WholeFoods Magazine: Do Businesses Know What Their Customers Want?

Research shows that 90% of businesses do not know what their customers want. In a world burdened with financial difficulties, American stores need to shape up. According to a four-year study conducted by the market intelligence firm, BIGresearch, most customers will put value and service ahead of price. That’s right. Even though your store may be just a tad more expensive than the one next door, if yours provides quality assistance for consumers, they will choose you over the lower-priced competition.

“When researchers asked customers how far they’d be willing to drive for excellent service, 80 percent said they’d travel four or more miles, and nearly half said they would drive ten miles or more for the right combination of price, quality and customer service,” said Scott Gross, author of When Customers Talk.

In addition, Jaynie L. Smith, CEO of Smart Advantage, Inc. and author of Relevant Selling, added that “the business who becomes relevant by addressing what customers really value at any given time will be the first ones out of the recession.”

Here are five easy tips to help adjust your sales and marketing message to become more attractive to consumers.

1. Pay attention to “how” things are sold, not “what” is sold. In a world of rapid technological advancements, it is hard for the more traditional stores to compete. After all, why would a customer purchase what they need at your store when they can do so at their convenience, either online or at a closer location? That is where the “how” comes in. Every place will be selling the same “what,” but it is up to you to differentiate your business and products from all the others. Smith’s mantra is, “If you don’t value what you bring to the costumer, they won’t value it either.” Make sure to maintain your company’s reputation on matters such as consistency, customer service or quality.

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