Why Your Website Needs a Process Plan
“No one trusts a guide without a plan.” J.J. Peterson – StoryBrand
Imagine you’re on a fishing tour of Lake Superior. You’ve chartered a boat out of Grand Marais, Minnesota and you’re excited to take on America’s biggest lake. You have been looking forward to this for months, dreaming of all the fish you would catch and bring home. You’ve never been fishing before and this is the mother of all fishing expeditions.
You board the boat and head out to the middle of the lake. You can’t even see the shore anymore; the lake is so big! Your fishing guide looks at you and says, “Ok! Good luck!”
You stare at him blankly. “What do you mean good luck? Aren’t you going to walk us through how to set up our poles, cast, what bait to use, and all that?”
“Nope!” says your guide.
Your heart sinks. You have no idea what to do. This is too difficult. You’ve never been fishing before, let alone on Lake Superior. There’s no way you can do this successfully. You hired the wrong guide.
You Too Need a Process Plan
If the fishing guide had just given you a few clear steps to take to catch some fish, you might have had some success. You definitely would have felt more confident.
Your marketing is no different.
Think of your business as being a guide to your customers. A potential customer or client visits your website and sees that what you offer solves a problem in their life. They read your homepage and some reviews you’ve provided and feel like, “Hey, these folks understand me and what I’m going through and it appears they have solved this problem before.” Then they ask, “Now what?”
They are looking for a plan of action. What steps do they need to take to do business with you? If they don’t find a process plan on your website, you become the fishing guide in our story. Your customer gets overwhelmed and goes to find someone else that can show them what steps to take to achieve success.
What Does a Process Plan Look Like?
A process plan is a simple three to four-step process your client or customer must take to do business with you and overcome the problem they’re experiencing.
The key to a good process plan is being simple and clear. Too many steps and your customer gets overwhelmed and assumes working with you is too difficult.
A good process plan starts with the first thing your customer must do to do business with you and ends with their success.
For most businesses, the first step in their process plan is simply their call to action. Maybe you need them to “Call Now” or “Get a Free Consultation.” If so, that is step one.
Step two is where the transformation happens. If in step one your client talks to you and develops a plan, then in step two they execute the plan. Summarize what working with you looks like in a couple of sentences.
Finally, step three should lean into your customer’s success. Picture what life is like on the other side of doing business with you and make that the final step. You want them to be able to picture success.
If you’re a cleaning service, step three might be, “Take Back Your Time!” because when your customer lets you handle their house cleaning, they get to use those hours to spend with family, do a hobby, rest, etc.
Your process plan should be simple, clear, and follow your customer journey and transformation from start to success.
What if We have 15 Steps in Our Process Plan?
That’s fine. Most businesses have more than three or four steps their customers need to take from the first call to final success.
Here’s the thing, if you list out your entire plan on your website in all 15 steps, you will overwhelm your visitors and they will hire someone else.
Break your process down into three sections if this is the case. Group your process into thirds and then summarize each group in 3 simple steps for your website. Your customer will understand each step has layers, but in their mind, they won’t feel overwhelmed by the process.
Over the weekend, we were at an Indianapolis-based nonprofit called, Changing Footprints. They collect new or gently used shoes, organize them, and distribute them to charities, police departments, and people in need. Their sorting process has a LOT of steps. However, you’ll see in this image they have taken their extensive process and broken it up into 4 groups of steps. This no doubt calms their volunteers who come in and help sort shoes so they get to the right places. It’s easier to look at 4 groups of steps than if they had 20+ signs hanging from the ceiling for each step.
Examples of Process Plans
Let’s take a look at a few process plans we’ve helped our clients come up with.
1. Chesapeake Wills and Trusts
Chesapeake Wills and Trusts in Glen Burnie, Maryland does estate planning, probate, and Medicaid crisis work for their clients. You can bet there are more than three steps in their client process plan.
Still, we were able to narrow their plan down to three simple groups to display on the homepage of their website. Their plan starts with their client review and ends with their clients being able to exhale and relax. It is an aerial view of their client transformation.
2. The Law Offices of Gabriel Berry
Gabriel Berry is a criminal defense and family law attorney in central Indiana. Whether a client has been arrested and charged with a crime or beginning a contested divorce, the process usually isn’t super quick.
So, we took the average process for both and grouped them into three steps. Every client starts with a free consultation with Attorney Berry and ends with the results of their case.
We combined this plan with a picture of an adult and a child playing football together. Could be a father and son or a coach and athlete. Either way, whether a criminal case or a divorce, it leads the client’s mind toward success with the results of their case and their life. A full transformation.
3. The Center for Christian Spirituality
Process plans like the one for The Center for Christian Spirituality in Houston, TX can be difficult. Often, nonprofits and churches have fairly ambiguous process plans. They weave around a bit and, most often, people can start on any step of the plan they feel works for them. No doubt, it can feel confusing.
So, in this case, what we did is offer three steps in a process plan. A person could start on any step they wanted, but ideally, this is the process The Center feels is most impactful to someone starting out with contemplative worship.
This nudges them to start with a Contemplative Worship service, but no one will stop them from starting with a group or course.
What does your process plan look like?
Check your website. Is there a process plan? If you have one, is it simple and clear? Does it end with your client’s transformation?
If not, take a swing at updating it. See how a clear process plan will help you win more business.
Need some help getting your website in shape? We’re here to help. Schedule a call and let’s get your messaging and your website in top shape so your business starts to grow again.
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