Monday, January 13, 2014

Understanding Your Customer’s Buying Cycle

How often should you expect your customer to make a purchase? 

Your customer’s buying cycles may not be able to be affected.  Do you sell homes, automobiles, furniture, lawn care or perhaps a sandwich?

A real estate agent may sell a single home to a customer, perhaps two in an entire career. A car salesman might sell a new car every three years to the same customer. Depending on the car and the customer demographic it could be once every five to seven years.  If you sell furniture your customer purchases may come every seven to ten years. If we look at lawn care items it is possible that you could sell to the same customer several times per year. If we look at restaurants you could sell to the same average customer several times a month.

An additional aspect of the sales cycle is the quality of your product.  The higher the quality the less likely your customer will need to replace the product. For a car dealer quality may not be as important to the sales cycle as some buyers replace a car without regard to the “need” to replace, but rather a status factor of having a “new” car.

For a store selling very high quality furniture the quality may mean that the items can be passed on rather than a need to buy an item due to a product defect or age related failure.

In the case of a restaurant the quality actually relates to how often a customer “wants” rather than needs to return. A higher quality should lead to more frequent customer returns and larger dollar amount purchases.

In the case of groceries the customer return rate is affected by how fast the purchase is consumed. While product consumption is a major factor in many types of products it can’t be applied to many product categories.

How you treat a customer is directly related to keeping the customer for future purchases regardless of the length of time of your particular buying cycle. Many factors affect customer retention, but a bad buying experience surely results in the loss of a potential return purchase. 

Customer service at the time of purchase or anytime during a product life cycle is the opportunity to retain a customer for a future purchase. Poor customer service is a misfortune that may results in the loss of the customer and hence the likelihood of any future purchases.

Customer service is the lifeblood of your business regardless of the product or service or how often you could expect a buyer to return.

Do you need help with your next print advertising – coupon or brochure?  Call MI Printing 623.582.1302 and lets us be your local resource.  Effective communication is what your business needs.

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MI Printing 
Phone: 623.582.1302