Everywhere I turn I am inundated with information about how to ‘survive’ in an economic downturn. Many of the authors focus on ‘improving customer service’ to ‘stand out from the crowd’ and ‘help sustain customer retention’. I totally concur with all this advice – however, this is how I believe all businesses should operate anyway – good times or bad. So – let’s take a little look at consumer behaviour – and get an understanding of why people buy – and what we can do to ensure they keep coming back for more…
It’s rare for businesses to truly understand the customer decision making process. Indeed, the majority of business owners would suggest that price is the largest contributing factor as to why people buy from one source instead of another.
Whilst the importance of price cannot be underestimated – (and indeed in certain industries price competitiveness is indeed the key determining factor) – there’s usually far more to it than simply price.
What do customers value?
Studies have repeatedly shown that the top 5 issues shoppers buy on are:
1. Convenience (ease of shopping)
2. Relationship with seller
3. Product / Price / Time (specifications, price or availability)
4. Perceived indifference
The real one to watch from the above list is – Perceived Indifference