Picture yourself on a journey across the country. You’ve decided to embark on a new chapter, a new adventure, and as you drive down the highway with the window down, hand out the window and wind blowing through your hair, the radio set to a channel blasting old tunes, you find yourself looking forward to the journey ahead.
Like any journey, the journey that our clients take is unique. Each client’s brand and business is completely different, so why should each client have to take the same path? Aside from being unique, it should be something to look forward to! The goal of the Client Journey is to really get a “big picture” of what the customer is going through. This means we want to know what the experience is like for them and be able to see it through their eyes. We want to get personal; a client’s journey is so unique to them, we want to make sure that it’s also right! A client’s favorite colors, their life experiences, and even their preferred coffee order can shape a client’s journey, and we never want to shape a journey wrongly!
The Client Journey is customized through branding. The more branded your Client Journey is, the more recognizable your client experience becomes. Every step of your Client’s Journey should be branded, even before they fill out the contact form with your business. What does this include? We don’t just mean that your logo and brand colors should be present. The way you present yourself, the words you use, your brand photography, and the steps in the Client Journey should all align with your brand!
Journeys can be challenging, especially when you are unsure of what’s ahead (for all you know, it could be a scary monster, or, gasp, a horrendous color palette that absolutely makes you question the journey you’ve embarked upon), but we want to completely eliminate that unease through a… drumroll please… client roadmap!
Picture yourself back in the earlier scenario. Even though your desire to go on a journey was spontaneous, you still made sure to plan out where you’re heading and how you’ll get there. You have a sort of roadmap, a guide that makes your journey more comfortable and relaxing. Why not use a roadmap for the client journey?
Client roadmaps are essential for any good client journey because they just make the client experience so much better. Not only that, it makes the journey easier for the designer because they aren’t stuck trying to reinvent the wheel each journey. Even though each client’s journey is unique, everyone needs the same few things. To relate this to our scenario, regardless of what sort of journey you take, there are several common factors: you need a sort of transportation, housing along your stops, food, etc. A client roadmap makes sure that the client experiences each of these essentials, while still having a unique journey personalized to them.
Most designers have a contact form then a discovery call at the beginning of their roadmap. What if you flipped that? What if you called it something else? What if you collected information to make the “Discovery Call” more purposeful? Here are the stops that we include along the way in our client’s roadmaps:
Stop #1: The Brand Application – The first stop is the brand application! This is where lots of information is collected for the upcoming call. This application may seem long and tedious, but it serves a purpose! We don’t want to accept a client that doesn’t even want to take the time to let us get to know them. How else could we work with you and know if we’re compatible or not? We promise that we’re not merely trying to waste your time.
*Marisa only accepts clients who take the time to fill out a complete application.
Stop #2: The First Date Call – The second stop is the first date call! This is where Marisa and you, the client, meet face to face to discuss the project, timeline, and answer any questions that you might have.
Stop #3: Onboarding – The third stop is considered the “Onboarding” period. This is where the contracts are signed and the fine print is read, and we welcome you to our team!
Stop #4: The Dreaming – The fourth stop is where all of the dreaming happens! No, you won’t need to go to sleep for this step. This is what most people call the “Discovery Phase,” where client homework is assigned and the moodboard and art direction is projected! Essentially, we want you to “dream” about your plans for your brand!
Stop #5: Creating Magic – The second to last stop is where the magic is created! The creation phase! This is where it all comes together, and you truly see magic happen as your dreams come to life!
Stop #6: Happy Dances – The last stop is where you can break out into your happy dance! This is where the delivery happens, and all of the hard work put into your Client Journey is rewarded.
Goodbyes are always hard (well, they are for me), and while the title might make you a little sad, I hope that it doesn’t! While coming to the end of any journey can be saddening, we like to celebrate ours! We want our clients to celebrate the hard work they put in, and be proud and show off their final product. We want you to look back over your journey and take from it happy memories that you use to further your brand and you.
As we come to a close, I invite you to think about using a roadmap in your business to make your workload more efficient. It’s well worth the time to get a roadmap setup that you absolutely love for the long-term. When it comes time to scale, it makes things effortless!
I’ve had the pleasure to help a wide variety of clients along their journeys, and I would be delighted and honored to help you along yours! Even if you aren’t sure if this is the path for you, you never know until you try, so head to the first stop to begin the most amazing journey of your life!
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