If you have successfully brought your buyer through the Evaluator phase of the buyer’s journey, then they have purchased and have now become a Customer. Congratulations—you’ve achieved your goal!
For some (and probably for the vast majority of organizations in the past) this is where the journey ends. Salespeople move onto new leads and deals in-progress, continually pushing for more closes and basically ignoring existing customers. They’ve already bought, and any problems will be taken care of by Tech Support or Customer Service.
But in actual fact—as many forward-looking companies have discovered today—this is actually the beginning of a whole new phase in the buyer’s journey. They’ve become a customer. And if you play it right, they’ll be a customer for life.
The Customer Moves On, Too
In looking for new solutions, they’re going to do exactly what they were doing at the beginning of their original journey: Investigating.
Just as salespeople would have moved onto other deals, the customer has moved on, too. Your product or service is in place and working fine, and the issues which existed previously have been solved. They’re now looking to solve other issues, refine their processes, make it more possible to succeed and conduct business better.
In looking for new solutions, they’re going to do exactly what they were doing at the beginning of their original journey: Investigating. They’re going to be seeking solutions to their new problems.
If you’re not anywhere on their radar, because you’ve moved on and more or less forgotten about them, they may not even think of you when it comes to these solutions. They may not even be aware that your company has products or services that can help them now. And a fantastic new opportunity could pass you right on by.
The Customer Process
That is why savvy companies today, when a buyer has become a customer, moves them into a whole new process: the customer process. Through this process:
they are regularly checked with to see if and how your product is still helping them
they are checked with regularly—for example through quarterly business meetings—to see how your company could help them with new products or services
your company has metrics in place to continually measure their satisfaction so that there are never surprises such as canceling a subscription
Properly handled, their new Customer journey will only blossom and become greater—and they will then reach the final stage.