“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” That quote comes from Simon Sinek, author of the book, Start with Why. This quote makes me think about the different reasons behind why a customer chooses to do business with a company. There are plenty of them to consider, so I put together a short list of some of these Whys:
- Price: Let’s get this one out of the way first. Some people choose price as a primary reason. Those companies that get customers because of low price will lose those customers when someone else has a lower price. The loyalty to the company is because of price, not the company.
- Convenience: Who doesn’t want an easy and frictionless experience? And, people are often willing to pay a higher price if the experience is convenient.
- Customer service: You love the way they treat you. Employees are friendly, knowledgeable, and quick to respond. They are there to take care of you, and in turn, you take care of them… by doing business with them.
- The culture: This is the kind of organization you want to be affiliated with. Your values are congruent with theirs.
- A Cause: You believe in what they believe in. At some level, this ties into culture and values, but this is more about giving back and community involvement. It can be a charity or any other cause that is important to you; everything from saving elephants to curing world hunger.
- Trust: You trust them. They do what they say, every time. If you don’t trust the organization, you probably wouldn’t be doing business with them anyway.
- Reputation: You’ve heard good things. Maybe it’s comments from friends or colleagues at work. Or, maybe there are plenty of reviews that can confirm this is a good company. Reputation is a big part of the decision.
- Consistency: This ties in with trust and reputation. Outside of lying, if there is something that erodes trust quicker than anything, it’s a lack of consistency. You want customers to use the word “always” to describe their experience with you. “They are always friendly, knowledgeable, helpful…” You get the idea.
- The Way: The way they do business: This is about their process, policies, the hours they are open, their location and more. It is really about their operation. These are very tangible reasons. These may get a customer in the door, but many of the other reasons are why customers choose to come back.
- The Why: Let’s end where we started, with Simon Sinek’s quote. All of these reasons (and more) may contribute to the decision of why a customer chooses one company over another. When you figure out a customer’s Why and can scale it to meet the reasons and needs of a larger group, you connect on another level that brings customers back, again and again.
Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling business author.
(Copyright © MMXVIII, Shep Hyken)