How many people do you know who hate talking on the phone? The answer’s not quite everybody, but almost – US consumers are five times more likely to send and receive text messages than phone calls. Yet there is one situation that will lead people to call a business – even when that business has an active, up to date website and a thriving social media presence.
The research released in the most recent Think With Google report reveals that half of all shoppers confirm inventory is in stock before they visit a retailer. Why do they do this?
Business Growth Comes from Better Customer Understanding
There are two types of data business owners can use to grow their business. Objective data, which is what we talk about much of the time, includes the information captured by all your digital marketing channels such as your website or social media. Observational data includes the insights and understandings that you and your team have developed interacting with your customers.
A valuable exercise at this point is to think about what you know about your customers’ lifestyles based upon that observational data. Are most of your customers in the workforce? Do they have families? The answers to those two questions unlock some critical understandings: we know when people have a lot of professional and personal obligations, they don’t necessarily have a lot of free time.
When time is in short supply, people want to make sure they’re not wasting it. Consider the steadily increasing popularity of buy online, pick up in store shopping. Theoretically, it’s a way for the customer to guarantee they get exactly what they want, no waiting required. In practice – well, let’s just say execution on this front can make or break a relationship.
But returning to the issue of phone calls. People are protective of their free time. If they’re going to your store – particularly if you’re located outside of their regular neighborhood – they want to make sure they’re going to have a positive experience.
So, they do their research, which includes calling to confirm products they’re interested in are indeed in stock. They eliminate their anxiety and become more confident in their decision to visit your store. And when you pay attention to the data, you gain insight into what products are of significant interest to your customer base. These types of insights are vital to business growth.