Any business needs paying customers to survive. Retailers need however to understand the behavior of their customer to earn their money.
What is a paying customer?
A paying customer is an individual or organisation that buys goods or services from a shop or other business. Businesses get customers when they can offer them products or services that they need or want.
How do customers behave?
If a business can learn or predict how its customers behave, it may offer them products or services exactly what they want. Importantly, businesses should know their customer’s:
- Needs and motivation –businesses should know what drive their customers to action.
- Decision-making process – how do they decide to buy a product and what are they willing to pay for it?
- Perception – how do you customers see and experience your business?
- Attitudes – customers can have an emotional feeling toward your products or services, or they can associate with your business because of previous experience.
- Personality – if you can identify specific personality characteristic of your customers, you could include them as part of your segmentation strategies.
Customers will repeat buying from a business when they are completely satisfied or if they become personal attached to the business. Consequently loyal customers reduce costs and should therefore receive maximum devotion for the business. It is cheaper to sell a product or service to a loyal customer than to attract non-loyal customers to your business.
Communicating with your customers
A business wants to communicate with its customers to induce purchase, to get the customers to like the product or service, to demonstrate meaning of the product or service to the customers and to tell them that your business is better than your competitors. For this reason businesses communicate with their customers using:
- Sales promotion;
- Personal selling;
- Publicity/public relations;
- Direct marketing.
Businesses practice relationship marketing to maintain long term relationships between the business and current and potential customers. Therefore, the customer should be seen and treated as an individual, using technology to facilitate the process.
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