The field of consumer behavior has been extensively explored, studied and analyzed to gain insights into what customers want and how they will act while they make purchases and interact with various businesses. Consumer behavior takes into account various stages of the buying process including, research, inquiry, drawing parallels with competing products/services, negotiating and finally making the purchase. Studying consumer behavior enables businesses to be in a better position to add more value to the customer experience.
A firm knowledge of how consumers think and perceive various products can help businesses eliminate the weaknesses or flaws in the systems. Studying consumer behavior helps businesses determine the environmental factors that impact the purchasing behavior. These factors include, culture, family structures, media, education and exposure. Moreover, a deeper understanding of how customers make buying decisions present an opportunity for businesses to revamp the customer journey in order to increase sales and overall revenues for the company. As a source of primary or secondary research, the data can help design better targeted and effective marketing campaigns.
External and environmental factors cannot be ignored when studying customer behavior. Some of the most important environmental factors include:
Cultural Factors: Every society has its set of norms and practices, which need to be respected by businesses. For example, marketing campaigns should be designed keeping in view the cultural and social constraints. In the same way, segmentation on the basis of demographical variations should also be taken into account, since different segments of society have different needs.
Social Factors: Social factors include brand consciousness, roles and status in the society. Businesses need to design their marketing strategies by first determining the social needs of the consumers. For example, a brand conscious customer could be attracted by associating the product with a celebrity. In the same way, some customers value exclusivity, which involves making the customer feel special.
Personal Factors: Personal factors include all demographical variations in the targeted niche. Factors such as age, sex, income group, occupation, personality and lifestyle impact customer behavior. Customers in these groups have different perceptions and criteria for making the purchase. Consequently, it is important for businesses to identify these groups and design marketing strategies individually for each group.
It is essential to understand that consumer behavior will drastically vary with different product lines, brands or even industries. The variations make it necessary to conduct primary research. Customer service representatives can be trained according to the needs of the customers to enhance service experience. The changes or improvements being made will be based on consumer behavior.
Understanding consumer behavior will enable customer service representatives to engage with customers in such a manner which promotes customer convenience, in addition to generating value for them in the process. In order to deliver high quality customer experience, it is essential for the company to first understand the pain points and then proceed to streamlining the process to facilitate convenience and customer satisfaction. Customer segmentation and profiling is an integral part of adopting a customer-centric service approach, since it takes into account various groups of customers and goes on to satisfy their unique needs and wants.
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