Do you really know your customers, what they want and don’t want? Do you know what they like and dislike? How about how they like to be contacted? Are you able to anticipate your customers’ needs to then satisfy them? Are you able to adapt to customer feedback and evolve your business accordingly?
We will explain this concept of preferences and then discuss how vital such consumer data can be for your company and how you can obtain it through PossibleNOW’s preference collection and management tools.
Consumer preferences are expectations, likes, dislikes, motivations and inclinations that drive a customer to purchase specific products.
How might knowledge of your customers’ preferences be helpful in increasing your company’s profit or driving your organization’s success? The definition implies that a customer’s inclinations are what drives them to make a particular choice from among competing items.
A family may choose a restaurant because they love a particular type of food that it serves. A shopper purchases an item from a clothing store because of the color choices–or the sale price tags. One news junkie may prefer The New York Times in digital form rather than the traditional paper.
That means you can use the knowledge about the likes and dislikes of your target consumer to tailor your brand and products to be more appealing. PossibleNOW’s technology and services can help you collect and react to your customers’ preferences.
Business leaders continuously perform consumer research to identify changes in customer expectations. By staying updated on changing tastes and preferences, you can develop marketing campaigns and products that resonate with your company’s target market and help your brand stand out from the competition.
Here are examples of customer preference areas that help brands meet customer expectations:
Communication Type and Frequency
Some consumers like businesses that send frequent promotions, special offers, and other updates, while other shoppers say, “Don’t bother me!” Some people prefer communications via email only. Some prefer text. Some people want to hear about best practices and product changes, but don’t want invitations to webinars. Let your customers tell you how and when–and how often–to reach them. PossibleNOW’s technology platform MyPreferences was tailor-made for this purpose. It allows you to gather customer communication preferences in one location, available throughout the enterprise for a cohesive approach to your customer outreach efforts.
Convenience of the User Experience
Convenience is a little different than the other core client needs. While possible, it is very rare for clients to want less convenient options. Generally, the easier and more convenient a service or product, the more popular it is. Instant access to goods is almost always preferred.
Recent data indicates that 83% of consumers prefer convenience while shopping. That’s why more people prefer shopping online using their mobile devices. Improve customer experience and attract more visitors to your site by making ordering and payment as simple as possible. Ensure that your website and digital experiences are mobile-optimized.
On the flip side, sometimes extreme convenience can strike customers as impersonal.
A frequent example is an individual customer who complains about self-checkout. Sure, many people like the ease and convenience of scanning their own groceries. Often though, a subset of consumers finds automated or overly convenient options as not personable enough. They want the personal touch and day-to-day interaction that comes with making small talk as a cashier bags your groceries or the smiles and waves they might get when they manually pay a bill in person instead of using autopay or mailing a check. This need tends to be highly dependent on the individual customer base you’re targeting, so make sure to pay careful attention to this factor when you determine consumer preferences.
Stability Versus Fresh Options
Most shoppers prefer having variety in product options such as shirt styles or food flavors, while others prefer their products to remain unchanging and reliable. The important thing is knowing what the majority of your target consumers want. Knowing what your best-selling or most favored products or services are will ensure that when you do diversify your offerings, you keep what your customers like most.
Values: Moral, Social, or Political
Today’s consumers patronize brands with values that match their own, such as brands that are transparent and provide eco-friendly services. Similarly, they are quick to avoid brands that don’t line up. Transparency and trust in how your company handles customer data is especially significant right now. Personal data privacy rights are highlighted both in regulations and in the consumer’s mind. Companies who earn the trust of their consumers reap the rewards of long-term, valuable customer relationships.
This preference refers to the cost of the good or service you are offering. Every customer has a unique price point and range they are willing to spend. Interestingly, less expensive is not always better. While many customers look for a good deal, there is such a thing as too good of a deal. If your product or service is priced too low, potential clients may assume the quality is too low to serve their needs.
