In a world where everyone is hyper-connected and hyper-committed, I thought this summary of the modern customer’s mindset hit the mark:
1. Customers only buy two things: solutions to problems and good feelings. The first step in creating value is to identify your customer’s biggest problems and then demonstrate how you can solve them.
2. Customers want things fast. Learn to compete in time. Anticipate customers’ needs and fulfill them before they know they need them. Some vendors are now linked electronically to their major customers, which allows for ‘just in time’ service.
3. Customers like convenience. There is a strategic shortage for which people will exchange money in any society. Today the strategic shortage is time. Convenience has become more important than ever. How easy is it to do business with your company? How accessible are you to those you support? Can they count on a timely response?
4. The customer defines quality. Manufacturing and marketing say the product is terrific. The customer thinks it stinks. Guess whose opinion counts? The best place to begin marketing is by asking the customer how they define quality.
5. One size doesn’t fit all. The mass market is dead. Customers are demanding more options. They perceive their needs to be specific and unique. Factor ‘uniqueness’ into your sales and marketing strategy.
6. Would you like to be one of your customers? People won’t necessarily buy from us because they like us, but they’ll refuse to buy from us if they don’t. In every interaction, treat customers with the utmost respect and courtesy.