Customer needs, not just wants, drive business success – get to know them, better.
What we believe our customers to want is not always correct and what they ask for is not always the whole truth. You cannot rely on hunches when dealing with customers. You need to walk in your customer’s shoes and really empathise with them and to fully understand what they need – whether it is goods and services, or a problem that needs solving.
If you do put yourself in your customer’s shoes – or even a prospective customer – you might find that you are not servicing their requirements effectively. You may also find that there are ways to make dealing with your business better to make the experience more productive and more informed for the consumer.
It may help if you review your marketing materials and rad through what may have been written some time ago, about your business, it may also be worth reviewing your web pages and click through links, check form submissions and review images, to ensure all are still relevant but, most of all, that they relevant to your customers – providing what they need!
If, as a customer, you had questions, would you be able to work out how to contact the right person in your business, to help? Most importantly, however, would you know how to purchase the right product?
If these questions, or the answers to these questions, frighten you, chances are you avoided thinking like your customers – you have not taken the time to walk this your customer’s shoes. You need to start talking WITH your customers not talking AT them.
10 tips to walk in your customer’s shoes
- Take time to understand your customers access points to your business – both online and offline.
- Observe them – see what they do.
- Listen to them – what are they saying?
- Understand patterns that evolve in their day to day activity.
- Do you recognise any problems they experience dealing with you? Are there shortfalls in your business that cause them problems? Consider gaps in their desires – can you help to fulfil them.
- Consider how they really feel when in a position where you want to create difference for them.
- Try to understand how they want to feel and deliver based on that.
- Understand their wants, both physical and emotional.
- Consider whether you can help to get them where they want to be.
- Understand how their life will change because your product or service exists.
These tips will help you understand your customer better and see you and your business form a customer’s perspective. Appreciating where they are coming from, what their needs are and how you can fulfil them will allow you to create a story to tell them – a story that can promote your business in the language of your customer – geared to their wants and desires and tailored to their lives.
Walking in your customer’s shoes will allow you to focus, or refocus your business, in a way that matters and will be appreciated. Walking in your customer’s shoes can bring you the success you want by making the real needs and wants of your customers central to your business.
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