risk of sounding like a reality TV show, it's useful to think about your customer as being on a journey, with doing business with you being just one of many destinations that's available to them. 

The more intimately you understand what your customer goes through along that pathway, the better you can tailor your sales and marketing efforts to their specific needs, either encouraging them to buy now or nudging them closer to the point where they’ll be ready.

The two different aspects of your customers' experience to be aware of when thinking about your marketing material are their emotional journeys (the way they feel) and their shopping journeys (the actions they take in response to those feelings).

The emotional journey

For natural health customers, the emotional journey and the health journey are usually intimately linked, and may be influenced by a wide range of factors, including the severity of the client's health issue, their motivation for creating change and their expectations about the degree of change that's possible for them.

Ask yourself questions like: 

  • What got them into this situation in the first place? (e.g. they've been dealing with stress by eating junk food) 
  • What’s going on for them that they haven’t progressed further with their healing? (Note that emotional obstacles to taking action are often to do with feeling unsafe or having a lack of time, money or determination for making changes - or it may be that the negative impact of their dis-ease hasn’t yet gotten bad enough to prompt them to take action)
  • Is there something about attempting healing that would be more frightening or confronting for them than staying in their current state?

The shopping journey

Armed with your insights about how your customer is feeling, it's next important to familiarise yourself with the actions they're likely to take at different stages along the way to deciding to implement changes or seek out assistance. 

For example, they might turn to Wikipedia to try to self-diagnose or self-treat, ask questions in an online forum or Google to check out local practitioners and their pricing. Every step of the way, those actions (and their outcomes) will either move them closer to booking an appointment, keep them in a holding pattern of indecision or procrastination, or lead them to choose a different course of action.

Use your insights to guide your marketing 

It sometimes takes quite a while to think through all the stages of your customer's journeys in this way, but when you do, you'll start to get a clear idea of where your clients are and how to meet them there. 

To help you get your head around it all, download my practitioner workbook, which summarises some of the key factors affecting clients' emotional states during their health journeys, and the stages they're likely to go through when deciding to choose a natural health practitioner.

Need help crafting your marketing messages?

I offer marketing coaching for natural therapists and other soul-centred business owners who are ready to learn to market their businesses with confidence, and am also available for copywriting and marketing consulting.