Understanding the steps your customers take from the moment they learn about your business through the point at which they decide to convert - and even afterward - is critical to the success of your home services business. This information is crucial to your team’s ability to effectively market and sell to your target audience. It gives you a clear understanding of how to support the needs of your target audience throughout each stage of the customer journey and decision-making process.
Keep reading to learn more about why it’s important your home services business understands the buyer’s journey and how you can apply that information to your go-to-market strategy.
The buyer’s journey is the process a prospect takes when deciding if they want to convert into a customer. Knowing about this process and the various stages is helpful because it tells your business how to reach and resonate with target audience members through engaging and personalized marketing materials, content, campaigns, sales strategies, and more. It ensures these campaigns and strategies are likely to deliver results that improve return on investment for your home services business.
What is the buyer's journey?
The buyer’s journey includes the steps that an individual takes to become a customer. These stages include 1) the awareness stage, 2) consideration stage, and 3) decision stage. The buyer’s journey can inform strategic decisions across the business (e.g. for Marketing, Sales, Product) that result in the attraction and conversion of target personas.
Understanding the buyer’s journey will help you position your business as the clear answer to your target audience’s challenges. It will also allow you to tailor your marketing strategy to the needs of your customer personas and foster a sense of trust between your brand and audience.
Steps of the Buyers Journey
As mentioned, there are three major steps of the buyer’s journey. Let’s take a deeper look at what makes each stage unique and important.
1. Awareness Stage
The first stage of the buyer’s journey is when someone becomes aware that they have a problem or challenge. They may come to this realization on their own or something may trigger their awareness (e.g. a news article, education about an industry trend, a conversation with a colleague, a social media post). During the awareness stage, someone might research the challenge they’re facing to better understand and/or diagnose it.
For example, if someone is experiencing issues with their circuit breaker, they may Google their problem or ask a friend or family member if they’ve ever experienced a similar issue.
2. Consideration Stage
In the second stage of the buyer’s journey, the person who has realized they have a problem begins thinking about potential solutions. They may conduct targeted research to identify ways to fix their problem and/or review the pros and cons of competitors along the way.
For instance, if someone is having issues with the air conditioning at their home, they may begin researching local HVAC businesses that are able to come and diagnose - and ultimately fix - the issue.
During this stage, a potential customer will research local businesses like yours by looking online and on social media. This is where your content marketing and inbound marketing strategy come in. By working on attracting a potential buyer through relevant content online, your business will rank higher in search engines so prospects come across your site during the consideration stage.
3. Decision Stage
The final stage of the buyer’s journey is the point at which an individual decides to convert into a customer. Based on their awareness of the problem at hand, and the various solutions they considered, they are able to make an informed decision about the right product or service to invest in.
For instance, if someone spent the last week reading reviews on Google, Yelp, and maybe home service sites like Angi or Thumbtack, researching companies, and getting estimates for their move from the city to the suburbs, they are now prepared to select the right local business based on their needs and schedule a moving date.
Buyer’s Journey Marketing
It’s important for your home services business to understand your personas and target audience to have tailored and engaging interactions at every stage of the buyer’s journey. By meeting your audience where they are with the marketing materials you create, you’ll be more likely to resonate with and convert your audience.
This will also help you better identify which audience members are most likely to engage with your marketing materials and content in the future. As a result, you’ll be able to continually target the people who have the greatest potential of becoming qualified leads and ultimately, customers.
Apply the Buyer’s Journey to Home Services
To apply the buyer’s journey to your home services business, refer to the following steps.
1. Identify your main buyer personas.
Begin the buyer’s journey creation process by gathering your main buyer personas. For your home services business to effectively target your audience segments, plan on creating buyer’s journeys for each of your main customer personas.
2. Apply the information you have about your personas to the buyer’s journey.
Now it’s time to document the buyer’s journey for each of your main personas. This means detailing the events that each persona is likely to take within the 1) awareness, 2) consideration, and 3) decision phases based on persona research and real conversations with customers (e.g. case studies, interviews).
We’ll review an example below that will give you a better idea about the type of information you should document within each stage of the buyer’s journey.
3. Share the buyer’s journey with your team internally.
Send your newly created buyer’s journey documentation with the greater team. By sharing this information across the business (e.g. with the Marketing, Sales, and Service teams), you will empower employees to deliver targeted customer experiences and engaging content that are likely to convert prospects into paying customers and help you retain current customers.
4. Iterate on the buyer's journey over time.
As your home services business grows, your offerings may also broaden and your target audience might grow. These are examples of when you’ll want to reevaluate the buyer’s journey.
For example, imagine you own a landscaping business. As your business grows, you decide to invest in snow plows so your team can manage snow removal for your clients during the winter months. At this point in time, it’d be wise to revisit and evaluate the buyer’s journey to determine what needs editing.
Next, let’s look at an example of a complete buyer’s journey.
Buyer’s Journey Example
Imagine you own a roofing business based outside of Salt Lake City, UT. You’re looking to create a buyer’s journey for your most common persona: local homeowners who realize they have a roofing issue.
Ashley entered her attic to find a sizable leak in the roof. She heads to her home office to read through her records. She notes that her roof will be 28 years old this Spring. Ashley then searches the average lifespan of the type of roof she has on Google - she notes that her type of roof often starts to experience issues after 25-30 years.
While she was in the awareness stage, she consumed inbound marketing content -- articles that discuss the average lifespan of her roof.
Ashely begins researching local roofing businesses to help her determine the cause of the leak and how to best repair it. She reads about various services in her area of Utah, and scans the Google Reviews of each business in consideration. Ashley also decides to call her neighbor and ask which service they used the year prior when they needed to have their roof replaced.
Ashley decides to contact two of the services she learns about with the best customer reviews. She asks reps from both services to come to her home to take a look at her roof, diagnose the issue, and provide an estimate for how much the job will cost.
In this stage, she looked at reviews online, which is why it's important to have a reputation management and review strategy for your home services business. During this stage, she also looked at your website, and probably scrolled your social media as well. These are important touchpoints to remember, because you need your website and social media to be enticing, interesting, and give a sense of who you are as a business.
After reading through customer reviews, speaking with her neighbor, and getting both estimates for the repair, Ashley is able to select the roofing business she is going to move forward with. She calls to make an appointment and puts her initial deposit down. Ashley is now a paying customer.
Document the Buyer’s Journey for Your Home Services Business
By documenting the buyer’s journey, your home services business will have the knowledge needed to target and convert your personas throughout each stage of the customer lifecycle. This information can be used across the business to create a consistent customer experience and to help your business stand out as the best solution for your personas based on their needs.
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