“Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want” Comments Off on “Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want”
Most businesses will readily admit customers are a fickle bunch. There are two sides to this view. The first is that it provides an opportunity for the business to upgrade their products to meet the customer demand. This upgrade often takes the form of the release of a new model or product line, and that translates into profit. In fact, there is a greater built in profit in such situations because the company is releasing what the consumer wants, so the newer model profit is likely to be more predictable.
The second possibility is that the business has missed the mark on what its customers actually want, as opposed to what they say they want. This can blindside any company in a new market, and can cost the company a significant amount of money. This scenario can be avoided if the business knows what the customers really, really want as the Spice Girls once sang.
Keeping It Simple
When discussing the needs of the customer, they are not very hard to understand. For example, if you are selling a smartphone you know that the customer needs the functionality of a phone combined with a way to access the Internet and send text messages. That sounds very basic, but omit one of those basic needs and you will not sell very many smartphones. You may include in the need list a camera, adapter, and other less obvious necessities, but whatever you include in the “need list,” those items must be there.
Interaction With Customers
Developing a product that a potential customer needs is not enough. You must have a way to communicate to the target audience why they should buy the product you are selling. “Because you need it” is too simplistic since there are a hundred other companies telling them the same thing and maybe offering it at a cheaper price. That means you have to discover what the customer really wants from your product and your company. Remember, in the eyes of the consumer these two are inseparable.
What customers want beyond products that they need, is to believe that the company is concerned about their life and their future. Something simple as a jar of iced tea mix a consumer is thinking of buying has to convey the fact that this brand of iced tea is what you want and what you need. The company has heard your voice and created this flavor especially for your needs.
A very important factor in giving the customer what they want is trust. Companies conduct marketing research on almost a daily basis and trust the responses they get from consumer surveys and purchase data. This trust needs to be returned when products are being developed, because it conveys to the public that the company and product can be trusted. Trust is essential in any relationship, and violating customer trust will almost certainly cost the company thousands if not millions of dollars in sales. The evidence is everywhere, from cars that are recalled to brand names that have a negative health issue attached to them.
If there is one thing customers want most of all with the increased use of technology is quality customer service. A great product with poor customer service will eventually find itself struggling for sales. Products produced in an assembly line are bound to have some defects that slip through the quality assurance process. How a company handles these complaints tells the customer and the company how they feel about the business trust relationship.
The focus of any business is delivering what the customer wants in a timely manner. The customer decision to buy from one company and not another is based on whether or not a long term, beneficial relationship can evolve from an initial purchase. Being able to deliver what the customer wants can be achieved by being prepared to serve the customer and making their needs the priority.