Meeting Your Customers Where They Are: The Value Of Understanding Your Customer's Buying Journey
Meeting your customers where they are is essential for any business to succeed in sales – it’s not simply enough to provide a product or service as businesses must invest in understanding their customers’ buying journey in order to better meet their needs and expectations.
This starts with a recognition of what your customers’ purchase motivations are, the ways in which your product or service addresses these needs, and the steps required for your customer to fully research potential solutions, construct a business case, and engage with a service provider.
The way in which buyers make purchase decisions, and the length of the sales cycle, vary widely from sector to sector. However, the customer’s buyer journey does include similar phases of engagement in all industries.
The buying journey begins with a customer becoming aware of a ‘need’ or challenge in their day-to-day work, usually linked to a desire to save money or boost productivity. The customer will start finding out more about the problem and researching potential solutions – by means of blog articles, business websites, YouTube videos, and other online resources. To meet the customer where they are at this stage, your job as a service provider is to understand what the customer wants, pre-empt why they might want it, and how they plan on getting it.
Don’t worry about offering specific solutions at this stage, just provide the education and support the customer needs to become fully informed about the solutions available.
Once the customer has researched one or more potential solutions, they will then narrow their research to evaluate the options available to them. At this stage, your job is to provide clear information about the features, benefits, and value of the type of solution you offer, to encourage a decision in your direction. You can talk about ROI, the implementation process, and vendor support at this stage – remembering to make it about the customer experience rather than a simple litany of ‘we do this,’ and ‘we do that.’
The final stage of the buyer journey is when the customer is ready to make a decision. They know the solution they need, they know how much it will cost, what they need to do to acquire it, and what is required from them. These people are ripe for sales conversions, but they will need confidence that your business is a provider they can trust. Digital sales at this stage should focus on customer service, knowledge, and delivering an exceptional experience throughout the entire process, building a case that presents your business as a credible service provider.
Case studies, helpful advice about the purchasing process, information about delivery times, and post-purchase support – and so on – are important factors here that could help clinch the deal.
Why Do The Buyer Journey Stages Matter?
Meeting your customer where they are at their particular stage of the buyer journey is important for you to provide them with the right information at the right time to progress their decision. An awareness-level customer, for example, won’t be ready to buy straight away. They may not even know what type of solution they need – so sending a salesperson to their door isn’t the way to win their business. However, not being ready to buy yet does not mean that the customer isn’t worth the time to nurture and invest in. By drip-feeding the information and valuable content they need to address their questions at each stage of the journey, they’ll be more likely to make a purchase with your business when the time is right for them.
At the same time, a decision-level customer doesn’t need to be educated about the benefits of this and that – they already have this information. They want assurance of your ability to deliver the nuts and bolts of excellent customer service, and to know that you are competent and capable enough to deliver the value they need from your service.
Watch The Video: Understanding Your Customer's Buying Journey
Next Steps – The Right Approach At The Right Time
The key to successful digital marketing is to identify your customer’s needs and the type of content they want at the time they contact you, covering all the questions that customers may have at each stage of the buyer journey. By meeting customers where they are at each step of the way, you can develop trust with your customer base and increase their loyalty and lifetime value.
For more information about tailoring your digital sales approach to resonate with your ideal customers, please call 01332 343281 today, or click here to request a call back.
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