• Daywey Chen

Look for the true purpose behind a purchase

Customer purchase for a reason. Sometimes these reasons are not that obvious. If you can discover the TRUE reason behind the action, you are surely to capture the market with success.


So why do people to go restaurants for dinner? You may think its a stupid question. Well, to fill their empty stomach. Well, because they are hungry...duh.

Yes you are correct, that's the obvious reason why customer goes to restaurants, but what is True reason behind this action? What's the True motive?


If you look deeper into this action, having dinner at restaurants is really not just about enjoying the delicious food, certainly not just about filling your stomach. To fill your stomach you could always cook at your own house, or choose a fast food To-Go option at a much cheaper price and fulfill the same purpose. If you look deeper, people seldom go to restaurants alone, they either go with their friends, their family, their love ones...Having dinner at restaurants is more about the moment that you spend with the people that you are having the meal with than the food on the table.


Therefore, if you are an restaurant owner you need think about how you can create an experience that is enjoyable, memorable and comfortable for couples, for families, for friends. I'm not saying putting delicious food on the table is not important, not a doubt it is also part of creating the experience.


I once worked as a business development manager at an lifestyle company. The company provides concierge services to VIPs. For instance the VIPs members could call up the company concierge phone line and ask for basically anything, from helping to book a concert ticket, to planning a private trip, to asking for medical advice, to ask for help in arranging a wedding party, to sending an cup of coffee to an loved one on the other side of the globe. We are the team behind the American express black card serving their high net worth cardholders.


When I joined the company, I found that the company was in a hard situation. Due to the increase in competition within the marketplace, the company is competing more and more on price. We are losing customers due to the higher price, as result we started lowering our price. When we lowered our price, our profit drops. As result we are not able to hire the best customer service to join our team, making it worst we were not able to hire enough customer services to answer the incoming calls. The average call waiting time sky rocketed, frustrating end customers(VIPs), in turn making us look very bad in front of our business customers such as private banking, jewelry brands, high end vehicle brands...etc.


Competing mainly on price is the worst situation that your company could be in.

Competing mainly on price is the worst situation that your company could be in. Therefore, I went back to the fundamentals of WHY the business customers use our concierge to service their VIPs? To my surprise, many of our business customers are not really sure themselves. Some of the answers that I received was " because we want to take good care of our high net worth customers." ; "because we want to make our customers feel good" ; "because we have always provided this service to our customers" ; "because our customers expect us to provide this service" ; "because we want to differentiate ourselves from other brands"...etc.


Finding the True reason for a customer purchase will enable you to create a competitive advantage on the market, finding blue sea..

Yes, all these answers are correct, these are the obvious reasons. However, is it the True reason? After giving it much thought, I came to the conclusion that the True reason that business customers use our concierge to service their VIPs is to create interaction opportunities with the client. For instance, one of my client was BMW, they sold their 7 series model along with our concierge service. After a customer buys a car, they can choose to come back to the brand for maintenance once in a while or they can choose other car shops to do the maintenance that usually comes at a lower price. If they choose to do their maintenance elsewhere, you lose contact of this customer until their next purchase. What happens during this period is blank space. You don't know what the customer thinks, whether the customers have been reached out by other competitors, if the customer has encountered an issue with the car...etc. As a brand it is very scary to loose track of your customers on this competitive market. Therefore, BMW could utilize our concierge team to ask a few extra questions at the end of each service such as, it is time for you to service your car would you like me to make a reservation for you? As a BMW valued customer you are invited to our exclusive concert event next month, would you be interested? What is your current experience with your car? Your birthday is next month, you are invited to our special event...It is an opportunity to interact with the customers and to learn more about the customer. If there is an issue with the customer it is better to know about it and solve it than having customers complain about the issues on the social media channels for everyone to see, or they may just purchase from your competitors the next time around when they are looking for a car.


Other example is HSBC bank's private banking sector. HSBC bank uses our service to take care of their high net worth customers. Nowadays due to the high volume of marketing messages, the success rate of an outbound marketing message is very low. Outbound marketing efforts are also seen as annoying and disturbing to many customers. Enterprises are now focusing more on inbound marketing, where the customers take the initiative to reach out to the brand. Going back to our concierge service, when the HSBC high net worth customers calls our service team to help them fulfill a task, could be anything from planning a vacation trip to making a restaurant reservation to asking for a car towing service, to reserving an airport pickup... it is an opportunity for the team to survey the customers satisfaction regarding the bank's services, even better it is an opportunity for inbound marketing. Financial products could be recommended by the concierge at the end of each call. If the customer is interested, then the call could be forwarded to a bank's specialist or wealth manager to complete the product explanation or transaction...


Figure 1 is a diagram that I created in one of my presentation to a business customer, explaining the True values that our concierge service provides in the Customer Relationship Management(CRM) cycle.


Figure 1.


Figure 2 is a diagram that I created in one of my presentation to a customer, illustrating an implementation example of our concierge service


Figure 2.


Finding the True reason to your customer purchase, only then will your customer rely on you based on the value that you are able to generate and not because you are the cheaper solution or the more convenient option during that point in time.

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