Have you had the feeling that customers are taking longer to buy? It happens to me all the time. Since a person says he is interested to buying it happens every time spends more time. While the Internet offers you the option to purchase all (or almost all) just a click away, also it offers the possibility to investigate everything imaginable.
Information has become a currency we all want. Consumption information for everything that interests us has increased exponentially in recent years. And if there is something that interests us is to care much at all our pockets.
Traditionally speaking there were three important moments for purchase.
Everything began with a stimulus that normally was an advertisement or propaganda, then followed with the time you got to the store and you bought. People of mass consumption and advertising calls this the first moment of truth. The person arrives at the store and have to choose between several similar products.
And finally referred to the second moment of purchase when the person used what he had acquired. This moment is decisive for the customer decides to buy again. If the experience of using the product is bad it is very difficult to re-buy, no matter how many stimuli receive or how well you see the product at the store.
Since the industrial revolution this was the model that was used to study the client’s decision. The model assumes that the client does not need much information to make purchases. And if you need some information will rely on the seller’s shop, or in some cases, directly contacting others.
This model changes dramatically with the advent of the Internet. We are now accustomed to seeking information about anything. We are able to investigate, connect and interact with people everywhere to find out what we need to know before buying.
And every day we need to know more before buying.
Google people talk about the Zero Moment of Truth, to refer to what is done before the first time. That is, the model would be something like:
- Zero time online
- First Store
- Second time using the product
This extra step adds time research done before contacting the supplier. The unlimited availability of information on the Internet and the low cost of obtaining it allows us to extend the time of purchase until you are convinced.
In my case, and for this I have no statistics, it seems that research time can even be as rewarding as when using the product. Find out about the product, interact with others, see the comments, learn about other uses for me so entertaining experience as “use” really the product.
Unlike Google I like to imagine the process as a nonlinear trip. A journey in which the client will learn and make decisions about the brand to decide to purchase.
Since a person discovers he has an unmet need until making purchase spend a lot of things. To represent best be thought of as a journey where the person goes through each phase. A trip that the person can change states without any linearity.
I think it’s more useful to think of it as the person feels attracted more than others at any given stage. But depending on the information you receive, your personal history or how you feel determine what stage it is.
In your business or company, it is very important to understand this trip because you can accompany a person and help her make the best decision, instead of chasing prospects. According to the needs and behaviors have on the trip decision can be identified four phases.
This is the time where the person realizes he has an unmet need. We currently do not know that you can solve much less known about specific products. And much less known about your company.
Now it is where Internet shows its full potential. According to some studies, 72% of people in this phase turns to Google to find solutions.
The searches carried out are aimed at finding analysis, consumer evaluations, specialized groups.
A clear case would be someone who has symptoms of a disease, but clearly not yet know what the illness is, much less how to cure it. The searches would be something like “I have a headache and fever but only in the morning.”
At this stage most of the time is spent consuming information. In some cases you interact with others. It is very rare that this step is contact a company to learn about specific solutions. Rather, we are seeking the advice of experts who can help us, but do not want to “sell” something directly.
It is at this stage where the person is more open to view options. It is seeking to understand your problem and if your company does not appear at this stage to help is unlikely to appear later.
For your company to appear at this stage is important past experience of other customers, which have posted on your website to help in the discovery, the entries you make of other experts.
I think this phase is left aside by many companies, and I think it is a key phase in order to enter the next phases without having to invest large sums of money on advertising. Even investing a lot of money, if not enter this phase is very difficult to choose your company.
Once the person understands what your problem is and what approaches or methods can solve it starts the comparison phase are. Searches are already geared to better understand specific solutions. These solutions can be products or services that are consistent with the status of the person.
The person is looking for facts about each option, including testimonials from other people, expert commentary, advantages and disadvantages. It is unlikely at this stage contact persons of a company. It is more likely to participate in forums or social networks asking about past experiences to others.
If your company did not appear in the discovery phase it is very difficult to enter this phase because the person is trying to reduce their options rather than expand them.
At this point the person is already clear what are the options that can help. They have been reduced to two or three and is about time to make a decision. How buyers seek to know in detail each solution. What is the cost, how it is used, who can help me if I have problems. They are super specific questions that help make the final decision.
If any of the solutions is provided by a company, it is likely to try to contact someone in the company to ask deeper information. It seems to me that to reach this stage and your company has won enough; you managed to occupy a space in the buyer’s mind, and although not decide to work with your company for future opportunities and your company has an advanced way.
I believe that successful companies are those that reach this stage with an established relationship with the person. At least the person has given you permission to contact him. That you have subscribed to your newsletter or follower is made on Facebook. Any action to start a relationship is a win for your company.
If you get to this stage, your task is to generate enough to make this purchase or the next confidence.
This is the time where most companies are concentrated. It seems to me that is the shortest of the phases. The person already has taken its decision and try to make the purchase. Even with the decision taken many things can happen. This is the point where any mistake on your part can jettison all previous phases.
Imagine a person who already made the decision to buy the product but to ask you do not have in inventory. O takes a long time to arrive. Or you answer the phone rudely. It is therefore important to take care experience full use to minimize such errors.
Throughout the journey it is very important to build a relationship of trust with the person. The confidence that you have achieved serves to ensure against these small errors. The more confidence you are more likely purchase decision you favor, even above any problem in buying.
In many companies it is treated differently to customers who already bought those who are potential yet. I think of the telephone operators who constantly launch offers for new customers with better conditions than those offered to current customers. This kind of behavior that ultimately make the customer is constantly changing supplier.
I think one should think that everyone is your prospect. That is, even those who already do business with your company are very few steps not buy again. I think the only time that differentiates a client and a prospect is the second in passing money from his pocket to yours. The rest of the time, or 99% of the time, you have to understand that it is always on a journey of decision and your mission as a company is to help you make the best decisions.
If you think this all the time, you’re going to devote so much energy to your current customers how to get new ones. And this at the end of the day is ensuring that your customers fall in love with your company and help you get new customers.