Understand your prospective customers’ buying behaviour

Buying behaviour. Purchase decision making pattern that is a complex amalgam of needs and desires, and is influenced by factors such as the consumer’s (1) societal role (parent, spouse, worker, etc.), (2) social and cultural environment and norms, and (3) aspirations and inhibitions. http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/buying-behavior.html

Understanding your customer buying behaviour is vital in marketing. All customers undertake a mental process called value mapping. This compares the perceived cost with the perceived value. The interesting thing is that ‘cost’ does not purely relate to the price paid and value does not relate only to the functionality of the product or service. The perceived cost compared to the perceived value depends on your customer and who they are. You will need to consider things such as their societal role i.e. are they a parent, a spouse or a business owner and also things like social and cultural beliefs. If you understand these elements you will have a better insight into their buying behaviour and when incorporated into your marketing plan, you’re already one step ahead of the rest.

Who are your customers and what is their buying behaviour?

Profile your existing customers. Ask yourself the following questions:

Buying behaviour

  1. Where do they come from?
  2. What do they buy?
  3. How often do they buy?
  4. How much do they buy?
  5. What personality type are they?
  6. What problems are you solving for them?
  7. What emotional need are you meeting in them?
  8. Do they know what they want or need?
  9. What else would they buy?

 

Use this information to build a customer profile and analyse their buying behaviour and then use this in your marketing efforts. For example, if you know that you’re customers often buy 3 months out of the year and then break for 9 months, you will know when to start a marketing campaign. If you know that you’re customers are parents and can’t travel then the cost of travelling to you will have an impact on their buying behaviour.

How do you meet your customers’ needs?

Ultimately all customers want:

  • be understood
  • to feel welcome
  • to feel important
  • to feel comfortable

When you have profiled your customers or clients, you’ll know which of these messages to incorporate in your marketing campaigns. For example, if your customers want to feel important then this will influence their buying behaviour and will have an impact on how you market your services to them. You’ll use language that makes them feel important.

Customer feedback and buying behaviour

It’s really important that you incorporate customer surveys and feedback into your marketing plan. Survey all your customers, customer feedback can tell you:

  • How well you meet the needs of your customers
  • To what extent your customers are satisfied
  • What your customers really think about your service
  • What your customers dislike about your service
  • What suggestions your clients have for improving your service
  • When they are most likely to buy
  • Where they look for similar products
  • What search terms they use when searching online

Many customers do not take the time to provide you with positive feedback because they don’t feel it will make a difference. They don’t realise how important you feel this feedback to be or because you do not make it easy to complain or give positive feedback. For example, referrals; do your customers know you want them to refer you, or do you just assume they know? Obtaining this information will help you to further target your marketing.

Evaluation

Customer evaluation can be as informal as asking a client if they were satisfied, or as formal as a questionnaire or survey. Document your surveys in your customer service strategy. Remember customer service usually falls under the heading of ‘Customer Preferences’. Winning companies focus their strategies on customer preferences, in this way establishing a Sustainable Competitive Advantage (SCA). The next step is to find out what your customers think are their needs.

Contact Lorraine, Strategic Marketing Specialist | Business Coach and Life Coach to understand your customer buying behaviour