Buying Trends - the Shift to Hassle-Free
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may have noticed a shift in
in what it takes to satisfy customers.
Customers are now making buying decisions less on the
quality of an
organization’s products and services, and more on the quality of the
experience itself. If
you’re a business
owner or manager, this trend offers both risk and
opportunity. To ensure that your
organization profits from
this shift in customer loyalty, consider a recent history of buying
quality is no longer top-of-mind
When it came to
satisfying customers in the era immediately following World War II, no
could beat the USA.
With the development of
the atomic bomb they
had demonstrated that they had the most advanced technology on the
planet. The fact
that they had developed such a
terrifyingly sophisticated product gave American businesses an
reputation for innovation. That
reputation resulted in a ‘honeymoon’ demand for US products that
Fast forward to
the energy crises of the 1970’s. People
begin turning to smaller more fuel efficient vehicles made
overseas. At first the vehicles are
perceived to be of
poorer quality. Yet
in particular they embrace
the concept of Kaizen - the practice of continuous improvement that had
introduced to them, ironically, by an American, W. Edwards
Deming. Eventually, the quality of
and other consumer products - particularly electronic equipment, is
by consumers to be better that the stuff produced in North America.
manufacturers are forced to improve quality. So, throughout the 1980’s
early 1990’s North American manufacturers join the movement towards
Quality improves significantly.
So much so, that now in the twenty first
century, it’s not that consumers no longer care about the quality of
manufactured products – it’s that quality is now taken for
granted. So much for products. Interestingly, the
quality also applies to services.
Consider the following…
credentials don’t stand out
When it comes to
hiring services, consumers now simply take it as a given that the
‘qualified’ to be providing the service.
When we call a company to send a plumber we don’t ask to
figure the person must
have some sort of a ‘ticket’ or the company wouldn’t be hiring
them. The teacher who instructs
our children is
assumed to have the proper certification.
In other words, the technical capabilities of the person
service is generally taken for granted.
ended up then, is a point where consumers now assume that when they buy
product from any large well-know manufacturer the product quality will
fine. Or, if they
use a service from any
reasonably sized firm the service person will be technically
competent. In other words, quality
itself no longer
impresses consumers as much as it used to. Meanwhile, there is
important that consumers are clamoring for.
What customers will now pay a premium for
want to be appreciated.
They want respect. They want it badly because in recent
lost so much of it. They’ve
up with phoning a large company and being told to, “Press 1 for… press
6 for …”
(One of my seminar participants described this as being caught in
return policies that force them to find the original packaging and
spend time and postage, waiting and hoping.
To create loyal
customers, business owners and managers need to recognize that your
alone won’t impress people that much.
we pointed out, quality is now assumed.
Instead, there’s a huge opportunity to create loyalty
when, in addition
to solving the customer’s obvious immediate problem, you go the extra
make the buying experience more humane.
That means a hassle-free
and competent service professionals that understand how their product
service fits into the buying context
of the customer. By
context I mean how
this purchase fits in to the customer’s overall needs, and how this
must be impacting the customer’s day.
Bottom line –
you may have reliable products and licensed service providers, but the
customers really care about now is, “What are you like to do business
About the Author
article is based on the bestselling book, Becoming
Icon in 90 Minutes a Month by customer service
strategist and professional speaker Jeff
To obtain your own copy of his book or to inquire about engaging Jeff
team, visit www.jeffmowatt.com
1-800-JMowatt (566-9288). Influence
with Ease ®
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2010-11-22 13:58:57 in Marketing Articles