Being a member of Peer To Peer Groups you would know employee job satisfaction is one of the key goals of all successful companies. Happy employees are more loyal to the company and its vision. They go the extra mile to achieve company goals.
Dissatisfied workers experience lower productivity in the workplace, poorer performance, more job stress, and higher turnover rates. Moreover, low job satisfaction can result in low morale and low loyalty to the company itself and to any outside Peer To Peer Groups.
Job satisfaction is defined as the extent to which employees feel self-motivated and satisfied with their job. Employee satisfaction covers the basic concerns and needs of employees, and is essential to the success of any business. Job satisfaction is a combination of intrinsic (kind of work) and extrinsic (working condition) factors. Salary, promotion, work-life balance, recognition and appraisals are important factors to be considered in employee satisfaction.
Make strategic decisions to create a culture of engagement and satisfaction. Engaged employees have a strong sense of purpose and leadership. They add value by pushing limits, driving growth and innovation. Employee satisfaction is one of the key metric that can help determine overall health of an organization, which is why many organizations employ regular surveys to measure and track employee satisfaction over time. As a Peer To Peer Groups you would understand that this is one way to assess whether your team is happy and engaged at work. It is critical for employee retention. Sadly, CulturalManagement has observed that this has decreased significantly over the past twenty years.
At CulturalManagement we guide you on how to easily collect and understand employee feedback to create an action plan that works. Few ways a company can improve employee job satisfaction:
- Provide a positive working environment.
- Rewards and recognition.
- Make work-life balance a priority.
- Develop skills and potential of workforce.
- Create open and honest communication channels.
Consumer behavior refers to the selection, purchase and consumption of goods and services for the satisfaction of their wants. There are different processes involved in the consumer behavior. Initially the consumer tries to find what commodities he would like to consume, then he selects only those commodities that promise greater utility. After selecting the commodities, the consumer makes an estimate of the available money which he can spend. Lastly, the consumer analyzes the prevailing prices of commodities and takes the decision about the commodities he should consume. Meanwhile, there are various other factors influencing the purchases of consumer such as social, cultural, personal and psychological. The explanation of these factors is given below.
1. Cultural Factors
Consumer behavior is deeply influenced by cultural factors such as: buyer culture, subculture, and social class.
Basically, culture is the part of every society and is the important cause of person wants and behavior. The influence of culture on buying behavior varies from country to country therefore marketers have to be very careful in analyzing the culture of different groups, regions or even countries.
Each culture contains different subcultures such as religions, nationalities, geographic regions, racial groups etc. Marketers can use these groups by segmenting the market into various small portions. For example marketers can design products according to the needs of a particular geographic group.
• Social Class
Every society possesses some form of social class which is important to the marketers because the buying behavior of people in a given social class is similar. In this way marketing activities could be tailored according to different social classes. Here we should note that social class is not only determined by income but there are various other factors as well such as: wealth, education, occupation etc.
2. Social Factors
Social factors also impact the buying behavior of consumers. The important social factors are: reference groups, family, role and status.
• Reference Groups
Reference groups have potential in forming a person attitude or behavior. The impact of reference groups varies across products and brands. For example if the product is visible such as dress, shoes, car etc then the influence of reference groups will be high. Reference groups also include opinion leader (a person who influences other because of his special skill, knowledge or other characteristics).
Buyer behavior is strongly influenced by the member of a family. Therefore marketers are trying to find the roles and influence of the husband, wife and children. If the buying decision of a particular product is influenced by wife then the marketers will try to target the women in their advertisement. Here we should note that buying roles change with change in consumer lifestyles.
• Roles and Status
Each person possesses different roles and status in the society depending upon the groups, clubs, family, organization etc. to which he belongs. For example a woman is working in an organization as finance manager. Now she is playing two roles, one of finance manager and other of mother. Therefore her buying decisions will be influenced by her role and status.
3. Personal Factors
Personal factors can also affect the consumer behavior. Some of the important personal factors that influence the buying behavior are: lifestyle, economic situation, occupation, age, personality and self concept.
Age and life-cycle have potential impact on the consumer buying behavior. It is obvious that the consumers change the purchase of goods and services with the passage of time. Family life-cycle consists of different stages such young singles, married couples, unmarried couples etc which help marketers to develop appropriate products for each stage.
The occupation of a person has significant impact on his buying behavior. For example a marketing manager of an organization will try to purchase business suits, whereas a low level worker in the same organization will purchase rugged work clothes.
• Economic Situation
Consumer economic situation has great influence on his buying behavior. If the income and savings of a customer is high then he will purchase more expensive products. On the other hand, a person with low income and savings will purchase inexpensive products.
Lifestyle of customers is another import factor affecting the consumer buying behavior. Lifestyle refers to the way a person lives in a society and is expressed by the things in his/her surroundings. It is determined by customer interests, opinions, activities etc and shapes his whole pattern of acting and interacting in the world.
Personality changes from person to person, time to time and place to place. Therefore it can greatly influence the buying behavior of customers. Actually, Personality is not what one wears; rather it is the totality of behavior of a man in different circumstances. It has different characteristics such as: dominance, aggressiveness, self-confidence etc which can be useful to determine the consumer behavior for particular product or service.
4. Psychological Factors
There are four important psychological factors affecting the consumer buying behavior. These are: perception, motivation, learning, beliefs and attitudes.
