Marketing includes foresight and planning. It includes an analysis of self, the environment , the market and competitors. and once a business has a clear picture of its place in the market, it is time to decide upon a marketing approach.
There are two basic marketing approaches. The first is company centred. . In this approach business essentially claims: We (business) have ALL the answers! In this day and age, this is NOT the way to go.
An example of this approach would be Ford Motor Company in their hay-day, before Toyota, BMW, Peugeot, Mercedes Benz etc and the many other car brands that had landed in the USA. Their boast was that they would make Model T’s in any colour the customer wanted; as long as it was black. This philosophy worked for them because demand for their product far exceeded supply. Your company would be really luck to still have a product monopoly such as this.
The second – – and more recommended approach – – is customer centred. This approach essentially claims:
“We are here to serve the customer!” In using this approach, companies respond directly to the wants and needs of the customer. For that reason this is the approach that most successful businesses follow. However, it is important to keep in mind that this approach requires both focus and consistency.
Some facts to remember
90% of customers surveyed recently, listed “customer service” as one of the top three things that influence their buying habits. Of that 90%, 68% listed customer service as the most important thing; above the reliability of the product or service.
Even in purchases of the most functional products, consumers tend to be swayed more by how a product appeals to their emotion and cultural values than its rational virtues such as durability or ease of use.
Only 11 out of 100 dissatisfied customers will place a formal complaint with business, but 42% of all dissatisfied customers will tell 20 to 25 people about their dissatisfaction.
For every complainer, there are 31 with the same complaint that never say anything. – 93% of all unsatisfied customers do not repurchase from the offending business, compared to the 70% who remain loyal when their complaints are satisfactorily handled.
Also keep in mind that there are certain variables commonly used by customers in determining their perception of a company’s customer service quality. Failure to provide at least two or more of these variables will most likely result in significant customer loss.
Reliability measures the consistency of your employee performance and dependability.
Responsiveness relates to your employees’ apparent willingness or readiness to provide good customer service.
Competence refers to the your employees’ skills and knowledge about the product or service.
Access measures your business’s approachability and ease of contact.
Courtesy refers to the politeness, respect, and friendliness exhibited by your personnel.
Communication refers to your company’s ability to keep customers informed about their product or service, in a language that the customer can understand.
Credibility gauges the trustworthiness, believability, and honesty of your business in the customer’s eyes: Does your business truly appear to have the customer’s best interest at heart.
Security refers to your customer’s belief in being free from danger, risk, or doubt with regard to the company’s products or services.
Understanding relates to your company’s efforts to really get to know the customer’s wants and needs.
Tangibles refers to physical evidence of the above in terms of:
- buildings, appearance of personnel
- tools used to provide service
- other customers
It is important for companies to consider the above factors because many brand are failing because there are falling short of customers’ trust. In fact in recent surveys in the USA, the majority of consumers don’t believe that businesses operate with any kind of scruples. And we can safely relate these views to many parts of the world. In fact, recent surveys indicate that 65% of the buying public believe that businesses will do everything they can to make a profit; even at the expense of the consumer. These surveys also indicate that the public believes the following:
The quality of goods and services provided by companies continues to get worse with every year.
Products don’t last as long as they did a decade ago.
It is more difficult to get products repaired today.
- Products used regularly do not live up to their advertising
Because of this environment of public distrust, thorough market planning becomes vital. And the is the subject of the next post. Stay tuned.
For marketing training, contact Chipo at email@example.com