Word of Mouth Meets Customers Head On

Today we’ll cover the idea of shortening your customers’ decision making process with positive word of mouth (WOM). There are essentially 5 stages in the decision-making process:

  1. Give the product a chance and transition from a “no” to a “maybe”;
  2. Check out the options and investigate different products available;
  3. Observe the product to check for potential benefits, features, and operations to see if it fulfills a need;
  4. Become a customer and purchase the first item. Customers will be discriminating with their first product as they form their opinion of the business;
  5. Purchase again and start spreading positive WOM as an advocate of the products.

Now let’s take a closer look at each one of these stages.

From “No” to “Maybe”

This stage is extremely important because if your potential customers don’t even take a second look at your products and/or services, you will have no chance of sealing a deal. This is why you need to offer credible information and well thought out pricing, guarantees, and incentives.

Investigating Your Products

At this stage, potential customers are taking a closer look at your product line to see if there is actually anything there that could benefit their life. This is when you need to make sure your hard information is readily available for customers to view and compare.

Trial Period

Customers often feel more at ease and are more inclined to purchase an item when there is some sort of a trial period in place. Often they want to try vicariously through someone else, so they there is absolutely no risk involved for them. A good way to offer this experience is through demo videos, product demonstrations, or a tour of your facilities. This stage may invoke a reaction of “I tried it and liked it. You should check it out too.”

Make a Purchase

At this stage, customers have assumed the risk of purchasing one of your products and/or services and are now evaluating how easy, convenient, cost effective, and satisfying your product and/or service is. At this stage a common reaction would be, “It was really easy to use and learn from. You should get it!”

Advocates for Your Products

At this final stage of decision making the customer is immensely pleased with your product and regularly uses it and/or comes back for more products and/or services. They are likely telling everyone they know how much they like it, that they use it every day, and have already returned, or will be returning soon, to your establishment for more.

Earlier, we touched on the different types of purchasers. Now we are going to take a closer look at their characteristics so you can determine which tactics are best to use at the right stage of the decision-making process.

The Innovator

Early Adopter

Middle Majority

Late Majority

Laggard

As you can see, each type of consumer wants something different depending on their personality type. The key to successful WOM is to target and cater to each type of consumer. If you need help identifying the types of consumers you are currently helping and how to attract the types you are lacking, reach out to me for the resources and tools you need to get the job done.

Next time we’ll look at how WOM messages are delivered and what you can do to facilitate that.

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