Customers Aren’t Coming Back: The Psychology Behind Customer Behavior

Customers are an essential source of revenue to all businesses because they invest in goods and services.  Out of all the challenges businesses encounter such as increased competition, emerging technologies, and uncertainties about the future, changes in customer behavior is the most impactful.  The extent to which customers partake in an exchange where they are buying goods or services from a business is determined by customer attitudes.  In other words, customer attitudes, their beliefs, and what they think drives or influences their behaviors or what they do.  A customer with a positive attitude towards a good or service will have positive interactions with that business, and this is often seen through a sale or positive review/referral. Likewise, a customer with a negative attitude towards a good or service will have negative interactions with a business often resulting in no sales and negative reviews.

Attaining outcomes that align with a business’s goal as a result of positive customer behavior require going deeper to understand the customer needs and recognizing factors that influence their attitudes.  Understanding customer attitudes provides insight on effective ways to sway or persuade them to buy the products or services offered.  The key factors to consider when exploring customer attitudes to change customer behaviors includes understanding the following:

  • Their feelings or emotions about certain products, brands, or services
  • Their beliefs (either positive or negative) toward a particular product or service
  • Their motivations for choosing a product or service over another and why
  • Their interpretations, perceptions, and knowledge/information gained through personal experiences or various sources
  • Their intentions and regrets; how they reflect on what they did and past behaviors
  • Their cultures, backgrounds, personality traits and how they react in different environments

An organization’s failure to address a customer’s negative attitude towards a product or service can adversely affect a business financially and can also be detrimental to their reputation.  Customers with a negative attitude are more likely to report a complaint, share their opinions with friends and families, and even post their negative experience and dissatisfaction with a product or service.  These types of behaviors are also more likely to go viral on social media platforms, and the undesirable portrayal of the business is often very challenging and difficult for businesses to recover from. 

Customer behavior can affect a business’s growth, sustainability, and overall success as a result of a customer’s positive or negative attitude towards the business. Changing customer attitude is important for changing customer behavior because by effectively doing so, the business demonstrates to the customer their authenticity and expertise of the business’s brand.  Furthermore, it creates a positive impression and connection to the business brand and gives customers the assurance that their voices are heard, and needs are met.  Lastly, it assists businesses such as grocery stores and supermarkets in the retail industry, that interact with different types of customers (i.e. impulsive, loyal, need-based, discount, and wandering customers), to allocate resources to customers to generate greater profits strategically as well as efficiently and effectively.  In short, it produces a mutually beneficial outcome for both the business and customer.  Get back on track – give them a reason to come back.

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