Understanding the Consumer Decision Process

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The Connect the Doc Team

A consumer goes through a variety of steps when making a decision. The consumer decision process is both conscious and subconscious.

1. Need Recognition – The consumer identifies a problem – Ex. My back hurts

2. Information Search – The consumer searches and finds different solutions to their problem – Ex. RMT’s and Chiropractors help people with back pain. I am going to try seeing a Chiropractor

3. Evaluation of Alternatives – The consumer looks at the different businesses that can help them solve their problem – Ex. I am going to search online for a chiropractor that will see me today

4. Purchase Decision  – They decide which business is the best fit to solve their problem and make a committed decision – Ex. Dr. X has a great website and is well reviewed online, I am going to see him

5. Post-Purchase Evaluation  – The consumer decides whether they made the right decision after they test the product/service – Ex. Dr. X was excellent and rid me of my back pain. I will recommend him to my friends and family


Where does your business enter into the decision process? Are you at step 1 creating the need with high cost advertising efforts? Are you found in step 2 when the consumer is searching for a solution to their problem? With this in mind, make sure that your clinic is taking the necessary steps to convert traffic into clients. First impressions, reviews, testimonials, social media presence and the status of your webpage are all factors that will persuade a user to visit your clinic.

How do prospective patients find your clinic?

What are your call-to-actions*?

What image are you portraying to your current patients? Your ideal patients?

* Call-to-action: words that urge a person to take immediate action. Ex. Sign Up, Book Online, Request Appointment etc.