Most of the businesses focus on innovations and fail to align their brand with customer needs.
Businesses that are customer centric focus on identifying customer needs to build the best suitable products and services to create great value for customers. You can not persuade anyone to buy what you’re offering unless you understand what your customer needs.
Understanding what customer wants should be the focal point of every business and meeting their needs will build a solid customer base. Once you have a clear knowledge about the same, you can further use it to persuade potential and existing customers.
We have outlined the techniques of identifying customer needs and wants as well as using the information to win more customers.
What are customer needs?
Customer needs are defined as the influential factors that trigger them to buy your product or service. In order to identify customer needs, it is important to understand the reasons behind their decision making.
Every business needs a reason for its customers to buy from them over their competitors. It is known as a Unique Sales Proposition (USP). It can be identified by completing the phrase “Customers will buy from me because my business is the only…”
Your USP can change depending upon the changes in your business or market. You can have different USPs for different types of customers. The USPs can be effective to differentiate your brand when the customers are making their buying decision.
Pro tip: It is suggested to review your USPs on a regular basis. So that you can tailor your products or services to better match your customers’ needs.
Why is it important to identify customer needs?
It is crucial to understand customer needs. Most of the businesses are taking strides to make sure customer needs are met early as it helps you align with other internal teams (sales, support or product). With your business operating under a cyclical process of anticipating, identifying and meeting customer needs, you can provide quick and positive results.
Prior to your business promotions or product launch, it is important to know what your customer needs and why? Conducting market research can greatly help you to understand your potential customers. The more you know about your customers, it helps you define your brand positioning around their needs.
The research is well worth making the effort to find out: who they are, what they buy, why they buy it etc. Further, the research can help you to develop a more detailed picture of them and understand how to target them. Being able to understand your customer needs helps to:
- Provide faster solutions – One of the most sought after things is that every customer wants is real time support. By identifying the needs of your customers you can provide faster and effective support.
- Improve your products & services – Customer research helps understand the motives behind the buying process. You can learn about the areas you are missing out and create an effective USP. The insights can be used to enhance the products or services to satisfy customer needs.
- Reduce the number of support tickets – Building the product and services considering the needs of the target customers ensures effective solutions to customer issues. When the support issues are less obviously team productivity increases.
How to identify customer needs?
Recognizing customer needs includes deep research across your industry and asking your customers lots of specific questions. It is very important to gather in-depth details from your customers through regular communication and be sure you can deliver on their individual needs.
Understanding customer needs can act as a catalyst for your business to deliver better customer service, build long lasting relationships, and maintain a consistent source of revenue.
The key way to anticipate is via a thorough analysis of the needs and wants of customers.
What is the customer needs analysis?
It refers to a comprehensive analysis that can benefit your business to understand what value your customer wants from your products or services. It provides valuable insights about your target audience that can be inculcated within the product and brand positioning to make sure that delivers great value to the customers.
Effective customer needs analysis depends on two factors:
- Create customer personas and identify what customer inputs are needed to create breakthrough products
- Knowing how to capture customer inputs and feedback
Conducting customer research to understand the factors that influence purchasing decisions can be done by:
- Customer interviews – It is the direct way of collecting customer inputs. You can interact directly with customers who are using your product or who have chosen to buy it. It is considered to be reliable over other ways of acquiring inputs.
- Focus groups – Focus groups comprise a small group and focal point is a specific product or topic. The groups emphasize qualitative or quantitative surveys because it provides more opinions and motivations.
- Surveys – The analysis done through surveys help businesses to get a picture of their position in the market in terms of fulfilling the needs of their target customers.
The case study video speaks about the importance of identifying customer needs:
Types of customer needs
Businesses ought to understand customer needs and wants as it is vital to match the competitive market place. When we talk about customer needs, it not just about collecting customer feedback but also about delivering a better experience by meeting or exceeding their expectations.
The importance of anticipating customer needs can’t be overstated. When you anticipate what do your customers want, you can create content, expand your product features or services to meet those needs early.
Types of customer needs
Customer needs can be classified on the basis of customers of the market demographics. However, customer needs can be bifurcated under two verticals.
Product needs associates with and around the product. If your product matches your customer needs they become your potential buyers and vice-versa. Under product needs the customers may consider:
- Price – Customers generally set their budgets for any product purchased.
- Features – Customers look for features in the product that would solve their problems.
