There’s no question that good communication is essential to the success of any business. After all, it’s how we share our ideas, get feedback, and ensure everyone’s on the same page. But when it comes to customer communication, things can get a little tricky.
Customers are in different stages of the buying journey at different times. Hence, their needs will change as they move through the stages. In order to close more sales, businesses need to be able to communicate effectively with their customers at each stage of the journey. Here’s a look at how to do just that.
The Awareness Stage
The first stage of the buying journey is the awareness stage. In this stage, potential customers are becoming aware of their problem or need. They are just starting to research possible solutions and are not yet ready to buy. During this stage, it’s important for businesses to provide helpful information. Information that educates the customer about their problem and possible solutions. This can include articles, blog posts, infographics, videos, or any other type of content that provides value to the customer. It’s also important to be responsive to their enquiries and answer any questions they may have. This will help build trust with the potential customer and establish the business as a thought leader in their industry.
When communicating with potential customers in the awareness stage, businesses should avoid being pushy or aggressive. It is strongly not advisable to sell them something they don’t need. It’s also important to avoid coming across as spammy.
The Consideration Stage
The second stage of the buying journey is the consideration stage. In this stage, potential customers are considering their options and are looking for more information about specific products or services. They are comparing different solutions and trying to find the best fit for their needs. During this stage, businesses need to provide detailed information about their product or service. This may include features, benefits, pricing, and customer reviews. When asked a question, businesses should also answer honestly and openly, building the blocks of a good customer relationship.
In the consideration stage, businesses should avoid making any claims that are not backed up by evidence. Exaggerated claims about the product or service should be avoided at all costs as well. Additionally, businesses should avoid coming across as unprofessional or inexperienced.
The Decision Stage
The third stage of the buying journey is the decision stage. In this stage, potential customers have decided on a specific product or service and are ready to make a purchase. During this stage, businesses need to provide a clear call to action and make the purchase process easy. Going one step further, businesses should readily offer customer support in case of any problems with the purchase process.
When a potential customer is in the decision stage, it’s important to avoid causing them to question their decision. Businesses should avoid saying anything that will make them doubt the quality of the product or service. All product and service limitations should have been transparently communicated in the consideration stage before they reach the decision stage.
The Retention Stage
The fourth stage of the buying journey is the retention stage. In this stage, customers have already made a purchase and are using the product or service. During this stage, businesses need to provide excellent customer service and support. This means that businesses should always be willing to listen to customer feedback and complaints, and take action to correct any issues.
In the retention stage, businesses should avoid making customers feel like they are being ignored or not valued. Do not simply brush them off with phrases like:
- “We’re sorry for the inconvenience”, without addressing their issue or providing alternative solutions
- “We’re currently experiencing high call volume”, without leaving an option to reach you another way or for you to call them back
- “We’ll get back to you as soon as we can”, without coming back to them
The Advocacy Stage
The fifth stage of the buying journey is the advocacy stage. In this stage, customers are promoters of the product or service. They are happy with their purchase and are willing to recommend it to others. During this stage, businesses should focus on continuing to provide a great customer experience and delivering on their promises.
Businesses should avoid anything that could potentially alienate or upset customers. For example, businesses should not suddenly change or discontinue their product or service without any prior communication with customers. If there is a major change, ample time and notice should be given to customers to help them transition well. It is also important to avoid making promises that cannot be kept. It will only frustrate customers and cause them to leave. As they may have some influence on other customers’ purchasing decisions previously, this has a possibility of turning very ugly for businesses.
Be in a better position to meet the needs of your customers and exceed their expectations
The customer journey is not a linear process. Customers may move back and forth between stages as they research and make their decision. It’s important for businesses to be aware of the different stages of the buying journey and to tailor their communication accordingly. By effectively and promptly communicating with customers in each stage of the customer journey, businesses will be able to close more sales and build long-term customer relationships.