All businesses exist to satisfy customers’ needs – and maybe wants too. Businesses that cannot meet the expectations of potential customers in terms of needs and wants soon die off – underscoring the importance of understanding customers’ needs before product creation. With a proper understanding of what customers need, businesses can create products or services that align with those needs.
In some complex situations, potential customers may not understand their basic needs or want until they come across a product that satisfies those desires. But where customers know what they want, you can create products that meet their needs with ease. Before trying to highlight the importance of understanding customers’ needs, let’s first examine the concept of “need” in the light of product creation.
In simple terms, customers’ needs are the physical and psychological factors that determine what customers want to derive from using a particular product. They are the inner and social motivations that influence the choice of a particular product over others. In some cases, these needs are shaped by individual beliefs, desires, preferences, and social standing – and these may be impacted by affordability, usability, reliability, and convenience among others.
Basic Ways to Meet Customers’ Needs
Before examining why understanding customers’ needs are important, let’s examine basic ways to meet customers’ needs first:
Collect Direct Feedback
In order to understand customers’ needs and wants, you must identify what they are first – and the way to do this is by collecting data through anonymous surveys, focus groups, customer interviews, and social media among others. Collecting direct feedback from customers will enable you to identify their needs before the need to create suitable products.
Analyze Competitors’ Behavior
Knowing fully well that people respond to marketing messages based on perceived needs, you can determine how people will respond to your products by analyzing how they treat rivals’ products. When you are on top of your competitors’ performances in the market, you will understand how customers react to their products and possibly how they will respond to similar products from you.
Create an Overview of Potential Needs
Based on customer wants, you can create a table detailing what features will be available in your products. The product overview will highlight its benefits, values, traits, features, pricing, packaging designs, and other fancy considerations.
Implement Identified Needs into the Product
Having identified the basic needs of your potential customers, the next stage is to determine how to implement the feedback you received into the product creation. Implementing the insights you have gathered into your product creation will go a long way to satisfying your customers’ needs and sustaining your business.
Why Is It Important to Fully Understand a Customer’s Needs?
Having understood how to meet basic customers’ needs, here are the justifications for understanding customers’ needs:
Understand motives behind buying decisions
When you understand why people would want your products, you would be in a position to create products that would meet their needs. There is always a motive behind any buying decision, and it is this motive that justifies a need. Knowing the motives will enable you to create value that satisfies the motives, and hence the needs.
Preventing product returns
A product that does not meet customers’ needs will be returned, leading to revenue loss for the company. When you don’t understand the fundamental needs of potential customers, you stand the risk of creating a product that will be useless to them. So you must prevent product returns and money refunds by developing products based on customer feedback.
Timely service delivery
Once you understand your customers’ needs, you will be able to create products that meet their needs in less time. People want fast service delivery, and this will become a reality when you tailor your products to satisfy the speed and value that customers desire. You will also be able to provide speedy customer support where customers have issues with your products.
Boost product’s unique selling propositions
With a knowledge of what your customers want in a product, you can integrate those functionalities into your products. These functionalities create the unique selling propositions (USP) that customers want to have in any product. Products get better when they contain USPs that customers want to obtain.
Measure customer satisfaction
It will be easier to measure customers’ satisfaction if you understand their basic needs. The more you know what your customers want, the more you are able to analyze if your products have met those needs. Constantly analyzing product satisfaction through surveys and other feedback channels enable you to update product design, value, and fulfillment.
You must get it right the first time. There is no likelihood that people will come back to your product if it fails their expectations the first time. So carry out the necessary research on what customers actually need and want before you create a product that meets those needs. This way, you can enjoy lifelong patronage and better business viability over time.