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What are Customer Preferences?

Customer preferences are likes, dislikes, expectations, motivations, and inclinations that drive the purchasing decisions of your customers. These preferences complement the needs of your customers in explaining their behavior. For example, a customer needs a car and they would prefer a particular style, brand, and color. Appealing to the customer’s preferences is a basic technique in marketing that is useful for product development, branding, distribution, and customer experience. We will look into the various types of customer preferences.

Types of Customer Preferences

1. CONVENIENCE: This is when customers prefer things that are easier such as settling for a nearby grocery store. Convenience is considered a strong type of customer motivation.
2. USER INTERFACES: Some customers will prefer the simplest user interface possible, while others will prefer lots of buttons or elements to interact or play with. This can be much about the preference of the customer as his or her need.
3. VARIETY VS. STABILITY: This is when a customer prefers the same jacket they purchased two years ago in the same season, versus customers that prefer an incredible variety of jackets and avoid repeat purchases.
4. EFFORT: This is when customers derive satisfaction from efforts. For example, a customer gains a sense of accomplishment when they do things themselves, like in a DIY project.
5. COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION: These are customer preferences related to communication style and information density. For example, some customers may want to read detailed specifications about a product, and others just want to hear a story of how the product can improve their lives.
6. VALUES: These are customer preferences related to values such as customers that purchase environmentally friendly products.
7. RISK: This is the risk tolerance of a customer. It applies to seemingly not harmful or offensive things such as purchasing a new brand for the first time.
8. TIME: These are preferences such as when a customer prefers an attentive shop attendant that comes around every five minutes to check in on their shopping experience, versus a customer who doesn’t want to be checked on or rushed.
9. SENSORY: This is when a customer’s preference is related to color, taste, look, sound, smell, or feel. For example, the color of a jacket, the taste of food, the sound of music, the smell of perfume, or the feel of a sofa.
10. CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE: These are customer preferences related to the end-to-end experiences of customers. For example, the lighting, music, interior decoration, design, and social atmosphere of a hotel.
11. CUSTOMER SERVICE: It is popular in the customer service industry that some customers prefer friendly service, while others prefer diligence and professional distance. For example, a restaurant waiter who engages in friendly conversations, versus dry information about the menu.

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