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What Customers Look for in a Buying Experience

January 21, 2016 / by Max Dworkin

No matter how useful, innovative, or well designed your product or service is, you will not sell it if you do not consider your potential customer's buying experience. Indeed, the customer buying experience is one of the most important elements of your sales process with one study showing that companies that prioritize a great buying experience grow twice as fast as those with experiences that are only average.This is the experience the encompasses the entire trajectory a customer takes, from when they are a stranger to your company up to and including when they make their first purchase.

But once you establish the importance of the buying experience, it is still necessary to understand exactly what a customer looks for when they are buying. How can your team create a buying experience that will not just keep prospects in the pipeline, but will actually help you to close deals?

Customer Experience

Customers are more empowered today than ever before. More than 80% of consumers do online research before making purchases. That's because they want as much information as possible before getting mired in the sales process. More importantly, they want information they can trust: reviews, comparisons, and facts.

Although your energy prospects are not shopping for a television or a new pair of boots, they still angle to be savvy and informed about the choices they make. To make sure that your customers are empowered during the buying process -- but are still making progress towards the ultimate goal of making a purchase -- you should make every effort to be the trusted source for that information.

Company Transparency

You may already practice internal transparency, but is the buying experience for your energy offer transparent for your customers? This is another area where the empowered customer has expectations that go beyond what was once acceptable. For instance, when a customer once went to a car dealership expecting to haggle and negotiate, knowing she would never be certain if she got the best deal, today customers can shop around online, read extensive consumer reports, and know exactly what price they want before ever taking a test drive.

Sales can be a bastion of obfuscation. When your goal is to close the deal, you want your product to look as attractive as possible. Being transparent as it applies to the customer buying experience means allowing customers to see your process from start to finish -- including how and why your energy offer is priced the way it is.

 

Make it Easy

Ultimately, the best buying experience is one that makes it easy for your leads to become customers, pushing them through any initial inclination towards indecision. Making the process easy does not necessarily mean making it fast, it means making it simple for your leads to find answers and to understand how your offer compares to competitors, including other services, platforms, and providers. Simplicity is the best way to ensure that customer empowerment through education and buying experience transparency are utilized to the fullest extent.

The buying experience you create can have a huge impact on whether or not you can close a sale. Customers are harder than ever to please, so keeping their experience in mind every step of the way is critical to growing your energy business.

For more information on how to create a buying experience that builds customer trust and drives them to commitment, be sure to download our presentation:

5 Shortcuts to Customer Commitment

Topics: energy management, energy partners

Max Dworkin

Written by Max Dworkin

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