What comes first?
Number them in order of importance to you and then I will tell you mine.
There are no wrong answers. They are your values. You are the customer.
- Product Quality/Performance
- Product performs as promised.
- Value (price in relation to performance)
- Price (Low vs High)
- Environmental Impact
- Company’s Civil Rights Record
- Company owner’s politics
- Product Origins. (what if it is sourced by virtual slave labor?)
- Ease of Ordering
- Freight Free
- How long do I have to wait for it?
- Customer Service. (Do they answer the damn phone. Do the reps speak my language? Do they have the knowledge and authority to solve my problem? Do they have online chat, email, or however I need to communicate?)
Ok. I will make it easier. Just rank your top three. 1, 2, 3
Here are mine. (upside down so you can’t cheat)
2. It is “Product performs as promised.” I don’t always want or need the highest performing product. For example, the last TV I bought for my ranch was one of the least expensive you can buy. Why? Because I do not have cable and only stream. My steaming speed is limited to “slow.” Fancy TVs are a waste.
Ease of Ordering. Time is money. Time is health. Time is wealth. Time just may be the most valuable commodity on earth, and you cannot mine any more of it. Ease or Ordering for me includes laying out the facts I need to make a decision including FAQs, Reviews and Comparison Charts. Buying stuff is very low on my list of how I want to spend my time. If I must wait or be confused or be on hold or…well jump through hoops to buy a product, I am out.
9. Customer Service. Today I spent an hour on the phone looking to resolve a simple problem for my solar off grid inverter, an SMA 6048. I was on hold for 20 minutes before they answered. In transferring me they disconnected me. I called back and held for 20 more minutes. Disconnected again. I called back. This time Customer Service answered and said they could not understand me. I hung up. Later that day I got an email saying my “case” had been successfully resolved😊.
12.For me if you cannot invest in competent staff, enough staff, and the right technology to support your product, you are ripping us off by selling it in the first place. Make sense? It does to me. Customer Service is AS Important as the product itself. But most companies prefer to disrespect their customers by not even answering the phone. If I hear the lie (“We are currently experiencing higher than normal call volume”) again, well I am just going to hang up. I would rather the recording told the truth. “We got your money for the product but do not care about you that much as a long-term customer. We do not respect you or your time. We are counting on you tolerating this because…well just about every other company does it. We save a lot of money by leaving you on hold. We trust you don’t mind that much. Thank you.” I know phone calls are out of style and I am great with that. Then at least have competent people answer emails or chat 24/7. Customers use a product 24/7. They ought to get support 24/7.
It is amazing how many considerations could go into whether we buy a product or service. I wonder how many products we buy every day that violate our values, but we never bother to ask. Perhaps because we do not want to know.
I wonder how many far-left liberals buy products every day owned by billionaire far right business owners…and vice versa.
I wonder how many environmentally conscious people buy products every day that help destroy our planet.
I wonder how many “America First” patriots buy the cheapest product available and most certainly made in China….and they do it every day without thinking.
Does your brain hurt yet? Frustrated and overwhelmed? Or just don’t care😊.
“What we tolerate persists.”
If you disagree with something, if it violates you, dishonors you, and you do not say anything, you teach and encourage the company to keep it up. Vote with your wallet and watch how fast companies will change. Next time you are left on hold and lied to about why perhaps teach the company a lesson.