Why does a customer choose you over your competitors? And why are they staying with you long term or would choose someone else?
This, of course, is because of several issues. We tend to focus on thinking rationally and expect our customer to want high quality, expertise or the best price-quality ratio. However, research (f.i. Ap Dijksterhuis) shows that these things, how important they might seem, are not deciding factors for the final choice. Why? People tend to make important decisions based on their subconscious, their gut.
Primarily, customers want to feel comfortable in the relationship and the level of contact with the organisation they are dealing with. As humans we have a natural need of being part of something, to belong. This need can be so strong that any form of social rejection or excluding can ‘feel’ like real pain. The brain shows that the area which is connected to physical pain, gets activated (f.e. Eisenberger 2003). When connecting to you customer it is important to keep this ‘fear’ in mind and to address their subconscious feelings.
Harvard Business School has translated these researched results into 5 ‘client core concerns’: needs your customers might have and which become the reason whether they feel good about the relationship or not.
- Can I influence the situation?
- Am I valued?
- Do I feel comfortable?
- Is this good for me?
- Am I just a number?
By taking into account these 5 concerns (every time you connect) when your customer is still deciding to work with you, it allows you to build and maintain a good relationship. You will add value, not only content. This will make the relationship more valuable.