Which came first the sale or the service and can you actually have one without the other?
Sure you can sell people things they NEED as well as things they think they “must have” and at the end of the day, if they have it in their budget they will pay for it.
For certain, when you offer a service that people require (water or gas/electricity for example) and therefore they HAVE to pay for it, then customer service CAN go out of the window. These customers come to you because they are not given a choice.
However, in the long run I believe people will always go for the best “value for money” option.
Notice, please that I didn’t say cheapest – cheapest is not always the “best value for money” after all. So what is?
Obviously the money is an important factor but the need or “perceived need” is also a major riding factor in whether you buy a service or not, isn’t it?
You might ask for recommendations nowadays or check on the internet. This method can offer you good or bad reviews but can you rely on them? The only way you really know is by testing it yourself.
Having called a couple of places, if one of them treats me better as a customer on first impression, then I know who I will opt for. In fact, if I can afford it I will always choose service above money where the difference is not too great.
Likewise, when you have two companies offering similar pricing and service for the same thing then you tend to go for the cheaper option when you have nothing else to go on.
OK – So that is fine for a required service – what about the luxury/non-essential services though (holidays, hotels, etc)?
The most important factor here in making a choice apart from affordability will be credibility, reputation and customer service. If the customer is not happy with your service then this can have a truly detrimental effect on business and future sales.
Where a travel agent is promoting certain resorts or locations the agency must have trust in the ability of the hotels and resorts to please their customers so that they will return for future business.
The more a client pays for things the better a service they will look for. The more there is on offer, the more confused they will become.
Maybe their understanding of what this service truly costs them becomes blurred at first and then as they only consider the financial outlay and what they ARE NOT getting for their money they can become disgruntled, unhappy and complaining and even withdraw their patronage.
In my humble opinion, the whole thing, after the financial aspects are taken out of the equation, boils down to trust, service and whether or not the client feels “valued” when he is buying from you – face it after all – no-one wants to feel “Sold“