This week’s issue is a 3.5-minute read.
Hi there, Solopreneur!
🥳 Did you hit Times Square for the big New Year celebration?
🎲 Did you spread out seven board games across the kitchen table and have some laughs with friends and family?
I drove across town to the west side on December 31st and saw my dad, who always has an optimistic vibe.
We talked about the year, made an amazing dinner, and then carved out 2024 plans for travel, new hobbies, and home improvement projects.
My dad always asks me what I plan to fix in my solo biz and what steps I’ll take to get to the next level.
In years past I’d spitball ideas with him and listen to his point-counterpoint insight.
Two years ago, I made a BIG change in my research process that brought incredible insight, energy, and fresh ideas for my solo business.
I encourage you to adopt it.
The Brilliant Business Audio Journal
You’ve read the articles about ‘journaling’ and the amazing effects it brings to your daily pursuit of balance, happiness, and personal growth.
As a native New Yorker, I’m prone to passing on ‘woo woo’ stuff, yet I acknowledge the personal journaling process can be powerful.
Instead of writing daily excerpts of my personal life adventures, I keep an audio journal of the business moves, decisions, and experiences that OTHER businesses show me.
Let me explain…
Each time I visit an online commerce site or run errands, I pay close attention to these topics:
What do I see when I first enter the site/store?
How long does it take for the site or an employee to ‘talk to me’, and ask me how they can help?
How easy is it for me to navigate the site/store, discover what I want, pay for my items, and then leave the store?
How is the quality of the items I buy, and do I ever find issues with items after I start to use them?
When I leave the site/store I take a few minutes to record my thoughts, impressions, and experiences.
I use my iPhone’s Voice Memos app to record all the excellent, so-so, and plain awful experiences the various sites and retailers offer me (and yes, you should also include non-retail experiences, too).
Include your customer journey impressions when you visit these locations:
The Brilliant Business Audio Journal gives you three HUGE solo biz benefits:
First, you get direct insight into all the market research, customer surveys, and marketing wizardry that other businesses collect and then put into motion.
When one of their ideas “works “ for your customer journey, you see it in real time, and you can take note of how it affects your experience.
Second, you get immediate views on what does not work and how you can improve the journey for your customers.
Third, you experience the awful ideas that get in your way and that you’d never introduce to your customers.
In every instance, you have a first-hand experience that you can adopt, revamp, or ignore for your specific customer base.
Here’s an example:
Last weekend, I went grocery shopping.
🛒 I entered the store, and an employee asked if I’d like to try a new computer device to expedite my shopping and check-out processes.
😀 “Yes, please!”
I strapped the computer device to my cart and started moving through the aisles.
😕 The experience was frustrating and disappointing.
The device miscounted items in my cart and did not help me find other items or simplify my check-out experience.
I had to stand in line (per normal) and lift all the items from my cart onto the self-checkout conveyor belt.
I wanted the device to count my items, give me a total, and let me swipe my iPhone for instant check-out.
No such luck!
When I finally loaded all the items into my car, I spent 4 minutes recording on my smartphone my impressions of the experience (and what I’d do to fix it).
Here’s the good news!
💥 With the experience fresh in my mind and the audio recording next to my keyboard, I created a simple process flow chart for customers who visit my site, read my blogs, or download a lead magnet.
I used the shopping technology adventure to chart steps that I think will improve my customer’s journey:
A smarter shopping cart to record purchases and make suggestions
A seamless checkout process
A few helpful follow-up emails to thank customers for their purchase and make smart suggestions for their next purchase and website visit
Yes, there are endless videos on TikTok and YouTube about the ins and outs of the customer journey. And I suggest you make a cup of coffee or hot tea and watch them.
Yet, with your smart phone and only 3–4 minutes, you can absorb, record, adopt, and improve the real customer journey for your solo biz.
📱 Try the Brilliant Business Audio Journal approach and let me know what you discover.
🔑 Stay curious and keep opening doors.
Chief Strategy Fixer