Monday, July 11, 2011

Customers Can Be Frustrating

She loves to tell you how your prices are high, how she can get everything cheaper somewhere else. She does everything but call you a price gouger and cheat to your face.

You feel your blood pressure start to rise. You know she doesn't know the truth.

She doesn't know that you check prices at your competitors a couple times a month so you know you are at the right price.
She doesn't know that 70% of your product mix isn't even available in any of your local competitors.
She doesn't know that all those 40% OFF signs she saw in the other store were off some inflated price no one would ever spend on that product.
She doesn't know that your competitor bullied the vendor into a better deal on that product.
She doesn't know that you pay more for your staff, pay more for your property, pay more in taxes, and offer more services than your competitor.
She doesn't know the research you did into finding the best products that make the most sense (unlike your competitors that only research which products make the most dollars).

And frankly, she doesn't care about most of that.

She is a Transactional Customer who is driven by one fear - paying too much.

She will drive to four or five stores (well, maybe three or four with these gas prices) to find the best deals, oblivious to the costs of time and gas.
She will do all the research she can to find the best deal.
She will only buy from you the stuff that offers her the best savings.
She loves watching Extreme Couponing.

She will not make you profitable in the long run.

Treat her well. You treat everyone well, don't you? But don't lose a minute of sleep over her comments or attitude.

For every one of her there is a Relational Customer who wants the expertise you have, who wants the knowledge you share, the services you offer.

As frustrating as the former can be, the latter is why we are independent retailers.

They are the customers who bring us the most joy because they get all that stuff above.
They know we want to steer them into the products that make the most sense.
They know we offer competitive prices, convenient services, and expert advice.
They understand the impact of shopping local.

You can't win them all. And some customers you'll never win. So don't fret the losses. Just celebrate the victories and move on.

-Phil Wrzesinski
www.PhilsForum.com

PS I learned about Transactional and Relational Customers from Roy H. Williams, aka The Wizard of Ads. Want your socks blown off? Sign up for any one of his programs. Want to know more about Transactional & Relational Customers? Download his free eBook.

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