What your customers really want: It’s not just price
Tapping the Emotional Fountain
Developing emotional satisfied customers who enjoy extrinsic value (beyond functional benefits) might seem like a pie in the sky ideal but there are many real-world examples. Think about a Rolex watch and what you feel when you see one worn. Any watch can give you the time. But they aren’t a Rolex. What captivates us about a Rolex isn’t its function; it’s the prestige. A Rolex suggests more than your need to tell the time. It says that you appreciate the finer things. It shows that you have earned enough success to purchase one. It means you are knowledgeable about the value of the craftsmanship and precision it represents.
That is the connection you should seek to develop with your customers. You want to deliver more value than the functional benefits inherent in your product or service. You want your customers to experience the extrinsic value you bring to the relationship by being emotionally engaged throughout the buying process.
It Pays to Be Ethical
A recent USA Today poll revealed that 72% of people will pay more to use the services and products of a company they perceive to be ethical. An easy example of this for consumer products is the higher prices that consumers pay at eco-friendly stores like WholeFoods. For service-based businesses, think of the movement of customers away from the megabanks who charged hidden fees and left customers navigating though a labyrinth of automated phone systems to credit unions and community banks where a real person answers the phone with a sincere interest in your situation.
These are examples of how the perception of ethical business practices can make a difference. It reflects the impact of emotionally satisfied customers. People feel better about themselves when they believe they are dealing with an organization that cares about “doing the right thing”.
By optimizing the behaviors that create value, you can successfully tap the emotional bonds within your customer relationships. The investment your company makes in aligning your people, processes and products with what loyal customers want and need, will enrich your core business and provide new opportunities to increase market share. If you stay engaged and stay ethical, you will transform your business.
Walt Zeglinski is CEO and chief client advocate for Management Action Programs (MAP), a performance-improvement firm that helps organizations achieve profitable growth. MAP’s performance and process solutions establish the disciplines that create a culture of accountability. He has worked with executive teams across most industries including financial services, healthcare, technology, hospitality and manufacturing. For more information, visit http://www.mapconsulting.comor call (888) 834-3040.
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