There are many tried and tested ways in which your business can lose customers: unreliable products, unhelpful staff, insufficient market penetration, convoluted purchasing process. Today, though, I’d like to name another potential pitfall: not catering to your customer’s Working Style.
Although you might think a working style has nothing to do with how a person spends money, research disagrees. People whose social preference is for groups will more likely spend more money on socialising than those people whose working style is working alone. People who function best in bright light will be drawn to generously lit window displays. And people whose working style lends itself to computer work (non-preference for mobility, preference for working alone, visual, tactile) will want to shop online. They will want to shop online so much that they will be tempted to buy from a competing vendor as long as they don’t have to visit a physical store.
Let me give you a real-life example. A friend of mine wanted the latest iPhone. She was up early the morning they were released and ordered it online at 5AM. A confirmation email told her she’d receive it within three to five working days. She was prepared to wait that long. However, when the phone didn’t arrive after a week, she started making enquiries. Two fruitless days of phone calls later, she discovered the online store didn’t have any iPhones in stock, because the physical stores were given preference when it came to stock availability, and that her best course of action would be to drive to a store herself. No word of apology about breaking the service agreement. No offer to phone up the stores to find out which one had the physical stock. How tempted do you think my friend was to buy the phone from another supplier, one who could deliver it to her door?
We are all governed by our working styles, whether we’re aware of it or not. The decision to switch on music when you walk into the lounge: working style. The inability to deviate from a recipe when cooking: working style. Choosing what products to buy and from whom… you guessed it.
What is your working style? Find out here.