Latest statement today from the OFT regarding petrol and diesel prices: “Competition is working well in the UK road fuel sector.”
Hmm… On hearing the inevitable protests to this, the words ‘grudge purchase’ sprang to mind. Now, I have no idea who first coined this phrase but it’s a powerful tag for something we never feel good about paying for. In straitened times consumers are likely to be sensitive to grudge purchases such as fuel. By the same token, what about the inevitable grudge purchases which are part of running a business? Certainly overheads such as rent, heating and electricity. Then there’s insurance, health and safety compliance measures, audits for accreditation etc. What about emergency or ‘crisis’ costs for recruitment or legal fees? Does your organisation supply any of the services I’ve listed? If so, how good are you at recognising just how your customers may feel about your invoice? For example, if a cynic were to describe your product as a grudge buy, what do you offer in terms of benefits and service which puts you ahead of your competitors? If you’ve never thought about it in this way before, perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at every step of the customer’s experience.