We have all had occasions when we have taken far too long to make a decision when selecting a product or service, have you ever wondered why that may be? In digging deeper into the reasons it is a wonder we ever make a decision at all.
Obviously with low cost items and especially when we can see and feel it on the high street it is a relatively quick decision and with the more expensive of items taking our time is an obvious and sensible decision.
We now have so many options and places to go to find out about the products or services apart from the brands own website, reading opinions, looking at star ratings even the cheapest of items can generate far too much research than is really necessary
In analysing the conscious and unconscious decision points available to us as we reach a buying conclusion we found these
- Security … Do I trust the company not to lose my information, money, etc.?
- Privacy… How is my data being used, who can see it, will it be sold on to other companies and will the company tell me?
- Price … Is it what I expect to pay and how does it compare with competitors? I don’t want to getripped off but I also understand we get what we pay for in many cases.
- Local ... Is the product or service physically close to me and do I need to care? Especially for any returns or refunds.
- Honesty … Will the product or service meet the marketing hype? eg. on an insurance renewal, am I getting me their best price?
- Transparency ... How transparent are they being about their product or service?
- Safe … Does the company have my personal safety as their first priority and how do they demonstrate it.
- Form and Fit … Is the item aesthetically pleasing, colour, weight, shape, size, etc. what options do I have and is there after market scalability?
- Functionality … Will it do everything I want it to do and how many of these functions or services do I really need and will actually use verses nice to have. Is there an opportunity up increase or reduce the functional options?
- Brand … Is it a brand I like, dislike or have no emotion about at all, but why do I dislike a particular brand and would I buy from them
- Online v On premise … Where will I finally buy it? Buying on line is faster, easier, usually cheaper and more convenient but on premise I get to touch and experience the product. There are advantages and disadvantages to both so how do I decide?
- Value … Do I believe the product or service will provide the value I’m looking for and is there a better option and a better price?
- Service … What is the quality of the sales service during enquiry and aftersales service?
- Staff attitude … Whether it is Online chat, phone, in store or email etc. how easy and welcomed am I feeling?
- Cash incentives ... Is the company signed up to a cash incentive scheme, what is it worth and is it valuable enough to temp me from one supplier to another?
All of this list won’t necessarily apply in all cases but most do even if subconsciously. Having spoken to a number of people about their recent purchases this list seems to hold true with many procrastinating over at least one of the items or another. So no wonder it’s getting complicated; despite most of these considerations being subconscious they do delay the purchase and, if we are considering high cost items such as insurance, holiday, bicycle, watch, car etc. then this becomes even more acute. Even at the DIY store or supermarket some of these elements come into play and how often have we checked prices or deals online whilst you are there?
Marketers are constantly tweaking our buying senses using a variety of levers to get us to speed up our purchase of their product or service.
This is where Customer Experience personnel have an opportunity to add real value. Marketing tend to care about the brand, the product / service, the value, functionality, price, journey and touch points of the purchase but this is but a part of the bigger picture.
The other elements about how the customer is left feeling is equally as important, especially if the brand wants to win and retain loyalty for repeat business. The customer experience professional has to take a holistic view of not only the how, why, where and what the customer is buying but also levers that manipulate the emotional, contextual, spiritual and the sense of security reactions.
Over time these levers will inevitably evolve as new considerations come into play, such as who is my new fridge talking to and what is it telling them about me and how I live? The Customer Experience players will have to be ahead of the game as they look across not only how the business is marketed, but also how IT services the touch points and the journeys towards purchase, how HR brief and select the people, how the customer touch teams (pre and post sales) service and support the customers and where the business and industry are headed.