Most of the businesses focus on innovations and fail to align their brand with customer needs. Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that don’t focus on customers.
Being customer-focused help in understanding customers better and align products and services to create great value. You can not persuade consumers without knowing what they are looking for. Identifying and meeting customer needs should be the focal point of every business to build a solid customer base.
Once you have a clear knowledge about the same, you can further use it to persuade your 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.
In order to understand customer needs better, it’s very important to know who your customers are. By defining your target audience and segmenting them based on their industry or other attributes, you not only get a clear view of what’s your selling proposition but also identify their needs.
Here are four simple steps to follow in order to meet customer needs successfully.
- Identify – Follow customer needs analysis via surveys, interviews, focus groups, or social listening.
- Distribute – 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 to learn how your efforts meet their expectations.
Note: Customer experience is a very important part of meeting customer needs. Learn more about how you can build a successful customer experience strategy to achieve your goals.
Why is it important to identify customer needs?
Businesses are taking strides to understand customer needs and meet them as early as possible to align with internal teams. 76% of customers expect companies to understand their needs.
With business operating under a cyclical process of anticipating, and meeting customer needs, you can have quick and positive results. Prior to your business promotions or product launch, it is vital to know your customer needs and wants. 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 and help your business in the following ways:
- Provide faster solutions – One of the common things customers want 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.
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 psychology 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 customers want from your products or services. It provides valuable insights about your target audience that can be inculcated within the brand positioning to make sure that delivers great customer value.
Effective customer needs analysis depends mainly on two factors. Firstly, to create customer personas and identify what customer inputs are needed to create breakthrough products and the second is to know 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 as it is vital to match the competitive market place. Broadly, customer needs are about delivering a better experience by exceeding their expectations. When you anticipate what 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 requirements are associated with and around the product. If your product matches your customer needs they become your potential buyers and vice-versa. The main attributes of product needs can be:
- Price – Customers generally set their budgets for any product purchase.
- Features – Customers look for features that would solve their problem and reliability in functioning while using the product.
- Effectiveness – The product should be effective in streamlining the process to save time.
Service needs refer to the emotional needs of the customers. Being able to quench the customer service needs, can give your business a competitive edge and set good example for other brands to follow. The key attributes of good service 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.
- Information – Customers need information from the point of interaction until the end. Build FAQ pages, Knowledgebase, how-to videos to educate the customers
Good examples to meet customer needs
Addressing customer needs is critical for any business that focuses on customer retention in order to create good examples. 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.
Let us discuss the best practices of how to meet customer needs and build stronger relationships.
1. Deliver quality customer 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 frictionless service experience and improve customer handoff.
66% of customers believe that valuing their time is the most important thing in any online customer experience. Resolving customer queries faster is a cornerstone of good customer service.
When customers get what exactly they need, there is an increase in the satisfaction rate. If you focus on putting extra effort towards exceeding customer expectations, it will certainly be worthy. You are able to delight your customers with excellent service.
How can you enhance your customer support quality?
- Provide real time support – You can connect with your customers with live chat to deliver real time assistance for sales and support queries.
- Use live assistance solutions – By using tools like co-browsing and video chat, you can provide faster solutions by reducing the number of touchpoints.
- Automate your customer support – Deploy a chatbot to engage with customers 24×7 and answer their simple queries promptly.
2. Map your customer journey
A great way to meet customer needs is by understanding the different customer touchpoints and how they interact with your business across these contact points. You can map your customer journey to get a visualization of the process they go through when engaging with your products or services.
Mapping journeys include multiple phases and touchpoints the customer goes through, right from prospect to loyal customers. It helps you to streamline fragmented efforts and identify points of friction and opportunities for improvement.
Identifying and meeting customer needs in the whole journey are all about providing a delightful experience that will further cultivate loyalty.
3. Measure customer satisfaction regularly
To know how happy your customers are with your overall business you need to measure it on a regular basis. Choosing the right communication channels and customer satisfaction metrics is crucial.
The key KPIs are customer satisfaction score (CSAT), net promoter score (NPS), and customer effort score (CES) help in measuring performance, monitor, and analyze satisfaction level in the overall customer journey.
How does measuring customer satisfaction help to meet your customer needs?
- It provides deep insights into your overall business performance. Based on that you can improve on the areas you are doing well and having loopholes.
- CSAT scores can help team leaders identify coaching opportunities to improve agent performance, give agents visibility into their individual performance to encourage self-correcting behavior.
Based on the inferences, you can restructure your product and services in order to reduce the customer churn by boosting the satisfaction rate.
4. Be consistent in customer communication
Inconsistent customer service is among the top frustration reported by customers. If your representatives are unable to deliver consistent assistance, there are chances that consumers feel confused and alienated.
It takes no time to create a negative impression on your customers and shows that your business strategies are not organized. You can meet your customers’ requirements if you make the right efforts to understand the goals and capabilities of the company.
Use every possible strategy for effective customer service communication.
Here are some strategies to you can follow:
- Focus on building an omnichannel customer service strategy to deliver consistent support across all channels.
- Train your support team with customer service etiquette to meet customer needs effectively.
- Provide real time assistance to your customers with live customer engagement tools.
Note: When communicating with your customers make sure your brand voice and brand image are consistent. In case you are communicating with your customers across multiple channels you have to retain your unique voice so your customers will understand your message thoroughly.
5. Develop a customer centric culture
One great way to meet your customer needs is to create a company culture that is focused on customer experience at every touchpoint.
The customer experience (CX) is the major differentiator for every business, but creating a great CX isn’t that easy. It includes visualizing interactions through every touchpoint from the customer’s perspective: What are the expectations, what makes sense, and where do you have a chance to surprise and delight someone?
And all these moments won’t happen all at once.
What can be done to build a customer centric culture?
- Align your company culture to focus on the customer experience first. Your employees make or break most customer touchpoints, so be clear on your brand’s values and what makes the experience delightful.
- Empower your support representatives to be proactive, thoughtful, and creative in making it practically happen.
6. Enhance the USP of your product
Every business needs a reason for its customers to buy from them over their competitors, which is known as a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Your USP can change depending upon the changes in your business and for different types of customers.
A good product is anything that can be offered to a market for attention, acquisition, or consumption satisfies customer needs. Product quality is the characteristic that bears on its ability to satisfy implied customer needs. The USP of your product can be effective to differentiate your brand when the customers are making their buying decision.
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.
7. 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 the purchase of your improved products or services.
You must always choose the right time to ask for honest customer feedback like after the chat session of a successful transaction. Further, the feedback can be analyzed to generate valuable insights. The insights can help to recreate better products as per their needs.
Essentially, once you receive customer feedback you need to follow certain steps that give opportunities to know your customer needs.
- Analyze the data according to internal & external customers’ 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 on customer need analysis
When you start prioritizing customer needs, you need to identify them successfully in your products and services. When customers are able to relate your brand along with their needs, they are highly satisfied. Being able to deliver a great experience grows your customer base of loyal customers.
Having good knowledge of customer needs and wants not only helps to add constructive value but also level up the overall brand recognition. It gives your business a competitive advantage and stays a step ahead in the market.