Customer preferences are the specific desires, likes, dislikes, and motivations that influence a customer’s purchasing decisions. These preferences complement customer needs, which refer to the basic requirements that a customer has for a product or service. For example, a customer may need shoes, but they may also have specific preferences for a particular style, brand, or color. Understanding customer preferences is an important aspect of marketing, as it can help businesses to develop effective branding, product development, distribution, and customer experience strategies. By appealing to customers’ preferences, businesses can better meet the needs and expectations of their target audience and increase the likelihood of making successful sales. The following are common types of customer preference.
Preferring things that are easy such as a settling for a nearby restaurant. Convenience is considered a strong type of customer motivation.
The satisfaction that results from effort. For example, a customer who gains a sense of accomplishment from a diy project.
Some customers will prefer the simplest user interface possible. Others will prefer lots of buttons to play with. This can be as much about preference as need.
Communication & Information
Preferences related to communication style and information density. For example, some customers want to read detailed specifications and others want to hear a story.
Stability vs Variety
Customers who would prefer the same exact shoes they purchased a year ago in the same season versus customers who prefer an incredible variety of shoes and avoid repeat purchases.
The risk tolerance of the customer. Applies to seemingly innocuous things such as purchasing a new brand for the first time.
Preferences related to values such as customers who purchase environmentally friendly products.
Preferences related to color, look, taste, smell, touch and sound.
Time preferences such as a customer who prefers an attentive waiter who drops buy every 5 minutes versus a customer who doesn’t want to feel rushed.
It is well known in the customer service industry that some customers prefer friendly service and others prefer diligence and professional distance. For example, a hotel porter who engages in friendly conversation versus dry information about the room and hotel.
Preferences related to the end-to-end customer experience. For example, the interior design, lighting, art, music and social atmosphere at a cafe.