Understanding And Fostering Relationships With Customers
Essay Preview: Understanding And Fostering Relationships With Customers
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TodayÐ²Ð‚™s market has proven to be increasingly challenging to new and existing businesses. Because of the challenges that these businesses face with their customer base and the marketplace, whether it be trying to retain customers, gain new ones or just to keep up with the ever changing times, it has become vital for sellers to successfully market and promote their product or service. This cannot be done if one does not make an attempt to research and understand his target market.
Whereas previously customers were inclined to purchase what was wanted or needed
without a second thought, with the dawning of technology, competition, cost reductions and special offers, convenience and choice, customers are now armed with more knowledge and buying power to choose not just a product or service but an entire package that meets their perception of value, from the actual purchase to the service meted out to them.
Previously, it was easier for businesses to maintain closer relationships with their customers and meet each oneÐ²Ð‚™s specific needs as their customer base was smaller and new competition was not lurking around every corner. Retailers may have known each customer personally and known exactly what they would have been inclined to buy as many of their customers would have been doing business with them for years.
Today, the only constants in the marketplace are choice and change. Both consumers and retailers have choices in almost every product category, from the type of car to buy to the fast food outlet one wishes to eat at. One could decide tomorrow to start drinking a new brand of water or use a new type of deodorant just because that choice is available.
PeopleÐ²Ð‚™s wants and needs change like the weather. What is classified as a Ð²Ð‚?wantÐ²Ð‚™ for one person may be a Ð²Ð‚?needÐ²Ð‚™ for another. What someone classes as a Ð²Ð‚?wantÐ²Ð‚™ one day could suddenly become a Ð²Ð‚?needÐ²Ð‚™ for him or her the next. Because such volatility exists in the marketplace, businesses are pressured to change and keep up with the trends, attitudes and personalities of the market and potential and existing buyers.
In the past, it was satisfactory for retailers to focus on perfecting the product ensuring that no fault could be found and it served its purpose however in this new day and age, the focus should be more on the customer solution. Ð²Ð‚ÑšAre we catering to the customerÐ²Ð‚™s needs or our perception of his needs?Ð²Ð‚Ñœ should be the question asked. No longer is it enough to just sell but supplying value has become top priority as well. Retailers are learning that they need to start looking at the consumerÐ²Ð‚™s point of view in order to meet their growing and ever-changing needs. Insurance company All State stresses on their ability to solve problems in critical instances rather than focusing on promoting their insurance packages. They appeal to a personÐ²Ð‚™s rational side and promote the company as a solution to your car insurance needs.
Another aspect retailers need to consider is the price versus the cost that the consumer needs to pay. The traditional means of calculating price would have been to consider the cost of manufacturing the product and adding extra to make a profit. With consumers from diverse classes where everyone has different levels of purchasing power, opportunities like discounts, negotiable credit terms, bargains and specials have been introduced and in some instances quite successfully. Furniture and appliance store Courts endlessly advertises their affordable pricing plans from their higher purchase packages to their Ð²Ð‚?nothing downÐ²Ð‚™ tag line.
While the price of the product plays a very important part in determining if the company can stay afloat, if a company has no consumer it makes for a moot point. It is critical that businesses conduct research to ascertain the buying power of their target market before any price can be attached. These two perspectives are so intertwined that it is difficult to determine where more of the focus should lie.
The placement and availability of the product at hand is also critical in reference to consumers and in particular the target customers for a particular product. Very often customers will spend a little extra to purchase what they need because of the convenience