Customer Priority

Cite this article as:"Customer Priority," in The Business Professor, updated July 17, 2014, last accessed June 6, 2020,
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What is Customer Priority?
This video explains what is customer priority and how it relates to market analysis.

Next Article: Market Potential


The Customer Priority

Customer priority involves the emotional drive of the customer to buy your product or service.  An entrepreneur may create a product that fulfills an important need or want for the customer; however, the customer’s willingness to buy that product or service at a given time is measured by priority.  For example, when the next generation of the IPhone is coming out, customers line up outside of stores and wait for days.  This shows that there is a high degree of priority for this customer segment. On the other hand, the greater the number of options that exist for fulfilling the need or want, generally the lower the level of priority.  When you see a commercial for a new type of dishwashing detergent, you typically don’t rush directly to the store to purchase it. This shows that you have a low priority.

Factors for Determining Customer Priority

The most important aspect of priority concerns the level of effort that it will take to convince the customer to purchase your product. Further, that will influence the amount of the product or service that the customer will purchase. There are several factors that you can use to determine the level of priority for a given product:

  • The severity of the need or want that your customer has for the product (often referred to as the customer’s level of “pain” or “hurt”.

Note: How important is it that the customer fulfill the need or want.  Are there any physical, financial, social or other repercussions for failing to fulfill it.

  • How urgent is it that the customer fulfills that need or want?

Note:  This has to do with the issue of timing. If the need or want needs to be fulfilled in a short period of time, there is a higher degree for customer purchase at first introduction.

  • What are the costs of the product to the customer or client?

Note: The price, inconvenience, social costs, etc., should be at a level that it will increase the customer’s priority, rather than dissuade a purchase.  Think of product sales.  The customer priority goes up because there is a perception that the good or service will not be available at that price for long.

  • Are there other goods that or providers who meet or fulfill the customer’s need or want?

Note:  Generally, the greater the number of options (substitute goods or services or providers of a type of good or service), the lower the level of priority.  Customers feel that they have other options and do not need to settle on a product or service at a given point in time. This increases the need for sales and marketing effort to acquire the customer or client.

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