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How does the customer experience differ in need and want companies?

Friday 14th June 2019


The level of customer service a person receives can depend on the type of purchase they are looking to make. There is a clear difference between a customers’ need and want. A need purchase is often a distressed purchase – customers doesn’t choose to spend money on these products because they want to, they do it because they have to. A want purchase is the opposite of this; these are often emotional purchases which are considered nice to have and are not essential to every day living.

The customer’s expectation on the level of service they receive in need and want companies varies significantly. Let’s take two different purchase examples to demonstrate this.

Need Purchase: Petrol

Buying petrol is a ‘need’ purchase. If we could get away with not paying for fuel, we would! If we think about customer service in petrol stations, our expectations as customers is relatively low and customer interaction is often minimal. There are many petrol stations out there and customers are going to spend this money whether they want to or not. Businesses need to take this opportunity to influence the customers’ decision to spend this money with them, rather than going to the competitor down the road. It is much easier to wow customers in a low expectation environment; simply smiling and saying thank you at the end of the transaction will make all the difference!

Want Purchase: A Holiday to the Caribbean

Booking a 5* all inclusive break to the Caribbean is a ‘want’ purchase. This purchase is driven by a customers' emotional driver and believe it or not, you can live without this! Our expectations as customers in travel agents is much higher in this environment. We expect the member of staff to be knowledgeable about the holidays for sale, we expect them to spend time going through the various options that are suitable to our needs, and we expect them to be as emotionally involved and enthusiastic about the holiday as the customer is. Businesses need to work harder in these environments; firstly, to provide a good level of customer service that is above their expectations and secondly, to persuade the customer that spending their hard-earned disposable income with them is the right decision.

Performance in People (PiP) has a number of tools organisation’s can adopt to measure and improve level of customer service their business delivers. If you would like to find out more about the services PiP provide such as Mystery Shopping, Customer Surveys or Customer Service Training, contact us directly.

enquiries@performanceinpeople.co.uk or 01983 568080.

Mystery Shopping | Training | Audits | Customer Surveys

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