By Dennis Omukunde
In respect to the presence of any customer within any business he or she serves as an imperative and potential market to conduct any form of commerce to. However, the business entity should seek to meet the customer’s requisites; this is in consideration of whether his/her basics are needs, wants or desires. Correspondingly, the entrepreneur should strive further to understand whether his/her market is needs oriented, wants driven, or favors desire: equally considering the specific products that a customer is inclined to in reference to needs, wants and desires.
For a customer who is needs oriented, the business is supposed to provide the basic products which he/she can hardly do without physiologically, personally and socioeconomically. Moreover, it should be affordable/cheap for instance in the Kenyan setting a two kilogram packet of Jogoo maize flour which is a basic consumption commodity retails at Ksh. 110.
A customer who seeks to acquire all his/her wants is capable of obtaining them from the very onset of his/her unquenchable desire to secure that product. They (wants) serve as a means towards meeting our needs for instance transport, an average Kenyan who consumes ugali with a preference to Jogoo maize flour obtains it after it is delivered by a lorry in bales.
There are those products that a customer does not have at a given moment in time. Nonetheless, he/she greatly looks forward to have them and strives towards that, such products may be termed as desires. They are relatively expensive in terms of pricing. Some stores that sell them offer a lee way of acquisition through paying a deposit and subsequent monthly installments or purchasing through loans which are later serviced. As a classic example in our country is the lucrative real estate sector where magnificent structures are built and purchased either by one off payment of the full amount or payment in mortgage. Mortgage is the charging of real property such as a house by a debtor to a creditor as collateral on condition that it shall be returned on payment of the debt within the stated, agreed & consented time frame.
A service based business centers all its synergy in establishing a viable business venture that provide assistance in a proficient manner by either an individual or collectively as a team in preference to the benefit of its customers first and through that realizing the core purpose, vision & mission of that business venture. Predominantly, these service based businesses provide intangible business products through the following services: education, banking, hospitality, transportation, insurance, landscaping and medical care. They are customer oriented considering that they correlate to their daily lives; they require professional management skills in view of the fact that the customer’s expectations should be met from the very onset of knowing the offered service from the respective business enterprise. A service oriented business should strive to challenge the conventions present in the market by offering services to its customer in such a fashion which it awes its market by its adeptness and meticulousness.
A goods based business principally alludes to those ventures which offer products to its customers after either processing or manufacturing them from their various raw materials. They are visible where a customer can see the product thus touch or smell to affirm its authenticity. Their customer orientation is based on how they meet their needs for instance milk tea and bread for breakfast and rice and beef stew for either lunch or supper. The above stated instances gear towards fulfilling a customer’s hunger requirement. Its visibility and tangibility is realized from the preparation, consumption up to the moment a customer is satisfied. The management skills are focused on providing the customers with products that are in tandem to their dynamic tastes and preferences.
Both goods and service based businesses are highly susceptible to meeting each other especially if they are complementary to each other for instance in a shopping mall, it has so many business entities under one roof tailored to meet a customer’s needs at one stop. Likewise to a bank where the customer can pay his/her child’s school fees and withdraw some money for shopping, a hospital that offers medical care and the mode of payment is through the respective insurance covers taken up by its patients who are bona-fide clients of a given insurance company. From these examples, a customer’s loyalty is won bearing in mind his/her services are met at one stop thus he/she can do everything at once, with ease, convenience and with no stress. Furthermore, a customer’s loyalty compels him/her to tell his/her friends, relatives, colleagues and neighbors where he/she does shopping and enjoys the earlier stated services and this makes desertion absolutely impossible.