Sometimes, simply increasing the price point can boost sales because it makes consumers mentally categorize your product as a luxury or high-end experience. This can swing back in the other direction if you raise your prices past what your customers are looking to spend. Research is the number one key to ensuring you’re hitting the perfect price point to attract your ideal customers and fulfill consumer demand.
Quality of Goods and Services
Quality is another preference that may seem obvious. Give the highest possible quality every time, right? What customer wouldn’t want that? In reality, many buyers have a preference for a specific quality range. This range will vary based on the product or service itself, as well as the client demographic and segmentation. Generally, the quality offered should be high enough to serve the customer well but not so high that you are offering unnecessary value.
When products or services are significantly higher than desired, they generally cost more than a client wants to spend. They may also perceive an exceptionally high-quality item or service as more expensive and a luxury, even if it is priced within their original budget. Make sure you pay careful attention to data surrounding your client’s desired range for quality. Understanding consumer preference when it comes to quality is critical.
Level of Variety
Once again, many companies assume that there is a single answer to a customer base’s choice preference. The more options, the better, right? In actuality, many consumers often suffer from the paradox of choice. Offering too many consumer choices can overwhelm their brain into feeling stressed out and frustrated. Taking away unnecessary options often makes for a smoother, more customer-friendly experience for your clients.
A classic example of this is a shopper in a grocery store. They may stand in the bread aisle, staring at the multitude of options and feeling overwhelmed about what item and specific brand to pick. Multigrain? Pre-sliced? Artisanal? When stores decrease the options available to consumers, they are often surprised to find that customers enjoy the convenience of simplified offerings.
Some grocery stores have even modeled their business after this phenomenon in customer behavior, offering shoppers only one or two options per item so they can easily breeze through their list without suffering from decision fatigue. For service-based companies, simplifying plans and service packages can work similarly.
On the other hand, it is essential not to take away so many choices that customers feel limited or can’t find a suitable option to fit their needs. As with the other individual customer preferences, the key is tracking the data and learning where on the choice scale your clients fall.
Since your consumer preferences are dynamic and continuously changing, you need a method to collect and update them. Some of the most effective ways to accomplish this are:
Identify Who Your Consumers Are
An important step in knowing your customers is collecting helpful demographic information. That includes–age range, sex, occupation, and disposable income—to better tailor your offerings.
Meet Your Customers Where They Are
Is your business B2B or B2C? Pay attention to the journey your buyer travels throughout their lifecycle. There are many opportunities to collect preferences along this buyer’s journey. Some may be digital, and others in-person. Identify how you most often conduct transactions with your target market. Collect preferences in the simplest interactions, encouraging them to engage with ease.
Pay Attention to Customer Feedback
Customer reviews are a reliable information source for modifying your services to fit your shoppers’ preferences. Listening to feedback and responding quickly and honestly also shows the customer that you value their voice, building trust in you and your brand.
Perform Consumer Research
Do market research to target customers using email or phone surveys or through social media engagement. Give your customers various opportunities to tell you their thoughts, opinions, and needs.
Knowing consumer preference equips you to achieve:
To keep up with the evolving preferences of your consumers, be sure to take advantage of PossibleNOW’s preference management software, MyPreferences. MyPreferences allows you to collect customer preferences in a centralized location, made available throughout your organization to ensure that when you are communicating with your customers, you do so according to their wishes and preferences. You can learn more about all the features we offer by reaching out today.
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Since your consumer preferences are dynamic and continuously changing, you need a method to collect and update them. Some of the most effective ways to accomplish this are to identify who your consumers are, meet your customers where they are, pay attention to customer feedback, and perform consumer research.
Customer preferences are expectations, likes, dislikes, motivations and inclinations that drive a customer to purchase specific products.
Knowing consumer preference equips you to achieve guaranteed customer satisfaction, effective marketing strategies, improved brand image, and customer loyalty.