Saturday, 26 May 2012

Quality, Price, Delivery – What type of customer

Quality, Price, Delivery – What type of customer: by Jason Li 2012 ©

When you have a product or service on offer for your customer, there is a high chance there will be resistance. How can this be when you have an offer which the customer cannot refuse? You’re thinking it’s a no brainer. You would definitely snap it up if you were in their position.

Quality, Price, Delivery (QPD)

So let’s check the offer is right. We’ll use a customer with a shop assistant in a smart phone shop as an example.

When you go to buy a smart phone, what type of person are you. Do you buy based on quality and will choose on the best, no matter the price? Here is a guide to working a customer out quickly:

Quality – functions, benefits, the range of value created: from minimum to maximum a product or service can do.

Price – from the lowest price to most expensive in your range

Delivery – now or in two weeks

Only on the odd occasion does delivery guide the decision. Such as if you have a plumber who needs new taps for a job he is doing and needs it doing by the end of this afternoon – “what taps do you have in that I can take now?”

If there is no urgency, then it is down to quality and price now.

So here you will need to find out what is most important to the customer. You might ask:

“So what are the key features you are looking for?”

“What are the main things you want the phone to do?”

If you get: “not bothered really it’s down to cost”, then this is a cost person.

However, you might get someone giving you a long list of features they want – so you’re confused and wondering if they are really here to buy an item with the most beneficial features, and are in fact a quality person. So to double check you can ask after they have listed the features they want:

“So what budget range is ideal for you?”

“What’s a comfortable amount for you to pay each month?”


Funnelling is choosing a funnel to dig deeper with more questions to understand your customer better. Better let me explain.

Let’s say each criteria of quality or price or delivery is a funnel. What you can do is ask a series of questions on each subject to hear if the customer is willing to talk about it or finds it important – so that you understand a bit more about what suits their needs and wants. Here is an example of a quality funnel:

“If you spend a lot of time on the internet, what do you mainly do? For example reading lots of text/like online newspapers or watch videos?”

“Some customers do a lot of social networking and email and do lots of typing, how about yourself?”

“Let’s say the standard screen is 3.5 inches, tell me what screen size is suitable for you?”

QPD – putting it together

If the customer rambles on about: “as long as the phone does all the features listed and it’s not silly prices”, then they are a quality person, and cost not too sensitive.

If the customer says they only have a certain budget. Then this is potentially more a mix of quality and price person.

If the customer says ideally they want the best phone at £5 a month, then really they are a cost person. You might want to ask a further question to double check which features they would pay for and what they would stretch to. If they want a feature but won’t pay, you know the answer.

Hey, we all want to live for free. There is no point advising a cost person that spending a bit more will get them a feature they want, just leave them be.

QPD Profile

So you can create a profile of a customer each time now. In your head, you can mark each funnel out of ten to work out what type of customer you are dealing with here.

Let’s say out of ten, you can ask a few questions and know that a customer is maybe 6/10 quality, 3/10 price and 1/10 delivery – this is mostly quality. Or the next one is 2/10 quality, 8/10 price and 0/10 delivery – in fact they will walk 20 minutes to the next shop if they can save 50 pence.

You might have three directors in a room and they cannot agree, and are “Still thinking about it.” Well now you can build up a profile for each, then quote so that all three are happy as you make an offer that suits each individually.

Know your customer, tailor an offer

So you see, you might think you have a product or a service that is a no brainer and thousands will pay on the spot – but they don’t.  We are all different, different circumstances, tastes, values, stages in our life, and customers can be just pure baffling to you.

Now you have a way to work out what your customer wants and to offer them what they want to buy. After this, if they buy or don’t buy is up to them. If they don’t there will be possibly ten reasons that you would never have thought of.

The more you can understand your customer and tailor your offers, the better your products and services will be in meeting your customers buying requirements. This will lead to more people accepting your offers and buying from you, which means more profits.

Test the theory

Let’s take McDonalds. They are definitely not the best tasting burgers in the world. But I still go from time-to-time. Why? Well the quality of food is possibly 6/10. I have been to some cafes and spent ages pulling out grizzle and tiny flecks of bone cartilage out of my cheap beef burger. So now I must have decent quality beef due to these chilling experiences. It was just short of chasing down a cow and taking a bit at the knee. Back to McDonalds. The service is a decent 6/10, the restaurant itself is pleasant and better than some cafes so 7/10, and the toilets are always useful at 8/10. Then onto the cost, well it’s easily an 8/10. There are cheaper but then I can never go back to super cheap burgers again. As for delivery, it’s pretty much instant for popular products so 9/10.

So who generally doesn’t go to McDonalds, but would like to eat a burger and have no problems with McDonalds?. It’s likely to be people who want a great quality tasting burger at a nice restaurant, and can afford to spend more. They want more quality value and go elsewhere.

Is McDonalds successfully generating a lot of revenue? Is McDonalds profitable? Does McDonalds create value for a large part of the population? Can you look at your business to see how you create value that is irresistible to your customers?

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