The Buyer’s Journey: Delivering an Exceptional Experience
A buyer is an individual looking to purchase a product and/or service designed to solve a problem or fulfil a specific purpose; it could either be a tangible or intangible need or a want. But how they acquire it determines their likelihood of buying it.
For instance, every aisle in a grocery store features a careful curation of goods to entice passers-by. From walk-in to checkout, every touchpoint must deliver a seamless and frictionless experience. In simple words, the buyer’s journey is an assemblage of numerous touchpoints. A carefully-maintained online presence is the digital equivalent of a reputable supermarket.
Should the experience falter, customers would be dissuaded from going through with the transaction. Failing to supply a glistening sales experience is the final nail in the coffin for scaling businesses.
While all paths lead to the same destination, the buyer’s journey differs between the physical and digital worlds. This feature offers a step-by-step breakdown of the buyer’s journey in the form of the sales funnel, Vesanique’s recommended solutions and the value of target buyer personas.
Sales Funnel: What is it?
The sales funnel is a fluffy term typically tossed around in marketing circles. But if you’re excluded from that circle, it can be a confusing concept to grasp.
In layman’s terms, the sales funnel visually represents the entire buyer’s journey. While funnels from company to company may differ slightly, their objectives share distinct commonalities. Hence, Vesanique’s version of the funnel consists of the following stages in descending order, followed by our expert recommendations:
When a customer detects a problem in their lives that needs resolving, they defer to the internet to find a product or service that provides it; this is known as problem recognition. Concurrently, your brand is responsible for identifying their problems, and addressing them with a product or service of your own! But how does your organisation make itself known to its online target audience? More so, how does a customer patronise your business without knowing of its existence?
Recommendations: Spotlight your brand’s existence through off-page advertising efforts, such as targeted ad campaigns across popular platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin. Moreover, the graphical and written elements that make up each advertisement should be sharp, snazzy and succinct.
You’ve attracted a few curious eyes; now what? Consider this figure: Gen Z has an average attention span of 8 seconds — 4 seconds less than the preceding generation. With those tight margins, holding onto the waning focus of modern, online shoppers is a persistent struggle.
Recommendations: Gartner Research indicates that customers are 2.8 times more likely to experience purchase ease when they are provided information that they perceive to be helpful. So if you have something valuable to say, do not be afraid to say it! Generate value-added, informative content through social media channels of your choice, your company’s official blog or off-site blogs such as Medium. Offer something of concrete value without expectation, and convert their interest into trust.
Need expert advice on how to craft compelling, and captivating copy? Visit our previous feature on copywriting.
You got their attention, and you’ve piqued their interest; what’s next? In this stage, you’ve made a discerning fan. They aren’t fully convinced just yet, but your product/service is a potential contender for first place.
Recommendations: What you choose to do in this stage boils down to the complexity of your product/service. Is your product/service offering complicated? If your answer is yes, explaining how the product/service works through concise copy or quality video would help educate your target audience effectively. If the answer is no, then all accompanying text or graphics should be kept to a minimum. At the end of the day, it all depends on your industry!
Now, your customer is on the cusp of making a decision! But they’ve yet to pull the trigger. You’ve whetted their appetite; now it’s time to persuade them to satisfy those pangs.
Recommendations: Sweeten the pot by offering first-time customer discounts, or packaged deals. Always keep them on their toes, slowly reeling them in with complimentary bonuses.
The funnel doesn’t just end abruptly once a customer pays for a product or service! Here’s a sobering figure: a 2017 report reveals that poor customer service is costing businesses more than $75 billion per year. And that includes after-sales service. Your customers are your brand ambassadors when you’re outside of the room. In fact, Nielsen reports that over 92% of its respondents placed unfettered trust in word-of-mouth or family recommendations. Failing to cherish or respect them is a sure-fire way to diminish any trust in your brand.
