Whether consciously or unconsciously, customers are always evaluating the experiences that they have with different brands. Everything they think and feel during the process of purchasing something from a certain business is called the buying experience. The buying experience is a subset of the customer experience, and it’s influenced by different elements through a period of time. These can range from different media channels to the customer’s own network.

There are three popular criteria that provide a good buying experience: the relevance of the product or service that’s marketed, how easy it is for them to get that product or service, and how in control they feel when they’re making the purchase.

There are several steps to creating a positive buying experience for the customers, which can drive consumer happiness and turn them into returning customers.

Pain Points

The first step, and the one that requires the most research, is recognizing the pain points of the customers. Learning about the target audience and listening to what they need is the best way to create a marketing strategy and products that they’re going to need. Assuming anything about the target audience is the worst thing a business can do in terms of marketing, and can make their entire buying experience worse in the long run.

Listening to the audience can be done by creating surveys that are aimed toward understanding the obstacles that consumers face during their search for a product that the business is offering, as well as what motivates them to buy certain products. Understanding the consumers can also be done through customer service conversations, as representatives in this department can best understand what the audience is looking for.

Customer Journey

After learning everything that’s available about the target audience, every business should learn where their buyers are. This is done through the customer journey. This is a bird’s eye view of all the steps a consumer takes, starting from the moment that they learn about a business or its products, to when they purchase the product, and following them beyond to turn them into a returning customer.

Based on the customer journey, the business can create a guide, also known as a journey map, where the marketing team can plan where, when, and how the business can reach the audience with its campaigns.

Guiding Customers

Potential leads can turn into paying customers through a customer journey, by leading them at every step of the way on that journey. The potential buyer should have a seamless road all the way from where they first become aware of the company and its products or services, to the consideration of what to buy, to finally making a purchase.

Simplifying this process and making it as easy as possible for the customer to make their purchase is the best way to create returning customers and an overall excellent buying experience for them.

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.