Defining Customer Needs
. . . to determine what Product or Service they want.
from Quality America.com 1995 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
It is easy to make assumptions about what actual & potential Customers (both will be referred to as Customers) want & need. Interviewing customers provides your Company with up-to-date information on Customer priorities, clarifies their likes & dislikes, + identifies emerging opportunities.
Keys to Determining Needs:
– Always talk directly to Customers
– Never assume you know their needs
– Prioritize “actual” Customer needs above what you think they need
– Address each specific Customer Need, and clearly state the Customer expectations
– Communicate Customer Needs to all who need it – developers, operations, management, sales & marketing, etc.
Frequent Mistakes Made:
1. Focus. Company prioritizes what they think the Customer needs rather than “actual” Customer needs.
The biggest mistake made by Companies who do not interview their Customers is, to focus on what they think customer needs rather than what they actually need.
2. Not Monitoring Customer. Company fails to monitor & update Customer needs as circumstances change.
Customer’s“needs” change over time. Without talking to them, we live in the dark and cannot discover these emerging needs. Sometimes company representatives say, “But we talk to our customers all the time.” Yes, but the conversations are about problems, immediate needs & services rather than inquiries about level of satisfaction & emerging needs.
Customer Feedback helps Companies, verify the extent of a problem and respond faster, prevent problems, better understand how products & services are used (in order to make improvements), & discover new opportunities. All this Feedback will help the Company to prioritize the Products of your Company.
3. Multiple Customers have conflicting & competing needs.
Individuals in an organization serve different customers. The needs of these customers are sometimes in conflict. When this happens, Internal departments can sometimes compete with one another to meet the needs of their diverse customers. Getting Feedback from customers will help your Company look at the total picture & determine which priorities meet the needs of most of their customers the most, then strive toward that.
Comments: What are the factors you think we should be concerned with, when we’re trying to determine Customer Needs?