In earlier times, the focus of a business would merely be on product quality, good delivery time and smart pricing to ensure that it would manage to attract a large customer base. As companies expanded, there became a strong need to understand the wide-ranging behavior of consumers to better ascertain how to deliver upon them. Studies began to emerge on how people select and use different products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy needs and what kind of impact it has on the consumer and society.
Analyzing consumer behavior is a crucial link in the policy-making process for any successful enterprise. Demographics (age, gender, area) and psychographics (tastes, preferences, attitudes) are the starting tools for behavioral segmentation. Businesses nowadays know well that they need to view their customers as unique individuals with specified motivations and intentions for buying certain products. Consumer search data provides great insight into such behavior patterns. This data is comprehensive and organic, as it reveals interests and needs that would otherwise not have come forward through any feedback form or consumer survey.
Historical trend analysis is also very useful. Based on what your customers brought before, you can forecast what they will buy in the future and the type of customers you can successfully attract to increase your sales and market growth. For example, if you’re running a café and most of your orders are for takeaways, it would be beneficial to divert an extra staff member towards managing the counter.
Social media trending is another important tool for building accurate customer profiles. There are a plethora of social media sites with data worth in gold for companies looking to find what are the latest market trends being adopted and desired, which market segment is being attracted the most towards a particular product/service and how? The analysis reveals which customers fit your target market and what is the most successful mode to market your product/service to them. It also allows businesses to develop and enhance their current offerings to better fit your consumers’ needs.
When companies implement customer-fueled strategies after thoroughly analyzing consumer behavior and customer needs, they are able to provide customer service on an elevated level and build a sustainable competitive advantage. The secret to providing quality service is understanding what the customers’ actual need is. Whether you are selling products or providing a service, conducting customer surveys, asking for feedback and suggestions, studying market trends, buying patterns – these are important tools to make use of while formulating customer service strategies to ensure better consumer satisfaction.
In order to fulfill and exceed expectations, companies need to gain a new perspective and a deeper insight into customer preferences and the problems they encounter while doing business with your company. Setting your shop timings and adjusting your break hours, cordially assisting walk-in customers and timely responding to online customers have to be considered. Designing a service with benefits that would attract attention and incorporating features in your products that would facilitate users the most are all based on understanding consumer behavior.
Studies of consumer behavior in present times have yielded results that customer service levels represent a high significance in the consumers’ mind while making their purchasing decisions. They are willing to travel those extra kilometers or spend that little bit extra in order to be treated well.
In this digital era, word of mouth, whether good or bad, spreads instantaneously and can have a strong impact on your company’s brand identity.
Let’s look at this example, a man once got into a cab that looked like any other on the busy street. As soon as he took a look around he knew something was different. The taxi was clean, nicely maintained and the driver was well-groomed. There was a selection of newspapers and music CD’s to choose from and the driver offered a bowl of fresh fruit to his passenger with a smile. The passenger was pleasantly surprised and asked the driver about the wonderful environment he had created. He replied that he had been driving a cab for many years and knew what his customers wanted. If they were happy, he was happy. This was just one localized example, but on a wider scale, we have cabs with mobile chargers, Wi-fi and laptops/tablets; car-cleaning services with mini-golf courses; clinics having side-cafes; coffee shops with libraries and art galleries; spas with baby daycares. These are just a few examples of strategies that have earned fame and greatly attracted customers.
Product innovation and technological breakthroughs are rapidly changing the playing field into a battle for acquiring market share and more customers. The 4 Ps: Product, Price, Place and Promotion are the foundation-stone for a successful business plan and companies are competing neck-to-neck on high product quality, rationalized pricing, convenient customer reach, and targeted advertising and promotional campaigns. They need to know exactly who their customers are and what are their buying powers, their wants, needs and the best way to get their attention. Above and beyond that, what else can they do to set themselves apart and make it their unique selling point? Carefully laid out customer service strategies is the answer. With the building blocks of the business plan all taken care of, this will get them the market attention and help them rise above the competition.
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