All about customers

Customers come to your business and buy services or products for different reasons. Some customers are motivated by the lowest prices; others are driven by outstanding customer service or even your reputation. If you get to know your customers and understand their motivations, you can adapt and customize your selling strategies. For instance, the price conscious individual is most likely watching your sale advertisements and will buy your products at that time. The service conscious or reputation centered customer quite obviously demands more time, has more needs and must be cultivated differently.

To cast a general insight into buying habits, let’s examine the typical customer.

– Why does a customer buy from you? A customer will buy a product because it gives them satisfaction; it gives them what they want. This morning I went to Nordstrom’s shoe department; shoes were on sale and obviously what I wanted.

– What does a customer perceive is most valuable about your product or your services? Not only does Nordstrom have a competitively priced shoe sale, the sales staff is attentive, and service is immediate. If the shoes hurt in a day, week, or months from now, I can return them with no questions asked. When you are selling services as for instance, a Realtor, knowledge is power and knowing as much as you can about your product is a delineating factor in quality of service.

– How well is the customer value, products or services provided?

– How do you provide that value so the customer wants to keep coming back? In my Nordstrom shoe department example, the sales are consistently competitive with other stores; the quality of the merchandise is satisfactory, latest styles are offered, and the customer service is always outstanding. When supplying a service as in real estate sales, knowledge of the product and when you don’t know, and admitting you don’t know, but finding the answer will build trust in customers.

– Of all the shopping a customer does for your particular product or service, how much of her business does your company have? In a service company, as in the real estate business, it’s fine to ask your customer how you can get more business from them. Then plan your strategy to accommodate the customer’s needs.

– How do customers and clients see you? You need to present yourself as trustworthy and reliable. Repeat customers spend more, make larger transactions, and refer new customers to you.

– How do customers see you after the sale? You can’t just cash your check and be done with the customer. This is the make it or break it decision for customers, and if you met or exceeded their expectations, you will increase their loyalty and your profit. If your sales efforts failed, all is not lost however, but then it is time to reestablish priorities, techniques and knowledge. Everyone fails at some time or another; don’t let it get you down, but use it as a learning experience to build a better rapport with your customer.

    photo credit: John IFC

    One Response to “All about customers”

    1. Monique said:

      May 12, 10 at 1:25 am

      Nice blog. Your point about adapting to your customers is so true. Every customer is unique, and we are all motivated by different things. In order to succeed with customers, you have to be viewed as meeting or exceeding their expectations from the customers’ point of view.