From time immemorial, the concept of buying and selling has involved a minimum of two parties to be successful. Regardless of the context in which used, such as trade by barter, no mentally fit individual has ever been recorded to successfully perform a business transaction all alone. With the rise of capitalism around the globe, consumers are more aware of the powers they wield on businesses, hence, companies invest much resources into satisfying the needs of their customers.
According to Economist George Loewenstein, our brains automate decision making rather than relying on well-grounded logic. In the same vein has marketing experts stated that 90% of purchasing decisions are made emotionally rather than rationally.
To arouse the desired emotions in customers, businesses must do more than solely rely on the quality of their products. Customers need a reason for continual patronage, and with the market today overflowing with quality, creating positive emotive feelings could be the key success factor for businesses.
In creating the ideal relationship with customers, personalising relationships goes a long way. Everyone pines for that special feeling, and getting it from a brand one spends hard-earned cash on
makes the spending easier while assuaging any accompanying buyer’s remorse. Personalising relationships does not mean businesses employ a bunch of loquacious staffers. On the contrary, it could be simple gestures such as following up on a customer after a purchase; sending birthday and anniversary cards or messages and providing optimum services.
Again, paying attention to customers whenever they lodge a complaint is equally important in the journey. People tend to go on the defensive whenever any degree of complaint is lodged at them,
but this is harmful in business. The rightness or wrongness of the customer is impertinent to giving them full attention and acknowledging their complaints. While receiving complaints, it is noteworthy
to see things through the customer’s eyes rather than to listen just to offer a cohesive response.
In addition to that, customer feedback is equally relevant in the customer satisfaction journey.
Feedbacks often brings to the fore, shortcomings that our emotional investment keeps from us, and brands should grab every opportunity to get feedback. On the flip side, some feedbacks are wholly destructive with no iota of logic in them. Still, they should be welcome because that’s how the customer feels at that moment.
Despite all the wonderful things you read in books about satisfying customers, they could all be quixotic efforts if your first customers, staff, are not satisfied. The growth of a brand is intrinsically tied to the satisfaction level of staff. Hence, much detail needs to be paid to the workers.
Creating a conducive work environment goes a long way in satisfying the needs of members of staff. Many a business owner often rely on their business acumen alone and neglect their workers, in turn, meeting their waterloo. But when employees are happy, they work really hard and the business grows.
We can agree that we choose to visit local stores –when there are options and inconspicuous price disparity—because of how we are treated. Hardly would any individual frequent a store that greets them with hostility sprinkled with insults. The truth to this position transcends FMCG’s to industries where clients’ interface is at a minimum.
In the final analysis, we are all in the business of buying and selling at different levels. As such, we have to treat our customers with the respect they deserve to secure and sustain their patronage.
Lanre Awode, Brands Executive