Before your customer decides to make a purchase, they ask themselves, “Is this product and service right for me?” Your customers want to know they are getting the best value, at the right price, while receiving a good customer service experience. So, before the customer make a final purchase decision, they go through the five stages in the buyer decision process. They are looking for these elements in determining whether to choose your company over other competitors, and if your products and services are the best fit for what they are looking for.
Being able to relate to the customer & providing them content in each of the five stages in their decision making process is key. In relating to them, you are able to focus on how to best access their needs, while providing them with the knowledge of the product or service you have to offer. This will assure the customer that they will be completely satisfied with their decision to purchase with you.
1) Recognizing Their Needs & Identifying the Problems
A purchase cannot be made without recognition of their needs and providing a solution for it. This is most effective ways to promote your brand is often brought to them in forms of:
- Promotional Campaigns
- Word of Mouth
2) Information Search
The next stage your customer may then go through is an informational search. This is the part of the process where they may research other business alternatives and use available resources, related to the central buyer decision, to find out which is the best solution for them. To enhance your customer’s decision making process, they will rely on obtaining the information they need through:
- Print Materials
- Search Engines
- Social Media
- Interviews & Referrals
- Case Studies
To learn more about the types of content marketing and when to use each checkout this great article.
3) Evaluating Alternatives
Often times, a customer will want to research other brands or services to compare the alternatives when deciding which one will offer better results that meet their needs, and have the ability to deliver the benefits the customer is seeking. The customer’s attitude will influence the involvement of this buyer evaluation process. If the customer is actively seeking a product or service in this stage, and their involvement is high, then they will evaluate many brands. However, if it is low involvement, they may only check one or two brands before buying.
4) Purchase Decision
In this stage of the process, the customer/buyer is ready to make the purchase decision. It may, however, be disrupted for two reasons:
- Negative feedback from others: for example, if your customer is making a decision to purchase a camper, but a friend gave them negative feedback on the one they want, this may result in a change in their preference.
- Level of motivation: if your customer is interested in purchasing a pool table for their entertainment room, but they also want to see what other options would be a good fit in that room, they are still undecided about purchasing one.
5) The Post Purchasing Reactions
The customer will compare the level of expectation and evaluate their experience they received throughout the buyer decision process. The customer will be either satisfied, or dissatisfied in this stage. This is a crucial part of customer retention. It will greatly affect the decision process for similar purchases from the same company in the future, and result in the brand loyalty of your company.
It is very common for a customer to comment on their experiences, both positive and negative through social media, review websites, and word of mouth. Therefore, companies should encourage positive post purchasing communications to their customers as an effective way of relaying those positive experiences to their viewers.
Get Further Help
By understanding your customer’s buyers journey, you are able to provide them with the knowledge and the essential tools they need, making it an easier process in determining what is the best decision for them. If you found this article helpful, please take a look at these articles to help you better understand and target your audience - 5 Steps To Understand Your Audience and Know Your Target Audience Or Fail.
If you need help with understanding your customers, the stages in their buyer decision process, or targeting your market just give Tag Marketing a call now at 773-680-6952. We’re here to help your busienss reach its goals and we are want to grow with you. We have several office locations within Illinois including Chicago, Bartlett, Roselle & Brookfield.