Customer Incentives: Expectations Vs. Reality

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Incentives are a way of getting customers to buy your products and services, as well as keep them on your side! The way in which companies use incentives changes on a case-by-case basis, but there are a few common trends. While the customer might expect something from the company, they rarely get exactly what they want. Finding the sweet spot between promising too much and offering too little is difficult. Here are a few things that I’ve noticed.

Expectation: The Ability To Negotiate

A large portion of customers seems to believe that they’ll be able to negotiate prices. If you’re finding that your business is suffering from this, you’re probably not stating your message clearly enough. Customers don’t like to take things at face value. They always want some kind of discount or offer as a reward for choosing your company. Whether you allow this is totally up to you, but set the standard and don’t alienate other customers.

Reality: It Rarely Happens

You’re a business, and you need to make money! There aren’t many businesses out there that will be willing to negotiate prices on everything they sell. Again – make sure you’re communicating this to your customers. Ensure there are no indications that they might be able to lower the price, or they’ll become too expectant!

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Expectation: Existing Customers Get Extra Benefits

People want to be rewarded for having stuck with your company for so long. In their minds, they could have gone anywhere else, but they remained on your side. They want to be valued for their custom, so presenting them with occasional benefits is great. How you do this is up to you. You could host a customer-exclusive event and get a company like POET.co to run it! On a smaller scale, you could simply offer exclusive discounts for your products.

Reality: Normally, The New One’s Get The Benefits

Although some customers benefit for their loyalty, most companies are looking towards new customers. They are the ones they want to attract, and they’ll throw all sorts of offers at them to tempt them. This is a very important practice for your business if you want to generate new custom. The key to it is doing an effective job while keeping your existing customers happy, too. It’s a very delicate balance.

Expectation: You Will Do Everything For Them

One of the incentives of buying into your company is that you’ll handle every little task for them. At least, that’s what they think. That means responding quickly and effectively to every email and phone call. It means solving issues that might not even be anything to do with you. They still expect you to help them as they’ve paid for services from you!

Reality: There’s A Limit…

Yes – you should be willing to do what’s necessary to help your customers. Good customer service is the key to long-term success, as stated at relate.zendesk.com. Unfortunately, there’s a still a limit to how much you can do. If it’s out of your hands, you need to communicate this as politely and effectively as possible. Still, go out of your way to provide them with the information they need to take their issue further.

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