Customer Behavior

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Predicting Customer Choices

Vanishing mass markets, the proliferation of products and services and new technologies are requiring many companies to redefine their beloved core business doctrine: “Give customers what they want.â

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Managing Corrosive Customers

A restaurant patron berates a waiter for delivering the wrong entrée. A traveler cuts in line at an airline ticket counter and demands immediate service. A manager refuses to gather the documentation an outside consultant needs to provide services. As these examples suggest, the obnoxious customer has many faces.

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Confronting Low-End Competition

Every company lives in fear of competitors that offer seemingly similar products for much lower prices. Dealing with such discounters is no simple matter, as Hewlett-Packard, May Department Stores, Salomon Brothers and others have discovered. Nevertheless, various strategies — ignoring or blocking the competitor, strengthening your value proposition or even strategic retreat — can help slow or even stop the low-end competitor without destroying the industry’s profit margins.

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Smart Pricing

The past decade has seen a virtual explosion of information about customers and their preferences. Many companies have the ability to gauge customers’ willingness to pay for their products and can determine with some accuracy the effect of price changes on sales volumes.

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Understanding Customer Delight and Outrage

Delivering quality to customers in a competitive marketplace dictates the need to continually enhance a customer’s experience and satisfaction. However, evidence indicates that satisfying customers is not enough to retain them because even satisfied customers defect at a high rate in many industries.

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