Understanding Customer Needs and Wants

by | Jun 13, 2016 | Customer Service | 0 comments

Understanding your customer needs and wants

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio 

“The golden rule for every business person is this: ‘Put yourself in your customer’s place.” – Orison Swett Marden

If you are running a business, then everything about your customers becomes ‘your business’. This includes their feelings, emotions, and an understanding of what every customer needs and wants. But, how is that possible? We will look at why customer needs and wants are essential for any business. We’ll also identify why they could be the reason for the success or failure of a company. Using interactive decision trees will help you create surveys, which you can use to learn more about your customers.

Companies are able to help customers understand their needs

In almost all cases, what a customer wants may be in contrast with what they need. Businesses should help customers understand their own needs. It is their responsibility to respond to and give customers what they want. Convincing customers why they should hire your company or buy your products could have long-term effects on your business. They could believe that your company is out to make a fast sale. It is the role of your business to keep your customers happy.

Therefore, companies need to give customers what they want. For example – a teenager shopping at her favorite store could be there not because she needs a new outfit, but because she wants one. The store employees would not be required to check with her whether she actually needs the outfit but would rather do whatever it takes to ensure that they match her ‘want’ for it.

Companies are able to satisfy customer needs and wants

The fact about customer needs and wants is that often customers are unaware of what they need. They focus on what they want because of emotional or social reasons. Companies that give them what they want are better equipped to build profitable and sustainable relationships with customers. Since customers know what they want and why they want it, it gives them a sense of power and control. A company that ‘fuels’ this sense, can gain more favor with customers.

This means that between customer needs and wants, the wants supersede. A want is what motivates a customer to buy. It is the work of the company to ask customers what they want and provide it to them. The wants, fuel passion and desire to ‘possess’ certain products. It is the job of companies to satisfy these wants as often and quickly as possible. Research suggests that customers are happier and attach more value to companies that give them the things that they want. For most companies, this can be a major competitive advantage.

It Helps Businesses Identify Customer Needs and Wants

Does your company understand the difference between customer needs and wants? If it does, what are the steps you take to understand them? The most important step, we think, is to listen carefully in the endeavor to understand. Doing so will help your company to determine a need versus a want. When customers ‘want’ to buy something, they head straight for the product. However, if the customers cannot decide whether they need the product or only want it, there would be hesitation.

Keeping ‘your eyes peeled’ on such behavior will help your company build a connection with the customer. It helps the customers decide on what to buy and whether they must satisfy their want or their need. Asking the customer pertinent questions to elicit relevant information is a great way to begin understanding customers. Ensure that the customer is able to voice their opinion and provide as much detail as possible. Customers are happy knowing that a company is interested in their viewpoint, and are more open to buying.

It Helps Customers With Making Decisions

We know that too many choices can overwhelm customers. Instead, it’s more prudent for a company to present a customer with choices that closely match their wants. The aim of presenting limited but relevant choices makes it easy to highlight the products benefits, features, and drawbacks. It helps customers in making the final decision based on a need or a want. In addition, it ensures that a company removes any products or services that would not satisfy customer needs and wants. It makes it easier for customers to trust your company and increases the chances of making a sale.

Understanding customer needs and wants helps you ask questions regarding other products that would be of interest. You can know when your customer is interested in exploring more options or if they have saturated their buying. Remember not to sound too persuasive and not be pushy when trying to make an additional sale. This could have a different reaction on customers.

It is important for a company to know customer needs and wants with regard to itself. That is what customers expect from both aspects. The most important thing for customers is that the company they associate with is friendly and empathetic. Customers need to feel welcome, acknowledged, and appreciated for their business. In no way must they be made to feel like they are intruding or that serving them is a burden. This tops the list of customer needs and wants and it is critical for any company to comply.

Helps Companies Understand Them Better

Customers may sometimes be difficult and unreasonable. You need to understand them and make them feel appreciated. It is the responsibility of everyone in the company to make sure this happens through every interaction. Customers need to know why they should choose your company over others. Placing yourself in the ‘shoes’ of your customers helps you serve them better.

The top customers need from a company is that it treats them fairly. Irrespective of the size of a business, customers should not feel inferior as compared to other customers with bigger purchases. A company must be careful not to make any customer feel like they are second best. That is a sure way to get them running to a competitor. No business is small, and every customer has the potential to become a big and influential customer. Unfair treatment of even one customer can cost a company heavily.

Being in control and having the ability to make choices is a top customer need and want. This means that customers should not only have several options, but they should be relevant to what they need. Each option gives them value for money. Customers should not have to care about company policies and procedures. They are more likely to work with a company where representatives are empowered in decision-making and responding to queries without ‘asking the one in authority’. Therefore, making simple and speedy decisions is a priority for most customers. It is not that hard. It takes a little time and effort to dig deep to ascertain what works best for customers. If a company is able to give them what they want, customers reciprocate in the most unexpected yet profitable ways.

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