What Information Drives Purchase Decisions?

We asked consumers to tell us about the purchases they had made during the previous 90 days. One of our questions examined how important five information sources were to 14 purchase decisions. As you can see in the figure below:

  • Employee are critical. For eight out of 14 of the purchases, consumers most frequently identified discussions with employees or agents of the company as an important factor in their decision.
  • Websites are also critical. Information on a company’s website was one of the top two sources for 13 out of the 14 purchases.
  • There’s a lot of research for investment accounts. Investment purchases earned one of the top two usage levels for four out of five of the informations sources.
  • Health plans are a social media dead spot. Which purchase shows the lowest level of importance for both online ratings and social media sites? Health plans.
  • Facebook and Twitter are used the most for financial planning. While Facebook and Twitter aren’t one of the top two sources of information for any of the purchases we examined, they are most highly used for the two that relate to financial planning: Investment accounts and life insurance.

1308_PurchaseInfoSourcesThe bottom line: Your employees are really, really important

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I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

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