Orientation of customer means how the customerâ€™s preferences are possessed or in what areas of business the customers are conscious. A customer can be cost oriented, value oriented or technology oriented as discussed below:
Cost Oriented Customers- A cost-oriented customer focuses on least costs products and is ready to compromise on efficacy, performance and quality. These types of customers are always prone to loss as when they have sudden problems with the products they always blame the supplier without judging that they themselves are responsible for this loss. Some of the related type customers have a tendency to fix problems locally without taking supplierâ€™s direct help as it is anyway cheaper. For example, some customers try to repair costly machines by local vendors. These vendors do the work with marginal profit, so accountably are very cheap, but whatever they do is not quality work as they are not the actual manufacturer of that particular product and may lack in many aspects while repairing the machine. In case the machine fails the second time, these customers put the blame to the original supplier and he then has to pay for that. In some cases these customers are also ready to buy second hand products and then challenging it to perform as a new one. Hence the suppliers should always focus on strategies which are not only performance or quality driven but also self driven, otherwise they always find themselves arrested in payment related problems and they again have to put a lot of effort and cost on running for payment from these customers.
Value Oriented Customers- Value oriented customers will always stick to efficient and high performing products as they know that during a long run this would be a profitable deal. They are interested in investing higher initial capital cost and then enjoy the cost free benefits in future. According to these customers this type of deal is like a long term investment with higher future profit. In some cases these types of customers are also ready to pay premium because they know that this would make a better economic sense during a long run and there will always be lesser maintenance efforts required. These customers are tended towards maintaining a healthy relationship with suppliers as they are the satisfied customers.
Technology Oriented Customers- These customers opt for best technology rather then less cost or good quality and performance. These customers are technology conscious because they feel that usage of best and newest technological products would help them to remain sustained in the changing technological environment. For suppliers who are based on making or launching trended technological products have a good chance in capturing these customers and finding business out of them. These customers are innovative and have zeal towards technical aspects. They also have a tendency for experimenting new things and do interact with people of same nature or tendency, so the suppliers are helped by them in creating new referrals and increase the business. These customers are also satisfied customers and ends by making worthy relationships with suppliers.
It is necessary for a supplier to study the orientation of customers before dealing with them as it will help them to identify the specific customer needs and transact accordingly. By identifying the orientation of customers the suppliers could easily make their strategies to grab customers by fulfilling their aspirations and turn them to satisfy customers.