Are your customers are behaving “illogically”?

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Last month I challenged myself to write about questions clients ask me to explore. Now I think it may be more fun to share interesting work stories, like this one, instead.

Has the thought ever occurred to you that your customers are behaving “illogically”? Maybe you haven’t looked closely enough at their needs or motivations.

A few years ago, I worked with an online retailer that had 10k people on their site at a time. Visitors would often spend hours there… but purchasing was very low. My client wanted to understand why.

We discovered two big things early on. First, many people were using the site to KILL TIME. They found it entertaining and valuable, almost like an educational tool. They used it to comparison shop, to find out if what they were finding elsewhere was a good value or not.

Second, customers LOVED the site… and engaged customers are a huge asset! There was an opportunity to harness their energy and desire to learn. Simple example: ask them to contribute tags, or flag something that's tagged inaccurately, to improve search. Or help people achieve different levels of certifications or education, instead of simply trying to sell them products.

Helpful hint: what you sell (today) is not necessarily a good way to define or understand your customers.

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