Excuse me while I get my bearings. I (along with my husband) took a few days off and traveled to sunnier skies in Cancun, Mexico for a few days. We were VERY unplugged, leading to reading actual books (the kind with paper) and lots of staring at the ocean to pass the time. Not a bad way to spend the days.
The beaches we lounged on were also breeding grounds for sea turtles. Mama comes to lay her eggs in a hole in the sand, then trots back to the ocean. The babies, once hatched, make their way to the ocean and start anew.
The resort took care to make sure the eggs were out of harm’s way (aka tourists) and then released the new babies at night. We watched and helped 200+ baby sea turtles find their way to the waves one dark night. It was an amazing experience.
These little guys face many challenges in going those few feet to the waves. They are attracted to the light of the resort, so they want to go the other direction, up the beach. They might make a good go of getting to the water, only to be tossed back up the beach by a wave and become disoriented. We did our best to point them back to the water, and stand very still as waves brought struggling turtles to our feet.
I was thinking about what this, my first blog post-vacation, might be, and I kept thinking about those turtles. So please indulge me and consider this: your customers are a lot like those baby turtles.
- They might go the wrong direction. They’ll be attracted by bright lights or think going the other way is the best way. Do your best to remember they just don’t know the way. It’s not their fault.
- Your lack of attention to details might mean they walk away and never come back. Understanding what DOES attract them will help you create the right navigational options. If you assume your web site, front door, or check out process is good, you are probably assuming too much.
- Protecting the new ones is important, but so is respecting and protecting the first generation. New customers expect quite a bit in their first 30 days or so, and they should! But showering perks on new customers only and ignoring the ones who got you there (and are loyal) is not only wrong, but an untenable situation. (Mobile carriers, take note.)
- No matter how many signs or warnings you suggest, there will be some who get it wrong. To protect your experience from going wrong, you have to make doubly sure it will go right. Spend time understanding what the ideal experience looks like, so you can create a strategy around that.
Helping those little turtles into the waves was something I’ll never forget. When was the last time you helped a customer in an unforgettable way?