Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How have you made it convenient for your customers?

I go to a petrol station near my neighbourhood. As a petrol consumer, I can be segmented into what you call “a brand loyalist.” The loyalist that fills up only with the preferred brand and unless it is an emergency would never go to another brand. And I always go to the one near my home.

The owner of this petrol kiosk somehow feels that every pump must have a “red” which is the most expensive variant in its repertoire. Of all the variants, the yellow a (RON 95) is the cheapest, and then the green (RON 97), then red. If you use the 80:20 rule, you can almost predict that 80% of the drivers will buy into the yellow and the remaining 20% split between the green and red.

Now, why would a petrol kiosk inconvenience its consumers by choosing to have a red at every pump thus limiting the number of yellow and green pumps? So you have 50% red and the remaining 50% split between the yellow and the green at all available pumps. Now, you have 80% of your customers coming into your kiosk that has less than the ratio expected for convenience.

Initially, I thought perhaps that’s how the company has dictated the retailers do. But casual observation of other stations shows that they are almost always just yellow and green. So, now I go to the other two which are just as accessible. At least I won’t be inconvenienced to wait for my turn and wait for the correct side of the pump to fill up.

Question is this, how have you inconvenienced your customers to do business with you?

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