The Customer Buying Cycle (CBC) is a progression of the consumer journey from the initial phase of identifying the need for a certain product/service to post purchase. Understanding CBC is important for businesses wanting to provide the best outcome to prospects through the entire customer journey. Generally, it is a five point trail consisting of Awareness, Research, Preference, Purchase and Retention. Utilizing CBC and improving it will make your brick-and-mortar or online business more customer-centric as you target major pain points. It is crucial for businesses of all sorts to enhance every step of this cycle if they want to convert leads to not just clients but brand advocates. Here’s how you may enrich every single step of the Customer Buying Cycle:
Optimize Your Online Business for Search
The stepping stone in CBC is Awareness. When customers become aware of a problem that needs to be resolved, the next actionable step for them is to search and find a resolution for their problem. For your business, it becomes essential that you optimize your online presence to reach out to as many people as possible. You have to be available and easily accessible to them. Invest in effective marketing strategies and advertise specifically to your target market, keeping your goal in mind. This can be done by ensuring that your website defines how your product/service will be the ideal solution for customers. Have a webpage (About Us/Who We Are/What We Do) where you can show how your product/service can be utilized efficiently in multiple scenarios. This will help you connect with your customers as you will be addressing their exact pain points.
Make Yourself Visible on All Digital Fronts
Research is the second step in CBC. Once customers have found businesses that can resolve their issues, they will filter them out to choose the best fit. This is when your business will be weighed against competitors while they research the market, they will visit your store or website for answers. If you have live chat integration on your website, you will be able to proactively engage and pitch to these prospects. People tend to trust the word of those who have already purchased or used your products/service in the past. Enhance this step by making reviews, comments, testimonials and the likes visible for visitors. Keep posting these on different social media platforms for maximum visibility.
Highlight Why Customers Should Choose You
The third step of CBC becomes Preference. Customers will narrow you down from among the competition. They will scrutinize your product/service in every aspect to understand the various benefits and features. The tiny details about your product/service will help them decide whether they should invest in your business or not. Through live help on your website, you can assist them and answer queries in real-time to generate more leads. You can inform them about your product/service and how it will be the best solution for their specific need. Emphasize on your unique selling point and assist them in making an informed decision. The personal human touch via live help, easy return-policy, free shipping, round-the-clock support and other value added benefits will incline them towards your business.
Enhance Purchase Process and Experience
Once the customer has opted for your product/service, their next step in CBC will be Purchase. It is imperative for online businesses to make the purchase process a very seamless, effortless and hassle-free experience. Provide how-to videos for the purchase process. Ensure that clients can choose their preferred payment method. Facilitate them through Call-to-Action buttons and utilize live support to help them along this phase. This step is important as this is where your business might face shopping cart abandonment. Avoid this by providing them instant assistance every step of the way.
Convert Satisfied Customers to Brand Advocates
Purchase is not the conclusion of a business-customer relationship. You will have to offer support afterwards and follow up with a thank you email. The next step of the Customer Buying Cycle is Retention. The product alone is not enough for customers living in this digital age, ensuring a great experience is necessary for businesses to retain their customers. If you are able to woo customers by providing them exceptional support and an extraordinary experience, you will be able to convert satisfied clients to loyal customers, and eventually brand advocates.