Thought Leadership + Practical Advice

Customer behaviour – what’s really driving their decisions?

This article contains an unedited excerpt from our new book, Leading the Customer-led Revolution, due out in May. We hope you enjoy it!

Customer Behaviour – The Foundation Often Forgotten

One of the most fascinating things we hear when working with organisations is how often team members talk about a ‘business’ being the customer. At one level, this is kind of correct, but in reality people buy from people. What we know from the field of psychology is that making decisions is not a simple on-off transaction. There’s a lot to it, involving a human’s history, current state of mind + urgency of the need, to name but a few.

It’s about what makes customers tick. What their inherent motivators are. What makes them make the decisions they do.

Check out an excerpt from our bookLeading the Customer-led Revolution, below, to gain some insight into the critical factors at play when your customer is making a decision to engage you – or not.

Customers Avoid Fears, As Well As Seek Benefits

[Excerpt from Chapter 19 of our new book]

As humans, we often think that we are motivated towards benefits or the upside. In fact, marketers try to convince us we want features + benefits. This is partly true, but misses the underlying psychological drivers at play that drive decision-making behaviours.

We’ve noticed there are five fears that customers have when engaging or making a decision. 

1. Quality

Will this organisation (or product, service, offering) deliver the quality that I am expecting? 

Imagine you were buying a gift for a loved one. How would it feel for you if the quality wasn’t up to scratch? You’d feel like a goose! Embarrassed. Let down. The same goes when you are procuring for work. Will this reflect poorly on me, the purchaser? Will I get a DCM (Don’t Come Monday) as a result? How can you put your customer at ease when it comes to the quality you offer?

2. Consistency

Will this organisation provide consistency every time? 

In our world, coffee is really (REALLY) important. When we just need that fix in the morning, inconsistency has been a key driver to finding a new supplier of our caffeinated morning goodness. Imagine travelling for work + staying at the same hotel each time. Would you stay there again if the rooms weren’t always at the same standard? You might put up with it for a while but you would likely switch if it continued. If you’re a government agency that provides inconsistent answers to developers or investors, where do you think they would move their attention? What can you do to alleviate this underlying customer fear facing your organisation? 

3. Time

Will this take up my most valuable commodity – time? 

We often don’t think about this for customers, but time has become hugely important in our instant-gratification society. Beyond traditional things like waiting periods, time can show up in many different ways. It could be time going through arduous purchase processes. It could be time getting used to a new product. The list goes on. The question for you is this. What time fears do your customers have when dealing with you?

4. Cost

Will this cost more than I expect? 

How many times have you had an initial quote for something, only for it to cost more at the end of the process? If you’ve ever purchased an expensive car, they seem to have an endless list of options. +, by the time you’re finished adding a steering wheel + tyres, the thing is almost double the cost of where you started! Cost fears are huge. In a corporate environment, will I put myself on the line that the cost will be the cost? What is the cost structure in your organisation – is it transparent or plus plus plus?

5. Credibility

Is the organisation or product the credible choice for what it provides? 

The old line ‘no one ever got sacked by buying IBM’ rings true here. Your credibility as an organisation is vitally important to your customer. If they choose you, their own credibility is put under the spotlight. This customer fear shows up when buying washing machines at home through to choosing transformation consultants – + everything in between. Testimonials help here, as do industry accreditations or case studies of your results. What do you have in place to alleviate the credibility fear for your customers?

This article is an unedited excerpt from the upcoming book from authors Sueanne Carr + Peter Turner (aka the Dynamic Duo of Customer-led Transformation) titled, Leading the Customer-led Revolution, due out May 2023. 

Written for courageous leaders who are in charge of or charged with making their organisation truly customer-led, it provides a simple and powerful roadmap to making it happen. 

Secure your copy early, signed by the authors, at our pre-purchase page here.

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