illustration of man on the telephone listening to feedback and understanding the customers needs

How to Better Understand Your Customers Needs

For a business, no group is more important in the world than its customers. Our customers give us the ability to learn, grow, expand, and improve our industries. Above all, given their high level of importance, it isn’t surprising that most companies are keen to get inside the minds of their customers to better understand their wants, needs, and hesitations.

In this article, we will explore how you can better understand the wants and needs of your customers for their benefit and yours.

What it Means to Understand the Customers’ Needs

Understanding the customers’ needs should be a key point of focus for companies of all sizes.

Whether your business is just starting to gain traction, or you are a leader in your industry, your top priority should always be anticipating your customers’ needs so that you can meet and exceed them.

This is how you can create lasting customer relationships that are guaranteed to keep them coming back for more.

When you understand the needs of customers, it means that you understand the ways that your industry and your business, in particular, are serving or failing them. There is a reason that your customer is interacting with your business in the first place.

Your job is to understand how you are assisting them and what you can do to enhance their experience with your company and your industry.

profile image of Ase Angland Lindvall, co-founder of Wide Ideas, on a transparent background

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Ways to Learn the Wants of your Customers

Learning what your customer wants can seem incredibly difficult at first glance.

As much as business owners wish that they could, the majority of them can’t read the minds of their customers.

Truthfully, this might not actually be the case. There are ways to learn exactly what your customer wants if you know how to look for them — and when you do this, your customers will love you for it.

86% of customers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience

Price Waterhouse Coopers

Even if you can’t offer the best deal, your customers will still choose you if you offer a positive experience.

Obtaining Feedback

One of the best ways to better understand the needs of your customers is to look at feedback directly.

In the digital age, we have an endless list of easy ways for customers to tell us how they feel. We can always add to that list with a little effort.

Choosing the right feedback channels can help you to hear what they want directly from your customers.

To effectively obtain feedback, consider the following feedback channels:

  • Polls and Questionnaires
  • Social Media (direct messages, comments, etc.)
  • Anonymous Surveys

Making sure your customers can easily connect with you is one of the best ways to learn more about them.

While every business will deal with its fair share of unhelpful feedback, true gems can be hidden with that feedback. Look for opportunities in every message or survey that you receive.

Market Research

Every customer that you have is an individual, but when you put enough individuals together, you start to see groups.

A group might be as simple as a specific age bracket or as complex as people visiting a specific website. However, understanding these groups is very important.

Market research is the study of behaviour and economics as they affect certain groups. This information exists everywhere if you know exactly where and how to look for it.

Free tools and paid services can help better understand how specific groups of customers feel about brands like yours.

Competitive Analysis

Many business owners think of competitive analysis and believe that it is all about their competitors.

However, that really isn’t true. Even though competitive analysis can help you to gain an advantage over your competitors, it is still all about the customer.

At the very least, it should be.

When using competitive analysis, your primary goal is to learn what your competitors in the industry are doing and how it impacts the customers.

The primary objective is to better understand what your customers do and do not like about your competition.

This form of analysis can help you to learn when your competition presents an opportunity that appeals to customers, like an exciting new product, or when they lose sales over something, like a specific marketing choice.

These details enhance your understanding of your customer and empower you to serve them more effectively.

Data Mining

With the introduction of artificial intelligence and machine learning, data mining has become a popular practice for businesses of all kinds.

Amazon is an excellent example of this.

Their systems collect data on customer purchases, allowing them to better understand the needs of customers as they interact with a wide range of industries.

As a business, this information can be highly beneficial for you. Every customer leaves a digital trail that tells you more about who they are and what they are interested in.

If you have access to this kind of information, you can really impress them with future business decisions.

the best vision is insight

Malcolm Forbes

Conclusion

Every business understands that their customers make their growth possible, and that is likely never going to change.

Recognising the needs of your customers can help you to provide better products, services, and customer service.

Understanding these needs and providing for them is a sure-fire way to keep your customers coming back — and they just might bring their friends too!

Written by Åse Angland-Lindvall

With relentless energy and an unrivalled vision for helping companies to be successful, a core skill she gained at her time at E.ON and Ericsson, Åse helps companies understand the need for continuous innovation.

20/09/2021

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