Customer Preference: Consider HOW customers want to do business…

Preference, as we all know is about liking something over something else.

Customer preference on the other hand is a more complex matter.

In simplistic terms, it can be seen as liking a product or service over the others.

But customer preference can also be interpreted as how customers want to do business with us, in other words what way or manner.

It is fundamental for a successful business to maintain competitive pricing, ensure product/service availability etc. But to further develop the business, it might be beneficial to ask the question of how customers want to do business with us, regardless whether it is a question of B2B or B2C transaction.

I think this is a somewhat overlooked aspect.

I am sure all of us have run into situations at least once in a while when we thought…Well, I would probably buy this product or use this service…but…

And that but is the factor, the business in question had not considered to be that important.

One explanation for overlooking the important or decisive aspects from a customer perspective is the power of assumption – in a negative context.

The assumption of knowing what is best for customers is probably quite commonly shared state.

This might partly explain the customer acquisition challenges faced by many businesses – the tendency to rely too much on intuition instead of e.g. asking for customer feedback or collecting other factual data.

I have listed some areas that could probably be re-evaluated from a customer perspective:

CONVENIENCE

Access to Products and Services

Consider more active social media presence as the company website may have already lost its appeal as the primary source of information?

The Process of Purchasing Products and Services

Consider accepting a greater variety of payments e.g. PayPal.

Consider more flexible terms of payment as customers may choose the vendor solely based on flexibility.

COMMUNICATION

Marketing Communication

Consider the true value of email marketing due to information overload increasing day by day.

Customer Inquiries

Consider aiming for faster response time.

Consider opening new communication channels e.g. in social media.

CUSTOMER / USER EXPERIENCE

Online Experience

Consider asking for customer feedback relating to your company’s online presence in terms of meeting customer needs.

User Experience

Consider evaluating user/customer experience, don’t expect the customers to take the initiative to tell you how to improve your products and services.

The list could go on.

But at the end of the day, it is a matter of changed perspective by concentrating on how customers want to do business with us.

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