In 2010, customers discovered that loyalty is no longer in their best interest. Here’s why:
As a result, customers in unprecedented numbers have become indifferent to where or from whom they purchase, as documented by this most recent data – in 2009, only 20% of new U.S. car buyers were brand loyal and only 36% of business travelers were brand loyal.
- Customers are empowered by unlimited access to information on the internet.
- Customers are emboldened by unlimited choice in every category.
- Customers are armed with the ability to compare competitive prices on smart phones at point of sale.
- Customers are enthralled by the ability to trash sellers on social media seconds after a poor purchase experience.
In the absence of loyalty, you must adopt a more effective way to convert prospects into enduring customers who will repurchase from you, advocate your firm to their friends and associates, and provide invaluable referrals for you.
If you don’t change and adapt to this new generation of empowered and aggressive customers, customer churn will destroy your profits.
In your business and businesses of every size and type – there are four opportunities to convince these internet-empowered customers to buy from you, not your competitors.
Here are your Four Decisive Customer Moments:
The Now-or-Never Moment — First Brief Contact
The Make-or-Break Moment - Lengthy Transaction Process
The Keep-or-Lose Moment - Customer’s Continued Usage
The Multiplier Moment - Repeat Purchase, Advocacy, and Referral
It is vital to understand that these four moments are sequential and co-dependent - if you fail to secure the prospect at the first decisive moment you will never have another opportunity and the same destructive outcome holds true at each of the other three decisive moments.
To achieve success at every moment in the prolonged purchase progression, you must create Customer Preference at each of the Four Decisive Moments.
The simple truths about Customer Preference
When buyers no longer care where they buy, “Customer Preference” is the only differentiator – the surest way to be your customers’ 1st Choice.
Customer Preference, from the customer’s perspective, is deliberately making a choice - deciding from whom or where to purchase in order to obtain a valued benefit. Here is how a customer might explain his or her way of selecting a vendor: “My preference is based on how good you are at meeting my wants, needs, and aspirations and reducing my apprehensions, concerns, and fears. I have a lot of choices, and I will decide where to buy after looking at all of my options. Given all of my options and all of the factors in my purchase decision, I prefer you”
“I Prefer You!” These three words will give you a potent advantage over your competitors
Think of Customer Preference in terms of the specific advantages it offers you:
Individually, these benefits may not make or break your sales performance, margins, or bottom line, but collectively they will be the fundamental difference between growing and declining in the slow-growth economy we may experience for some time in the future.
- The buyer will go a little out of his or her way to buy from you
- The buyer will pay just a bit more for your firm’s products or services
- The buyer will buy from you without always demanding a discount
- The buyer will buy from your firm more frequently
- The buyer will be slightly more tolerant when you foul up
Embracing Customer Preference does not require a wholesale rethink of your business plan nor does it require investment in infrastructure or advertising.
Every business can create Customer Preference with big ideas and small ideas at The Four Decisive Customer Moments when the customer feels just a bit vulnerable and seeks the reassuring concern of seller who understands the customer’s wants, needs, and aspirations or apprehensions, concerns, and fears.
Make no mistake—you simply cannot get by with: a friendly smile at your brief Now-or-Never Moment; a warm handshake at your Make-or-Break Moment; a form letter with a satisfaction survey at your Keep-or-Lose Moment; a “come back and see us” mailer at your invaluable Multiplier Moment.
Creating genuine Customer Preference at each of the Four Decisive Moments will make your firm or brand 1st Choice