The level of motivation also affects the buying behavior of customers. Every person has different needs such as physiological needs, biological needs, social needs etc. The nature of the needs is that, some of them are most pressing while others are least pressing. Therefore a need becomes a motive when it is more pressing to direct the person to seek satisfaction.
Selecting, organizing and interpreting information in a way to produce a meaningful experience of the world is called perception. There are three different perceptual processes which are selective attention, selective distortion and selective retention. In case of selective attention, marketers try to attract the customer attention. Whereas, in case of selective distortion, customers try to interpret the information in a way that will support what the customers already believe. Similarly, in case of selective retention, marketers try to retain information that supports their beliefs.
• Beliefs and Attitudes
Customer possesses specific belief and attitude towards various products. Since such beliefs and attitudes make up brand image and affect consumer buying behavior therefore marketers are interested in them. Marketers can change the beliefs and attitudes of customers by launching special campaigns in this regard.
The previous two parts of this series explored how important it is for sales people to understand what is driving their customer to buy and to understand what the customer's expectations are. In this article we are going to look at how to proceed once we have the understanding we need of our customer.
In the first article in this series, I stated that most sales people have more than one product or service line at their disposal to meet clients needs. Marketing departments keep coming up with more and more variations even of the same product for different uses and to serve various markets. Some of the features may be the same, maybe even the benefits will be similar, but how these meet our customer's expectations will vary greatly.
In the last article I noted that if we do not understand our clients expectations we cannot meet them. Our product/service will create buyers remorse in the customer and thus we will have a dissatisfied and probably very vocal customer. So if we understand what need our client is trying to satisfy and how they expect our product/service to satisfy the need and we have determined that in fact our available products/services can meet that need and meet or exceed the clients expectations, now what?
Let me give a very simple example of all of this. I am a customer of a roadside beverage stand and I want to order a drink. The sales person has a couple of options: 1) They can simply provide me with their most popular beverage and hope for the best, 2) they can find out the size of the beverage that I want and maybe a preference (Coke vs Pepsi), 3) They can find out more about my situation, explain my options to me and help me to make the best decsion based upon my needs and expectations.
Okay you are thinking I am making a mountain out of a mole hill here, it is a drink for Pete's sake, you are thirsty take what he gives you and be happy, children in other countries don't have anything to drink! Stay with me here, if I am competing in some type of sporting event, or I am a diabetic or I believe that when I am hot, a hot drink will cool me better than a cold drink, or what if all the stand has is alcoholic beverages and I am opposed to alcohol, or allergic to corn syrup or I just plain won't drink anything without carbonation. What if I am extremely offended at wasefulness and I know that I can not drink more than 16 oz and the clerk gives me a 32 oz drink, or I am on a diet where I have to measure my in take?
These things all have to do with my need and my expectation. If I order an ice cold carbonated beverage and expect it to warm me when I am cold, I will be sorely displeased. My expectation has not been met. Worse yet, If I am coerced or persuaded (manipulated/sold) an ice cold beverage, how satisfied am I going to be?
Customer satisfaction hinges on our ability to meet their needs and expectations, this cannot be done if we do not understand those needs and expectations or what they are. Secondly, a buyer is much less likely to be dissatisfied with a product/service that they feel they chose because it was the best possilbe alternative, even if it does not completely meet their needs and expectations. The most important part of consultative selling is in the presentation. A sales person cannot be persuading or manipulating the customer to buy, but must instead be giving them the information they need to make their own decision.
In one of the previous articles I made a statement to the effect that an objection is merely the customer telling us that they do not yet trust us and we have not yet developed the needed rapport. In this part of the process this is a very important concept. If we take a position of trying to defend ourselves or our product/service in answering objections we are furthering a confrontational position against the customer and eroding instead of building rapport. Conversely if we take the this opportunity to confirm our understanding of the what the client has told us their needs and expectations are, we are showing our sincere interest in meeting their needs and expectations. We are no long confronting them, but advocating them. We don't overcome objections, we understand them, don't merely empathize or sympathize, but understand.
If we do in fact understand the customer's needs and expectations, the solution will be clear. We can then explain the options we have to meet the clients needs and expectations and THEY can make a decision. They are not sold anything! They make a decision to buy. If the decision is solely the client's, they cannot be dissatisfied with our product/service, only with their own decision to buy it. If sales people are able to convey their understanding of the client's needs and expectations to the client and the client assents that they are corrrect, and the client is given the information that they deem satisfactory to make a decision with out coercion or prompting (with out being sold) then the decision is theirs alone, and they know it. There will be no resentment towards the sales person, they have been nothing but helpful, and no resentment towards the product/service, I knew going in what the options were, I just chose poorly.
In short, once we understand the customer's needs and expectations we must present to them all the options that are potential solutions. If they don't buy now, they will, either because your industry has improved a product that can now meet their needs/ expectations better, or because they have a new or differnent need/expectation that your product can fill, because they want it to. We have taken the time to build adequate rapport, in fact a relationship, we are now a trusted advisor and people want to do business with trusted advisors. People like to buy, they don't like to be sold to. People like to make decisions, they don't like to pick one and hope for the best. Understand your clients needs and expectations and help them to find the best solution. Don't try to force your solution as the best and for crying out loud----Let the Customer Buy!
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