- Reliability – There is reliability in the functioning of the product while using it.
- Effectiveness – The product should be effective in streamlining the process to save time.
Service needs reflect over the emotional needs of the customers. Being able to quench the customer service needs, can give your business a competitive edge to deliver a better customer experience. Service needs can be:
- Empathy – Customers stick to brands that serve them with an empathetic attitude.
- Clarity– Customers look for transparent information from the brand related to pricing, refund policy, etc.
- Approach – Easy approach to the support teams across multiple channels is what customers want in today’s time.
- Information – Customers need information from the point of interaction until the end. Build FAQ pages, Knowledgebase, how-to videos to educate the customers
How to meet customer needs
Addressing customer needs is critical for any business that focuses on customer retention and acquisition. Because, as important as the discovery phase is, knowledge about what your customer needs from you is only as good as the way you use it.
For meeting customer needs you need to follow a simple process of four steps.
- Identification – Follow customer needs analysis via surveys, interviews, focus groups, or social listening.
- Distribution – Once identified the needs, you can distribute it across the right teams and departments.
- Create – Tailor product features, create detailed content that speaks about customer needs.
- Collect – Obtain customer feedback regularly on learning how your efforts meet their expectations.
Let us now discuss tips to meet your customer needs.
1. Enhance your product
A good product is anything that can be offered to a market for attention, acquisition, use, or consumption satisfies customer needs. Product or service quality is the characteristic that bear on its ability to satisfy implied customer needs.
The product quality speaks for itself. If your products are built across helping customers to resolve their issues faster, it will attract them and keep them coming back. In order to maintain the smooth process you need to follow certain tips:
- Conduct customer research on identifying customer needs and analyzing them to serve them much better.
- Ask customer feedback after and categorize it further to implement for improving the brand value to match with customer needs.
2. Deliver quality support
Not always “good product quality” is what customers look for. Customers prefer brands that offer real time support. So, your support teams should focus on providing friction-less service experience and improve customer hand-off.
When customers get what exactly they need, there is an increase in the satisfaction rate. If you focus on putting extra effort to exceed your customer expectations, it will certainly be worthy. You are able to win your customers with superior service.
Pro tip: In order to deliver real time support you can use live customer engagement tools such as live chat, co-browsing and video chat.
3. Build long term relationships
Customers stick to brands that are customer-centric. It is more of a barter business. When brands are able to anticipate the customer needs, classify the type of needs and accordingly provide the value in the product or service it really comes back the same way.
On the other hand, customers also become loyal to the brand. They improve your brand recognition by advocating with a good word of mouth or referring to their friends or colleagues. This is the foundation of long-standing relationships.
If you develop a strong system for how you discover, analyze and address customer needs, your organization will be set up for long-term success. So take the time and put in the legwork.
4. Measure customer satisfaction regularly
To know how happy your customers are with your overall business you need to measure it on a regular basis. Measuring customer satisfaction provides deep insights into your overall business performance. Based on that you can improve on the areas you are doing well and having loopholes.
You need to choose the right communication channels and customer satisfaction metrics like customer satisfaction score (CSAT), net promoter score (NPS) and customer effort score (CES) for measuring performance, monitor, and analyze satisfaction level in the overall customer journey.
Based on the inferences you can restructure your product and services in order to reduce the customer churn by boosting the satisfaction rates.
5. Ask customer feedback
Customer feedback is a vital ingredient for the success of every business. It helps to enhance your products and services to better suit the needs of your customers. This will, then raise the chances of purchase of your improved products or services.
You must always choose the right time to acquire honest and constructive feedback like after the chat session of successful transactions. Further, the feedbacks can be analyzed to generate valuable insights. The insights can help to recreate improved products as per their needs.
Essentially, once you receive customer feedback you need to:
- Analyze the data according to internal and external customer needs and expectations and enhance it.
- Figure out the gaps between your business and customers. Set new plans and strategies to reduce the gaps.
- Make all the team members part of the discussion and give a view about customer needs and wants.
Final thoughts – customer needs analysis
When you start prioritizing customer needs, you need to identify and infuse them successfully in your products and services. When customers are able to relate your brand along with their needs, they are happy and customer churn reduces. Being able to deliver a better experience helps improve your customer base of loyal customers.
Having the knowledge of customer needs helps to add constructive value and level up the overall brand recognition. It gives your business a competitive advantage and stay a step ahead in the market.