Understanding Consumer Needs Table of Contents Understanding Consumer Needs 1 Table of Contents 1 Understanding the client’s enquiry 2 Advertising the product 2 Importance of a warranty 3 Rights and responsibilities of a consumer 4 How to make the best choice? 5 Potential Risks involved in the realization of the project 5 Strategies for regular post-purchase communication and Referral Networks 6 Bibliography 8 Understanding the client’s enquiry Stanley Carmichael is interested to install computerized printing equipment manufactured in his company and have informed about this over phone. But, it is not possible to make all enquiries through telephonic conversations. Hence, firstly it is important to organize a face-to-face meeting in a convenient ambience. After such a meeting has been arranged, the following points could be taken care of to ensure that the consumer’s enquiries are fully understood. It is necessary to allow the consumer to speak for himself first; otherwise there wouldn’t be any ground for further questions.
After the consumer has cleared his position, it is necessary to cross question him on each and every point spoken as well as about any doubts that might have occurred in the minds of both the parties, to assure that both are on a transparent ground. Advertising the product Once the questionnaire round is over, it is important to advertise the product that is supposed to get sold, to ensure 1.
The consumer might not change his mind later for lack of proper information and also to make his grounds for sticking to the particular brand stronger. 2. It is also a matter of goodwill on part of the seller to assure that the potential consumer knows every detail of the product as well as the brand he has thought of investing in. He wants to invest in computerized printing equipment, also known as digital printers.
Mr. Carmichael should be made aware of the brand specific advantages. The main grounds of advertising could be – a. Cost Efficiency – The particular product could be advertised as being cost efficient on grounds of a low maintenance cost or a low cost of electricity consumption per unit of processing. b. Brand image – This could be a very important and effective ground of advertising provided that the company had been in the business since a long time and have a good number of satisfied and hence loyal customers. c.
Test Reports – The manufacturer can also provide the potential customer the reports on various tests conducted on its products thus showing how enriched they are in various features. d. Warranty – The consumer could also be attracted on grounds of better warranty schemes. But in order to advertise for a particular brand or product it is necessary to study the market conditions first and get aware of the various versions or models of the products available in the market. Importance of a warranty Warranty is important for two reasons – 1.
A sense of security comes up with a warranty which is important especially when electronic goods are involved. It makes them more comfortable in making the purchase as now they can be certain of a replacement in case any internal feature of the product breaks down. 2. A warranty signals about the quality of a product. Generally it is found that reputed companies or those selling genuine products and are sure that a breakdown can only be a matter of chance, offer warranty schemes. Rights and responsibilities of a consumer A consumer enjoys certain rights and responsibilities that must be taken care of by the manufacturer and conveyed through mutual agreements. 1.
Right to Safety – The consumer must be ensured that no health hazards are involved in the particular type of digital printer he is investing in. 2. Right to Information – The consumer must have sufficient information about the quality, effectiveness and standard of the product before making a purchase. 3. Right to Choice – The consumer must be provided all information about the products falling under the category of digital printers and produced by the same manufacturer before he makes a decision. 4.
Right to be Heard – Mr. Carmichael must have the right to voice his opinions in case of any grievance or any suggestions for improvisation. 5. Right to Redress – The consumer must have the right to replace his purchase in case he finds that it does not meet the standards that is being advertised. 6. Right to Consumer Education – A consumer must have the rights to apply his own past experience to assess the quality of a particular good. .
However at the same time, the consumer has some responsibilities that 1. Mr. Carmichael must not use the product for any unfair practices or in any unfair way so as to harm the social as well as the ecological environment. 2. Mr. Carmichael must also actively take part in a consumer forum to help the government in ensuring that better quality goods may circulate in the market. How to make the best choice? Mr. Carmichael is inexperienced in the field and needs an expert advice to make the best choice.
In any case, a manufacturer will be the expert about his own products, so it becomes his duty to help out his customer in making the best purchase. In this particular product type, the best choice should be made on the basis of the following criteria – 1. The kind of products that are printed – If the products printed are official or formal in nature, then mostly a black-and-white format would be used, but for informal purposes, a colourful format is more common. In the latter case therefore, more focus must be given to the standard of the colours on the printed document.
2. The scale in which production is made on an average – Some digital printers have high maintenance costs but a good quality of print-out and some of them have a low cost of maintenance but an adjustable quality. So, it important to know the scale of production, because if the production is on a large scale then a high maintenance cost will be distributed evenly which will not be the case for a small scale production. Potential Risks involved in the realization of the project Even after the talks have been finalized in the meeting certain issues might crop up preventing the project from getting materialized.
Some such risks are – 1. Strategic Risk – The entry of a potential competitor adding more attractive features in the product and thus luring away the buyer. 2. Financial Risk – A risk of the manufacturer remains if Mr. Carmichael fails to pay for his products after the products have been delivered and the manufacturer had taken a business loan to make provisions for the proper delivery. 3.
Operational Risk – Just after the goods have been manufactured and are passing through a test to ensure that they would be delivered in the right form, as demanded, a small discrepancy in some key feature might show up that would indeed need a lot of time for repair. 4. Political and Economic instability – The political and economic scenario in the nation might be unstable enough to prevent a smooth functioning by hindering the delivery of necessary raw materials or the final product itself. Strategies for regular post-purchase communication and Referral Networks The responsibility of the manufacturer does not end up after the delivery of the goods has been made.
One way to keep open a regular post purchase communication is – 1. Sending attractively printed brochures and booklets making the customer aware of the various models or versions of the product that are newly launched by the manufacturer. 2. Making the customer aware of the company’s progress by giving out regular hand-outs. 3. Promptly responding to any feedback by the customer to maintain the goodwill. In fact responding regularly to feedbacks by the customers can benefit the company for future business.
Bibliography Myers Margaret, Kaposi Agnes. A First Systems Book: Technology and Management (2nd Edition). London. Imperial College Press. 2004.