~by Hannah Whittenly~
Discovering exactly what customers find most appealing has always been a challenge for business marketers. This is especially true today when major headlines and digital reach can rapidly transform consumer expectations. A glimpse into behavioral psychology, however, has offered some insights into why customers choose one business over another.
Here are a few things for you to take into consideration for attracting customers:
Pricing vs Value
If consumers think that your prices are high, they look elsewhere. “Discount” prices can give a perception of poor quality or service. A $2,000 designer handbag isn’t really a hundred times better than the $20 department store knockoff, but people prize it much more.
The prices you advertise should reflect the reputation of your brand relative to the competition. If people want your product badly enough, they’ll pay more for it. When you establish higher value, higher prices follow.
Innovation and Outreach
One trend in today’s business is a stress on innovation. Customers are attracted to something that seems bolder and better. Yet, constantly generating new products is difficult to maintain for smaller businesses.
Instead, you should apply your creativity in cost-efficient marketing campaigns like email and social media. People are still receptive to personalized outreach. In one study done by
Brigham Young University, hundreds of random strangers were sent Christmas cards, and fully one-third reciprocated.
People are social by nature. Most people will abandon a purchase even where there’s definite value if they feel frustrated or insulted. Sales and floor staff, as well as customer service teams, should be prompt, friendly and informed. Rude, slow, neglectful, or ineffective service is bad service.
Savvy consumers recognize when they’re being pressured, patronized or hearing scripted sales pitches. Be sure your staff is customer-centric in their responsibilities and well-trained in the “soft skills” of human interaction. Never forget human ego and self-esteem. Customers will react negatively if you’re bashing theirs’.
For offline businesses like shops and restaurants, a customer’s reaction depends on the visual picture they get at your location. Dirty and poorly maintained premises automatically lower perceptions of your quality and service.
If you don’t want customers to move on immediately, it’s important to keep paint fresh, windows clean, debris removed, and parking lots in good repair. If your parking lot has tons of potholes in it, then it can become quite an irritating place to be. That is why you should consider hiring a professional paving company to fill them up. The same goes for interior spaces and floors. If the first impression of your business isn’t positive, you’re losing customers.
An understanding of how your customers respond to every aspect of your business is important. Marketing tricks and trends may come and go, but basic human psychology isn’t going to change.
Meet the Author: Hannah Whittenly
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She graduated from the University of California-Sacramento with a degree in Journalism.