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It’s simple to collect customer data and use this information for future personalized advertisements, however, the first step before data collection is to understand how the customer decision-making process works. This is the main foundation for truly being able to cater to your customer’s needs – and you’ll be taking a step inside their shoes.
Customers Are Smart
Like all businesses, yours needs to answer and resolve a problem. This is how the customer decision-making process begins; with the customer realizing that they’ve been presented with a problem. The “problem” can be minor or major and anything from needing a product for the sunny weekend like sunscreen or needing to get a burst pipe fixed by a plumbing service – either way, it’s a product or service that is solving a problem.
The customer knows they need to resolve their issue as soon as possible by making a purchase. If merchants can forecast when their customers know these problems, they’ll be able to monetize and lean into vast increases in revenue. Depending on what the customers are purchasing, some merchants can predict when their customers will need to re-purchase their products based on the average lifespan of their product. When they figure out it’s time for their customers to buy again, they can prepare online advertisements to appropriately target the in-need customers.
Customers Are Solutions Searchers
What does this mean exactly? When customers know their problem at hand, they’ll actively seek out an immediate solution. This process begins with shopping and exploring search engines like Google in order to find the product or service they’re looking for. This is also where online advertising may come in handy as you can optimize your ads for searching customers in a personalized manner. On top of this, customers will be checking for good reviews in order to put their trust in your brand. Merchants who leverage well-written product reviews which can include video testimonials with plenty of product pictures on their website are bound to drive brand and product awareness and oftentimes will result in being higher up on search engines.
Evaluation and Decision
Once customers have found a solution, whether it be a product or service, they’ll compare and evaluate against other companies with similar products or services. This includes pricing structure, quality, shipping times, customer reviews and amount of reviews, product photos, and any other factors they deem important. This is where social proof comes into play as companies with social expansion are often seen as more “trustworthy” than others without social media proof.
Now that product evaluation is done, it’s time for consumers to make a decision on their imminent purchase. Consumers will choose the product that best suits their needs and strikes home with pain points (meaning, the product has the most beneficial impact with being the solution). With service-based businesses, offering a free consultation is the best possible chance of attracting potential clients/customers. On top of this, having a loyalty program by offering deals, discounts, and coupons is a great way to retain customers.
As you know, understanding the customer decision-making process is vital for all merchants when it comes down to marketing and advertising, and overall, operating your business. Now that you have the knowledge of how customers behave when a problem needs solving, you’ll be able to analyze how your customer base thinks and behaves, therefore gaining valuable insights into your business. From there, you’ll be able to target your future customers with advertisements ahead of time, without needing to guess or estimate their behavior.