Recommendations: Provide valuable-after sales support (answering email or phone call queries etc.) to your customers. Maintain an ongoing connection with your customers; soon, they’ll become repeat patrons.
Thus, potential customers are only categorised as “customers” once they’ve slid down the sales funnel by paying for a product or service. Qualifying them as they travel down the rabbit hole requires a company-spanning, brand strategy. But like all things branding, things aren’t as simple as they seem.
In Comes the Buyer Personas
Every buyer is a distinct someone with individual ambitions, challenges, needs and wants. Casting a wide net in your brand communications lowers its effectiveness, and depersonalises the relationship you’re forming with each buyer. On the other hand, developing an all-encompassing persona for each personality type allows you to tailor a call-to-action that resonates with them on a personal level.
Each persona is as detailed as you want it to be. More notably, each persona tells you what your customers are searching for in the buyer’s journey; how they think, and feel determines how each touchpoint is structured, and what it is meant to say or tell them.
Here are two sample personas that Vesanique has created to demonstrate their significance in the sales funnel:
The Happy-Go-Lucky Buyer
The happy-go-lucky buyer is someone who lacks patience and despises waiting. To put it simply, they want a solution and they want it immediately. Expectedly, researching or comparing products/services between competitors is not high on their priority list.
For this persona, the Interest and Consideration stages of the sales funnel are of lesser significance. The happy-go-lucky buyer is someone that parses out information quickly so as to reduce his/her search cost. Therefore, any marketing copy or graphics must immediately communicate the issue that the product/service solves. Make it quick, and make it snappy!
The Slow-and-Meticulous Buyer
The slow-and-meticulous buyer is enamoured by the slow chase, drawn by the allure of thoroughly researching all options before settling on one. Patience is plentiful, and waiting is of little concern to them.
Conversely, the Interest and Consideration stages of the sales funnel are of extreme importance. They crave information and thrive in those stages. So, brands must (or should) place extra care and attention on these stages. Provide these buyers with a slew of invaluable details, including comparison charts situating your product/service against those of competitors. Customer testimonials and reviews are additional means to reinforce your brand’s positive image in the eyes of slow-and-meticulous buyers.
These are just two of the infinite customer profiles that exist. Hence, business owners must first synthesise a handful of target buyer personas, followed by reinforcing the touchpoints that make up the sales funnel. Ironically, developing a stress-free buyer’s experience is a stressful experience in itself!
Help is Just a Phone Call away
If you’re struggling when you’re alone, you’re in bad company!
Vesanique is a high-quality Brisbane brand agency dedicated to providing digital solutions to digital problems. But we’re not just a one-trick pony; we also offer a plethora of traditional and digital branding services from web design to billboard marketing. If you’re after real-estate branding, we can do it. If you’d like to build a brand new website from the ground up, we can do that as well!
But what makes us stand out from the rest of the competition, is our unquivering commitment to providing our clients with a fuss-free, end-to-end branding experience. Our creative team of talented professionals oversees every step, leaving no stone unturned. Furthermore, we’ll build a holistic sales strategy from scratch, developing detailed buyers’ personas to identify what your target audience is looking for.
Only by explicitly outlining the niches you’re targeting, can we strengthen every touchpoint across the sales funnel. Improved website user interfaces, a strong social media presence, creating exclusive copy or graphics… we’re a Brisbane full-service digital agency that sticks by its word.
With Vesanique overseeing the whole buyer’s journey, your sales funnel would be free of blockages, providing each and every buyer with an obstacle-free transaction.
As discussed in our previous article on Small Business Technology and Investment Boosts, the Federal government is offering business owners a subsidised opportunity to modernise business operations. And that includes our industry-leading branding services!
Fancy a quick chat?
But first, we’d like to learn more about you and your brand. What is a branding agency without strong personal relationships? We’d love to chat over a hot cup of coffee. Shoot us a call or a message, and we’ll get stuck into upgrading your sales funnel!
Let’s talk, don’t be a stranger.