“Your website isn't the center of your universe. Your Facebook page isn’t the center of your universe. Your mobile app isn’t the center of your universe. The customer is the center of your universe.”- Bruce Ernst
With them being the center of your universe, understanding your customers’ behavior and the factors that influence their decision-making in buying your product/service is an important objective to have in order to provide them the best information and resources at the exact time they need it. To get them choose your product or service, you need to anticipate the customer’s buying behavior and provide them access to your website/business page, where you can have the chance to convince them why you think you are the best choice.
Customers generally move through a psychological process when purchasing a product or availing a service. This process has 6 stages, and in every stage they take, you must usher them to you.
Stage 1: The first stage is when the customer identifies the problem and realizes the need/want for something. A broken washing machine could either result for the customer to buy a new product or look for a repair service to resolve the problem.
In this stage, it’s an advantage to your business, whether start-up or established to have a website or social media page. Optimize your website using SEO techniques, so when consumers look for product or service on the internet using similar keywords they could easily spot your website and find out about your business right away. At this age and time, the internet is the first thing people run to when they have questions that need immediate results, so next time they run to Google (or any search engine), make sure you’re right at the first page.
Stage 2: The customer searches for information about the needed item or service, which could involve the process of searching the internet, looking at website, asking friends and family for advice on social media, etc.
As a website owner or a social media marketer it is important that you maintain updated, informative, and engaging contents that will help your customers decide on choosing your product. Provide your website or social media page with contents that answer what your customers would mostly ask you about. A direct and powerful call-to-action in your website also makes a huge impact to the customer. An effective call-to-action can convert your visitor into leads.
Most importantly, reply to customers’ queries as soon as possible before they could even look for another company which they think will be more accommodating.
Stage 3: Customer evaluates the information gathered about the different products and services.
Do not fail to highlight the positive reviews and feedback from your old customers. Positive reviews will catch their attention and will have a great effect in their decision-making.
Stage 4: Once the customer weighed up the pros and cons, he/she makes a final decision and purchases his/her chosen product/service.
Provide an easy payment process for your online customers. Offer them a number of payment method and do not asked them to fill out very long forms requiring them with too much information. Use clear and direct calls-to-action to guide them through the process. Effective CTAs will generate conversions and ROI.
Stage 5: The customer makes post purchase decision or behavior.
Contents play an important role in persuading your customer to buy your product. A rich, unique and creatively presented content will definitely attract the customer. But make sure your contents do not speak more than what the actual product can give, that the descriptions you have provided for your product or service should not surpass its real quality.
Being too superfluous could end up having a customer that is more disappointed than happy. Never lie about your brand just to win your customers. You may win them in the beginning but if they think you have not been honest, they might just decide never to make another purchase.
Stage 6: The customer provides feedback prior to next decision.
Make a record of your customers’ feedback about your company, your service/ product. Find out what convinced them in making their decision, which aspect of the company needs more improvement, and the strong and weak points of your marketing strategy. This information could also help you study the pattern that the customer formulates in their decision-making and use it to make a more effective marketing plan.