Knowing what your customers want may be an evident piece of intelligence to gain on your path to accomplishment, but it’s only the beginning.
The real key is to know what they are going to want next year before they even realize it themselves. Many businesses try to get a sense of the future largely based on instinct, and sometimes they get it right. Most of the time, they don’t. Customers don’t part ways with brands that meet their every need. By anticipating customer needs, you can ensure that your product lines up with their expectations before they even have to ask for a new feature, service, or solution from you.
Creating a lasting customer experience is highly dependent on knowing the future, and anticipating customers’ desires and requirements. How to gain that knowledge can be seen as a spectrum that ranges from insight on one side to foresight on the other.
1- Moving from what you think to what you know
Business decisions are often based on what you think you know. It’s that gut instinct that is so often sold as the most prized characteristic of a company leader. Intuition is more valued when it can be quantified and formally mapped out & doing that will tell you more about how those dynamics, will affect your product and your category. Effective foresight is really less about instinct and more about creating knowledge that didn’t exist before.
2- Stand on your customer’s Shoes
Look beyond your core business and understand your customer’s full range of choices, as well as his or her ecosystem of suppliers, partners etc. of which you may be part. This exercise will also deepen your understanding of competitors and help you better anticipate their moves. What we think our customers want isn’t always accurate and what they say they want isn’t always the whole truth. This is why you can’t rely on hunches or even on focus groups alone. You need to find ways to empathize with your customers and to truly understand the problem you are solving for them.
3- Staple yourself to a customer’s order.
Track key customers’ experiences as they traverse your company’s pathways and note where the experience breaks down. Some hospitals ask interns to experience the check-in process as fake patients. One client asked managers to listen in on its call center. If you can’t exactly put yourself through a customer experience, try role-playing exercises at all points of the customer’s experience with your company which can help you know what your customer truly need from you.
4- Know the customer’s current supplier
Chances are your probable customer is already buying something similar to your product or service from someone else. Before you can sell to a possible customer, you need to know who your customer’s current supplier is. If you can find out what benefits they’re looking for, you stand a better chance of being able to sell to them. The benefits may be related to price or levels of service. The easiest way to recognize a potential customer’s current supplier is often simply to ask them. Generally, people are very happy to offer this information, as well as an indication of whether they’re happy with their present engagements.
5- Don’t Avoid Non-buyers
It is advisable not to avoid buyers who bought products from your competitors instead of you. They may provide you with valuable data on where your solution fell short for them & they may even tell you what made them not buy your product. You can make changes based on their valuable feedbacks. Know what your product and services could do more for the customer. Get the right information why they choose to buy from somewhere else and then you can fix the problem yourself.
6- Follow the Trends
Always try to learn what’s new & trending in your business. This can help you in understanding what your customers may need in the future & how easily it can solve your problem. Check various patterns and data to make an analysis. The analysis will give you valuable information about customer behavior. Getting to understand your customers in the best possible way may be an endless process as tastes and interest continue to vary. But really it’s worth all the effort.
7- Nurture Customer Relationship
When a customer buys a product or service from you, they want to use it right away and fulfill their needs immediately. Whether they are pleased within the first hour, week, or a month, it’s important to constantly think about their future needs. Proactive relationship-building is essential to prevent customers from losing their post-purchase excitement and ultimately leaving. If customers stop hearing from you and you don’t hear from them this can be a bad sign that they are moving on to your customer.
The more you know about how your customers work and how they use your products, the more those learning’s will lead to motivations which can lead you to develop products that both surprise and delight your customers.