Was that a good decision?

post purchase dissonance

Was that a good decision?

Whether you have consciously realised it or not, every time we make a purchase, we question if we have made a good decision.

In many instances the thought is so fleeting we barely notice it – typically this would cover most low ticket items or even repeat purchases.

But when we spend more money or go to a new provider our anxiety level increases.

In marketing, we call this post purchase dissonance or buyer’s remorse.

You will recognise this as a feeling of unease, or, worse still, regret, that you may have made the wrong buying decision.

We need to understand this, so we can reduce the anxiety for your customers, when doing business with you for the first time.

So, why might a buyer feel this way?

  • Guilt – if it is expensive they could feel bad about spending so much money, or getting their priorities right. This is more likely to happen if it is purchase for themselves such as a new car or a luxury product, rather than a shared experience or service.
  • Persuasion – if they feel they have been talked into a purchase they aren’t sure they necessarily want. There can even be a feeling of having been worn down. A good example of this would be the door to door salesman – think double glazing.
  • Bad choice – they made the wrong choice. Have you noticed how when you are making a decision to buy something you don’t notice how many there are of a specific product around, but as soon as you have made the decision it seems to be everywhere? This is all part of this anxiety process.

What can we do to make the customer feel better about buying?

Ironically, despite being in a world that demands so much choice now, the more choices available to the customer, often the more likely they are to feel anxious.

Did they make the right choice? Should they have chosen the Hokey Cokey 500 with 10 bells and whistles as opposed to the 300 with 8 or the 700 with 12?

Of course, you want to offer your customer choice, but bear in mind, if there is too much choice that is often a reason not to buy at all – no need to make a decision, and regret it later. But that’s a subject for another day.

To reassure your customer they have made the right decision you could:

  • Show testimonials – nothing is more reassuring than knowing people have gone before you, bought the same thing and been delighted
  • Prove with case studies – evidence that it works in more detail
  • Guarantee – offer a no quibble money back guarantee. This only works in certain environments, but it may work for you
  • Communicate – the reason most customers start to doubt is when the communication dries up. How often have you found the salesman who is only too happy to talk to you pre sale is suddenly unavailable once you have signed on the dotted line?
  • Thank them – at the very least an email, but better still a letter, or even better a handwritten note – fab idea, and so different to bigger companies.
  • Remind them – of the after sales service/care, what to expect once they have the product or service
  • Surprise them – a small gift, or an unexpected add on that they won’t be paying for. So often when people blog about a great buying experience they have received a little free gift – see, it works!
  • Wrap it well – if you sell products then make sure it’s well packaged. And that applies in any environment. There is nothing worse than eagerly anticipating the arrival of something you have purchased and then it is broken, or really creased when it arrives.

These are just some possibilities, but we hope it has given you some ideas, to think about trying in your business.

Not sure if your marketing or sales is fit for purpose? No problem – let’s have a chat. Call us on 01256 83 11 10.

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