To remain successful in a competitive market, businesses need to fully understand the needs of their customers. Customer expectations are constantly on the rise, especially in today’s fast-paced digital world. Your clients want their needs met immediately and precisely.
Let’s look at how you can fulfil customer satisfaction while maintaining your business’s goals.
What Are Customer Needs?
Your customers turn to you to satisfy their wants. This is what influences them to spend money, time and effort on your product or service. You need to identify the motive and drive that pushes them to go through with a purchase decision. Businesses need to look at what is consumer behaviour, and how their products and services cater to different consumer needs.
How to Identify Customer Needs
Your employees are responsible for interacting with your customers, so make sure every member of your staff is trained on how to identify your customer’s needs at different levels. You can start by:
1. Listening To Feedback
Want to know what your customers need? Ask them! People love sharing their thoughts, opinions and feedback and will readily tell you what they’re looking for or what’s lacking. Get on board with both positive and negative feedback. Continue doing what made your customer happy and see how you can improve on their grievances.
2. Conducting Focus Groups
This is a great way to get into the mindset of your customer, identify your target audience and benchmark against the rest of the market. Focus on both qualitative and quantitative surveys and encourage your focus group to openly share their opinions about your brand, products and ideas.
3. Following Up With Past Customers
Asking previous customers about their experience will show that you care, and also equip you with ways to move forward with new customers. 52% of customers worldwide feel that customer feedback should be actioned upon. Ask them if they will come back to your service, how you can do more to fulfil their needs in the future, and make sure to action these insights.
Common Types of Customer Needs
Your product needs to directly satisfy the needs of your customer. That’s why you set up a business in the first place, right? The main components to focus on with regards to your product include:
- Price: Make sure you charge what the customer expects, in-line with your competition and enough to cover your own expenses. Customers have expectations and budget constraints and usually know how much they’re willing to pay for something before they approach you.
- Functionality: Customers are on the hunt for that perfect item that is going to satisfy their craving. Your product needs to boast the features they’re looking for. List all the details that set you apart from your customers, and that would answer any questions they would have about your product.
- Experience: Your product should leave the customer with a positive experience. This will ensure that they come back for more and spread good things about you. Are you able to provide them with multiple choices? Sometimes customers only have a broad idea of what they’re looking for. Give them your expert opinion to aid in their decision-making process.
- Quality: Set a standard for your product and try to exceed it. Your customer is looking for something that achieves their goals – they want their needs met and have come to you with certain expectations.
Catering to the emotional needs of your customer gives you a competitive edge and puts you first in the customer’s mind. Research from Adobe shows that close to 50% of customers would pay more for friendly and efficient customer experience, and almost 80% of them would be inclined towards brand loyalty. Focus on key service traits such as:
- Transparency: Customers are inclined towards authenticity, so keep your approach open and honest. Be fair and transparent when it comes to any policies and services. Even if you are not able to deliver something they have expected, come clean as soon as you can and find a way to fix it.
- Empathy: Customers want to feel like you completely understand them. Put yourselves in their shoes. Train your customer service team to deal with queries professionally and with understanding.
- Accessibility: Provide your customers with a convenient and flexible shopping experience. By 2021, more than half of eCommerce sales will be conducted on mobile devices. Be accessible and available to wherever your customers are. Provide multiple channels to interact with you, on the go and from anywhere, anytime.
- Expertise: By establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry, you will gain the trust of your customers and be rewarded with their business. Customers need to trust who they do business with. Educate them using how-to videos, tutorials and detailed FAQ pages.
Nurture Customer Relationships for Long-Term Benefits
Your customer’s needs and wants will evolve during their buying cycle. Take a proactive approach to learn more about their desires and find new ways of fulfilling them. This guide outlines just some of your customer’s needs, but focus on delivering an outstanding product and keeping loyal customers happy because they’re the ones the success of your business depends on.