When cooking up great customer experiences there are no alternatives, like take-out is for a sit-down meal. If you want customers to tell the only story that matters, why they love your company, you’ll have to learn how.
Have you ever followed a recipe only to find that you aren’t ready for the third step? I have. The results? Frustration and a poor meal. A few years ago it was takeout or starve, but now I love to cook. I credit mise en place, that’s French for having everything in its place as you cook, for my conversion from takeout king to aspiring chef. Mise en place is a small amount of effort expended up front that actually saves me tons of time and guarantees tasty dishes.
The Buyer Legend process is like a recipe for designing great customer experiences. You can use Buyer Legends to define and improve your content marketing, social marketing, search marketing, conversion rate optimization and thereby improve your communications, execution and revenues. You just need to follow the recipe.
Let me show you how to prepare mise en place for the Buyer Legends process. We are in the middle of writing a series of articles that will address each major step of the Buyer Legends process; below is a synopsis:
1. Pre-mortem: because it is the antidote to Murphy’s Law
The most impactful step of the process, is the pre-mortem. Some of our largest conversion wins over the last two decades ever were the result of our clients going through the pre-mortem exercise. Murphy’s law states that everything that can go wrong usually will and a pre-mortem will help you spot previously invisible problems in your current customer experience, as well as plan against future problems. But the pre-mortem step is not for the faint-hearted as it may show you things about your precious baby that are not as attractive as you wanted to believe. The only thing that makes a pre-mortem more powerful is by doing a pre-mortem on a persona by persona and then scenario/ campaign by scenario basis.
2. Reverse chronology: because it explains conversions
Assuming you have a product or service worth buying then you and your customers have the same goal. You want to sell and they want to buy. That’s why when you are planning a customer experience it is always best to start at the end point and work your way backwards to the beginning. This step requires you to get very specific about how and why every decision and action needs to be taken in the buying journey. It’s specificity also makes this step important to measuring and optimizing your customer experience when you finally implement it. Your Buyer Legend isn’t fiction, so every detail must be accounted for, not only that but you must create persuasive momentum at every step.
3. Persuasive momentum: because there’s no such thing as a sales funnel
Your customer isn’t truly in a funnel. There’s no gravity compelling them through your experience like there is in a real funnel. There is only the customer’s motivation and your understanding of that motivation to create persuasive momentum. Persuasive momentum is the progressive decision making process that aligns the customer’s goals with our own business goals. There is a three-step test that will insure your customers’ experiences are always relevant, valuable and compelling.
4. Personas: because their motivations become your action plan
Personas are a common marketing tool, but their value is often misunderstood. Simply put, personas should inform you about exactly what you need to be doing. Personas can be elaborate constructs based on reams of research and data, or they can be constructed quickly with the data and information at hand, but as long as they are directionally accurate reflections of a segment of your customer they can be powerful tools that will guide your Buyer Legends processes. There is a way to construct ad-hoc personas and you can also use it to help you evaluate and if needed fix your current personas if you have them.
5. Write a Buyer Legend: because the only story that matters is your customers’ story
This is the step when you actually pull out your pots, grab a spatula and fire up your burners. There are ten ingredients you must include so you can have them at the ready. This is the step where all your previous work begins to pay off and when you’re done you will have an action plan that can be distributed, implemented, tested, and optimized. A Buyer Legend is where the rubber meets the road.
6. Measurement: because if analysts cannot tell the stories, and business people cannot measure the stories, then the strategy isn’t truly aligned with customers’ needs
Your Buyer Legend isn’t fiction, it’s not for fun or for entertainment, or even for creative fulfillment. This is business, and anything important to a businesses success should be measurable and accountable. Buyer Legends are both and can be used for measuring, optimizing, rinsing, and repeating the process.
The Buyer Legend process orchestrates your best efforts and reconciles them to the needs of your customers so you can create profitable customer experiences.
I look forward to your feedback, questions, and hearing your success stories. As always, I encourage you to try Buyer Legends for yourself, but if you need help, please let me know.
About the Author
Bryan Eisenberg, the founder & CMO of IdealSpot, is a coauthor of the brand new book "Buyer Legends: The Executive Storyteller's Guide". He has also coauthored the Wall Street Journal, Amazon, BusinessWeek, and New York Times bestselling books "Call to Action," "Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?," and "Always Be Testing." Bryan is a professional marketing speaker and has keynoted conferences globally such as SEMA, SES, Shop.org, Direct Marketing Association, MarketingSherpa, Econsultancy, Webcom, Gultaggen Norway, the Canadian Marketing Association, and others. He works with his coauthor and brother Jeffrey Eisenberg at BuyerLegends.com and together they also blog at BryanEisenberg.com.
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