The 5 Steps To Understanding Your Customer Buying Journey

UX Content Marketing General Reading Time: 3 minutes

Whether you are a service based company or have products that you sell, the journey your customers, or potential customers, take to ultimately buy into what you’re selling will be different to that of another business.

That being said, you can use the simple 5 stage process, originally introduced by John Dewey in 1910, to evaluate your customer’s buying process.

1) Recognising a Need or Problem

Every single buying journey starts with the identification of a need or want. This may be to solve a problem, streamline a process or simply to satisfy a previously unsaturated desire. This is naturally the most important step as a purchase cannot take place without the recognition of a need.

The recognition of a need for something may come from an internal struggle at home or in the workplace or it may come from advertising or word of mouth. To figure out how best to get your target audience to identify your product as a potential solution for their needs, you need to identify the places they spend the most time on the internet and advertise there.

Not sure who your audience is yet? That’s something you need to figure out first! Read this article I wrote previously on the topic of defining your audience.

2) Search For Information

With a problem or need recognised, a customer will now take it upon themselves to search for more information in order to find the best solution.

In many cases, your target customer will head to Google to search directly for what they need or they may head to social networking websites to ask their friends, families and connections for recommendations. It’s important that you are among the first companies they find or are referred to as many customers will only evaluate a short selection of brands, whereas others will research a longer list of potential solutions.

This is where SEO, PPC, Social Media and Content Marketing come into play. Selecting the right balance of digital channels and strategies will depend on your audience and your product or service and your ultimate goals.

3) Evaluate Options

Right, so your customers have looked at various different companies and are trying to make a decision. How do you make sure you are the frontrunner?

At this stage, your customer is going to be directly comparing your offering to that of your competition so you need to ensure that you make it as easy for them as possible to discover what makes your product/service worth investing in.

You must ensure that your website, branding and marketing offers the best possible experience as this will reflect on who they perceive your product/service. Have a look into User Experience (UX) and Conversion Rate Optimisation to help here!

4) Decision to Purchase

At this stage, your customer will have made up their mind about whether to buy your product or not. This will have been affected by the opinion of others who have previously bought from you as well as how committed they are to completing the sale.

Work on your online presence ensuring you appear as the most appealing choice by collecting feedback, reviews and testimonials from previous customers. People buy from people after all and will trust your product/service more so from a peer recommendation rather than directly from you! (It’s nothing personal, it’s purely business!)

5) Post-Purchase Behaviour

So with the sale complete your ready to celebrate and move on to win the next one right? WRONG!

You know those reviews we were just talking about? Here is where you need to wow and delight your customer. It is very common for customers to post their positive or negative feedback about the product online. This could do this through an online review on social media, Google or your website or by word of mouth to a friend or colleague. Communicating and engaging with your customers post-purchase is critical for retaining customers, building brand loyalty and developing further sales. Ultimately, If you satisfy your customers, you will be in a better position should you be in their consideration set again in the future.

Ready to get out there and start marketing to all those hundreds and thousands of customers? No? Well if you need a bit more help then start chatting to us to book a free grow your business session to identify how you can grow your reach, get more leads and drive more sales!

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