Anybody who receives a product or service from a supplier or seller in exchange for money or other similarly valuable consideration is a customer. A person who enters the business or receives a product – either a good or a service from an organization is a potential customer.
Customers can be of two types – internal customers (members or staff or outside suppliers of an organization who is directly associated with that organization) and external customers (people who are not directly associated with the organization).
According to the present-day market situation, customers or consumers are considered the real king. All the marketing strategies or other things involved in any business are done mainly keeping the consumers in mind.
Customer or consumer behavior is the study of people or organizations. It is also the study of process they use to select or purchase products or services. It includes elements of psychology, sociology, and economics. It is an attempt to understand customer’s decision-making process.
Consumer behavior helps an organization or a company to frame production policies, channel decisions, price policies, promotion and advertising policies, and above all sales promotion policies.
Cultural, social, and personal factors influence the behavior of the consumers.
Customer is the key to success for any business and all other aspects come secondary. Building, keeping, and growing customers are the success mantra for any business. So it is very essential to gain customer satisfaction and loyalty.
In order to understand customers better, firstly, one has to consider a customer’s point of view. Secondly, one has to collect and scrutinize data to understand customers buying behavior. Thirdly, the customer can be directly asked about their wants and demands. Fourthly, one has to conduct customer satisfaction surveys. Surveys like this give one helpful information about what customers think. Continual improvement in products or services is an effective approach to maintain existing customers and winning new ones.
In today’s world, we live in an era of impatience. Customers are restless and do not want to wait for service. This is mainly because of the numerous options available. Therefore the supplier should be prompt while dealing with the customers.
Data are being used nowadays to understand customers. The database or Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) keeps valuable information about the customers that helps the supplier to understand their needs.
In order to overcome the marketing challenges, continuous research work is necessary.
Conducting customer satisfaction surveys makes the customers feel valued. It also helps to get valuable insight about the customers. Asking the customers for feedback is a good approach only when one is ready to make changes. The best way to find out what people think about the service or product is to ask them.
Customer segmentation is the process of dividing customers into groups of individuals according to their age, gender, interests, and preferences, and so on. This helps the suppliers to improve their services and meet the requirement of their customers.