«Return to Blog List Customer Successes – Help Buyers Decide FASTER
All week, I’ve been mulling over a few purchase decisions – comparing specs, prices and especially reading online reviews from other buyers that have gone before me.
Not the impulsive type, my research was going well until one of the purchases on my list hit a wall – NO customer reviews or success stories.
If you’re like me, you’ve grown very accustomed to having real feedback from other buyers on anything from a $10 book to a $20,000 car. A lot is riding on each purchase: a big investment of time in the first case and a chunk of change and safety for the latter.
We’ve come to rely on these “Citizen Marketers” (coined by Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba) as our compass for making decisions. Without it, we can feel lost in the woods.
So what’s really going on when a buyer can’t get her hands on other customer experiences?
We make decisions more slowly – or not at all
This week I’m investigating new video cameras and hotels for a spring vacation. Sites like Amazon.com, TripAdvisor, and stories/testimonials on actual websites of hotels and bed and breakfasts have all pushed me closer to buying.
With that rich information, I am MUCH closer to making a decision.
Yet for a business product I’m considering, no such customer feedback is available. So instead, I put off that decision for now.
We buy less confidently
What’s really behind it? I’m just not confident enough in the business product to move ahead. Maybe it’s a fabulous product, but I’m going to need more than the company’s sales copy to help me decide.
I don’t think I’m alone. Buyers today are very accustomed to having that level of information to support their purchases.
Think about it. Are your buyers hesitating without customer feedback? What can you do to change that?
Whether it’s suggesting happy customers post on review sites or capturing the details in case studies or success stories, HELP prospective customers buy faster and more confidently.
And now, I have a few purchases to make…
What was the last significant purchase you made, and how influential was real customer feedback?
Next week: The differences between review sites and vendor-produced case studies and success stories.
I look for customer reviews too– whether I’m choosing a book, hotel or even a recipe. The more reviews there are, the more credible they seem to be.
I recently got an email from Zappos asking me (in the nicest way) to please help them and other customers out by providing a review on a recent purchase. Zappos, Amazon and Barnes and Noble especially seem to understand how customers rely on other customers reviews when making a purchasing decision.
That’s really true, that the best companies are actively asking for reviews from buyers. I still get the sense though that actual reviewers are mostly on both ends of the spectrum – either really happy or really unhappy. Those in the middle may not feel motivated enough to take a few minutes to provide feedback.
Thanks for your comment!