The Decision-Making Process (DMP) is a guide which most customers follow when deciding to purchase a product or service. Understanding these steps can help a business identify what issues may be lingering within the thoughts of customers when deciding to purchase, and allow for the business to become part of the thinking process of the potential customers.
The DMP consists of eight steps that are fragmented down into bitesize chunks to enable a greater understanding of the customers thought process. As an example, a mobile phone will be the product.
- Identification of a problem
The potential/current customers phone breaks, meaning that they’ll need a service to fix the phone or have disposable income they may be willing to use to purchase or replace their phone. They then have to identify that a decision has to be made. As a business, you have no control whether or not the potential/current customer decides to choose you or a competitor, what can only be recommended is to ensure that your businesses brand identity/awareness and loyalty is positive so they believe that you are the best answer.
- Information gathering
The customer then gathers information concerning information about the mobile phone. Can the mobile be easily replaced? What’s the repair price? What’s the actual problem? This is the customer subconsciously confirming to themselves that a purchase has to be made.
- Seeking an alternative option
What are the alternatives instead of replacing or repairing the device? Can the customer acquire insurance to save money? Do they have a spare? The majority of customers try to persuade themselves that this is the correct decision by searching for the best-priced alternative.
- Market research into solutions
When the customer has finally decided on their path, they decide to browse the market and then juggle different alternatives to find the best solution. In our example, the customer would be searching for a ‘mobile phone repair/sales’ business or visiting their local area for advice.
- Evaluation of alternatives
Which are the best options? Do any particular brands appeal to them? Which is the most cost-effective solution? Which of the products do they wish to potentially purchase? Were they happy with their old phone before it broke?
This is when the customer chooses an option and is completely happy to part with their money.
The customer then decides to purchase the product/service.
Is the customer happy with the purchased product or service? Was it a good purchase? Did the business supply what was promised?